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!
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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