Monthly Archives

March 2017

Live Waste Free

Earth Hour 2017: What I learned about myself

What the heck is Earth Hour?:

Welcome back friendos! As you may have seen from my FB or Instagram, this weekend I participated in Earth Hour! What is Earth Hour you ask? Earth Hour was held on Saturday March 25th from 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm whatever your local time zone is. Basically, it is a global event where everyone turns off their lights during the 1 hour. People, businesses and landmarks all participated this year in over 30 countries. It is meant to be an event to create awareness to climate change.

You can read more about it here: https://www.earthhour.org/

How I enjoyed my hour:

I’m very proud to say that everyone in my house participated in Earth hour this year. We all took to the event differently, the goal of raising awareness and leaving the lights off for the hour was definitely met (WOOT! Way to go fam jam!).

For my part, I decided to read a book that I’ve been working on for quite some time. It’s a hard one to get into and I never dedicate any time to reading it. Having the hour off, I decided I would take the time to read it by candle light. I found candles a few weeks ago while cleaning out the back of a closet in our house. They were kept there for emergency power outages, but were never used. So I used them! 3 to be exact. In case you can’t tell, I’m very big on ‘use it up fully before buying new ones’. We found these ones, so we used these ones. My mom also went into the recycling bin and grabbed out 3 containers to hold the candles. 2 were her dog’s food containers and 1 was from an old cheese product that was finally finished. She fashioned them up in a jiff for me (thanks ma!) and I went to a quiet area and read. I snapped a quick picture (to encourage others through social media, and for the sake of this blog post), then shut off my phone altogether.

What I learned: 

I learned just how quiet a house can get once all the busyness subsides. At the beginning, I found it to be rather eerie. But as time passed and I was finally able to get into my book (since, ya know, I finally dedicated time to it), I grew more and more at peace. It was a rather lovely experience. Nothing worried me, I was not feeling any sort of stress and the candles all placed together created a very pretty illumination on my pages. The more I read, the happier I found myself. I plowed through about 4 chapters within 45 minutes, that’s how entranced I was. I didn’t find myself stopping, I didn’t allow myself to get distracted at all. Honestly though, with nothing going on in the background, there were no distractions! I can confidently say that I found a piece of myself that I didn’t know I was missing. Whether it was brought on by the candle light (fire does have a very primal effect on the brain) or the fact that I was completely unplugged and left to be alone with my thoughts. I don’t exactly know what it was… but I liked it!

Once 9:30 hit, I got up and started finishing the tidying up from the day. In order to keep my peaceful mindset, I kept it by candle light. I turned my phone on for a minute and realized that my connection to this THING was a part of the problem. So I shut it off again and this time for the night. In fact, it was only turned back on the next morning about 2 hours after I woke up. Saturday night, I continued to read in bed by candle light and decided to just drift off to sleep. This is huge for me on a personal level. I have such an unhealthy connection to screens that I am typically unable to fall asleep without watching a show. I always put the sleep timer on the television so I know it won’t run all night, but still! Being so at peace with myself and so happy in my little bubble that I was able to naturally fall asleep. For me that’s huge! There isn’t even any other way to express it! It was huge! The next morning, I continued with the simplicity of just enjoying my own presence (well, my own and the presence of the dog, she needed attention and I was more than happy to give it). I consciously kept my phone off and out of reach while I went on about my day. I took the time to feed the dog, play with her, walk her and enjoy my coffee without any busyness going on in the background. I then took to my book again.

I only resumed with technology (I should really say screens) once everyone else was awake and starting their day. The serenity of the night before and the morning is something that I have longed to experience and won’t soon forget. Don’t get me wrong, I am a general happy person, very optimistic and joyful and eager to pass on my positivity to those around me. Allowing myself to be unplugged has stirred something in me, a yearning for it to become a norm rather than a treat; and I have Earth Hour to thank for this! For without it, I would have never (or at least not yet) made this self-discovery and I would still be living my life, content with my screen addiction.

For updates on this self-discovery or more tips and tricks to living Zero Waste, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free; where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!

Live Waste Free

Misconceptions about Zero Waste

Good day everyone! I’ve noticed something recently that I’d like to address. I’ve been hearing more and more negative rumours about Zero Waste and I’d like to lay them to rest. There are so many people who are interested in it, but a few things deter them. Below are my top 7 misconceptions I hear about the Zero Waste Lifestyle and some ways around them!

  1. I can never go out to eat…ever!

It’s about eliminating any excessive amounts waste. Not restricting your social life! When I go out, I make sure to order no straw and no plastic in my meal and I’m fine. Also, by bringing a container with me in my purse, I eliminate the need for a takeout container.

  1. I can only eat healthy food.

I have noticed that since my transition, I do eat better. The food we buy in bulk is often the better option; but let me tell you something. I have no shame in admitting that I have a full on candy addiction. I consume what my husband calls a ‘dangerous and irresponsible amount of candy’ in a week. I just buy it in bulk, along with my chips and pretzels. So munch on my junk food loving friends. Munch on!

  1. I’d have no social life, it’s too restricting.

I get asked this a lot, and I never fully know how to answer. The idea of what constitutes a social life is unique to everyone. Personally, I am perfectly content with playing board games and relaxing on the weekends. Or going out for a nice coffee with my girlfriends to talk about what’s new in our lives; or even going out to celebrate achievements or accomplishments with family. I can do all this and not create any extra waste. It’s all in your attitude towards it. Even if you like to go out to party until the sunrise, there are always options for you! Don’t worry! You’re only restricted by your own imagination.

  1. It’s too hard.

At first it is an adjustment. But I never found it too hard. Overall, the learning curve has been enjoyable and interesting. I do things now that I never have, but they’re not more difficult than before. I still need to go grocery shopping right? I still need to make my lists and everything; I just bring jars and my own bags along. Once the adjustment has been made, it’ll be like any other shopping trip.

  1. All I’d do is food prep and dishes.

I’ll give you this one. I do more food prep than the average person, but I genuinely believe it’s because I enjoy it. I take my time and I organize and I taste as I cook. I love the process of cooking from scratch. I could do without the dishes, but I understand that it’s a part of the package. That being said, NOT EVERYONE spends as much time in the kitchen as I do. There are still super quick meal options for you to eat as a Zero Waster. It’s also about balance; you need to find what works for you. Again, with the learning curve I mentioned earlier, you may feel that you do more of this stuff, but it won’t last. You won’t be a newbie forever.

  1. It’s so crazy expensive.

I buy only what I need. I don’t buy giant containers of stuff that will eventually go bad; essentially throwing your hard earned cash in the trash. That being said, I spend less money on average per shop, since I only buy what I intend to use. I avoid unnecessary purchases, unnecessary food waste and unnecessary spending by doing so. Also, buying something that is of good quality, that will last for years to come may seem like the more expensive choice in the moment, but in the long term, replacing something that is cheap and throwing it away more often is definitely the more expensive option. So no, I do not find that it is crazy expensive. I have a budget that I need to follow too, and I very rarely go over it.

  1. There’s no point since the whole world won’t change.

It’s taken me a long time to come to grips with this and I can understand the point behind it. It’s absolutely disheartening going to a coffee shop with my reusable mug and noticing 10 other people in line, waiting for their coffees that will be served in disposable paper cups. It can be rough walking past a garbage can that is over flowing with trash while you carry your compostables home to make sure they get disposed of responsibly. I’m going to tell you something and I’d like you to listen well. NOT EVERYONE will want this lifestyle; and as much as you would want to, you can’t force anyone into wanting it. This is a choice that you need to make for you and you alone. Yes, every little bit you do does count towards the greater good. Yes, I feel as though it’s still worth it, but it’s YOUR journey, not Sally or Joe’s or Colin’s, YOURS! Do it because you feel that you want to make the change. Do it because you want to lower your eco foot print. Don’t avoid doing it because the world as a whole doesn’t see its benefit. If we used this excuse for everything, we would be nowhere as a society. “That’s the way it’s always been done” is not an excuse to not follow what you think is right. Break the mould and move forward.

So there you have it, the top 7 misconceptions that I’ve noticed floating around recently. I’m hoping I put those pesky rumours about this lifestyle to rest now.

For tips and tricks, head over and like my page on Facebook Live Waste Free, where you’ll get daily ideas to keep you going on the Zero-Waste path.

Or follow me on Instagram @livewastefree for random pics and funnies!