"Let's go, I'm starting my new life. I was in total loss and now I've found my reason". This is the speech we hold when we want to make changes in our lives. Full of motivation and goodwill. The key is to persevere, stay the course, move forward at your own pace because it's not a race but a marathon .
Initiating a Zero Waste transition is a lifestyle change. A sequence of research, discoveries, successes, disappointments, failures, conclusive results or not. You probably don't know what or where to start. Don't stress, I'll give you some tips to start your Zero Waste transition without the fuss .
1. Don't throw away your products
The principle is not to throw everything away to start from scratch . This goes completely against the values of Zero Waste. To begin its transition, the easiest way is to segment by room of the house with a very precise To Do List: Make an inventory of what is in the room then sort by answering very specific questions. What can be reused? What can I give / sell? What needs to be completed before finding an alternative? What's good that I can keep?
Throwing away is really the last resort.
Personally, I started with my bathroom. I gave the majority of my new or even started cosmetics to those around me. I still kept some of them the time to find the products that suit me. Replacing everything at once is tempting to go quickly, but that doesn't give you time to think about alternatives beforehand. If we take the example of the bathroom, you risk buying a lot of products with, of course, a good composition and zero waste packaging but which you will not need .
2. Don't look for an alternative for everything
Keep items that can be reused , rather than generating new waste. Don't replace your plastic boxes with a brand new batch of glass boxes. It's IN, Instagrammable but not essential . The disposable paper towel, is it really necessary to replace it by buying a reusable paper towel when you have tea towels everywhere in your drawers.
The basis of Zero Waste is deconsumption , not everything has to have a ZD alternative. Replacing with "nothing" is the best approach. This will declutter your interior.
3. Bulk sparingly
Eating healthy while not generating too much waste without causing the receipt to skyrocket requires some running-in. The shopping list is essential to avoid buying more than you need . To go further, the development of weekly menus will allow you to save money and no longer waste food . In the bulk department you will only buy the quantity you need and you will not fill your bulk bag at random with the fear of pain.
4. Do it all yourself (DIY)
It's kind of the trap I fell into. Making your own shampoo, dishwashing liquid, body soap is rewarding and very tempting in view of all the recipes available for free on the internet. Unfortunately , this is not always a source of satisfaction, saving money and waste . Some sites are surfing on this trend and encouraging consumers to buy several products for a recipe that they will only make once. The ingredients then remain in the shade in the drawers.
Making your own cosmetics requires utensils (molds, dispenser, scales, etc.) as well as a certain number of ingredients that are not always packaged in recyclable containers. The confection also requires time , sometimes a lot of time (4-6 weeks to use its cold saponified soap).
The wisest thing is to favor DIY recipes requiring few ingredients that can be used for others .
5. The Greenwashing and Dropshipping Scam
These more than dubious methods are becoming more and more common. Between the large industrial groups which, through marketing campaigns, give themselves an "eco-friendly" image with a few products highlighted when their main activity has a huge negative impact on the environment and companies which sell products stamped "eco-responsible" of poor quality, manufactured without respect for nature and human rights at very expensive prices. The Zero Waste trend is attracting. Hence the need to be vigilant , to do research and to have a coherent approach.
Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle allows you to make real savings, so isn't it better to buy your cold saponified soap from a small artisan at 1 or 2 euros more expensive than that of a large industrial group? Zero Waste is a way of life and consumption. Consume less but better .
6. Don't go too fast
Habits are well anchored, the change takes place smoothly. Some will find it easier to start with changes in the kitchen, others in the bathroom. The main thing is to move forward at your own pace without comparing yourself.
Going fast so as not to create frustration is tempting, but it can increase your mental load , create guilt and end up making you give up on everything.
Feel free to join groups on social networks to share with people who have the same interests as you. Your partner, child or roommate is not interested in your lifestyle change. It doesn't matter, I've been there too. Stay motivated, it is by seeing positive results on you that those around you will take the path too. Without realizing it, you set an example on a daily basis.
Every gesture counts, no matter how small. There is no small gesture if all of humanity gets involved.
To your small gestures my Hummingbirds!