“Are you sure it’s the rubbish bin to go out?”
“Yup. Definitely the rubbish bin. They send me a text to let me know.”
Oh right. It’s just that there’s only the one rubbish bag in it.”
Score for waste reduction efforts in this house! We take our wins where we can people.
You may have gathered from this blog that I start a lot of things and throw myself in to projects, often without thinking it all the way through. Sometimes (read “often”) I crash and burn. But I like to think that failure is how we learn. The important thing is to pick yourself back up again and try, try, try. When I lived in Dublin, we used to go out paddling with a group of seakayakers. There was one man in particular; let’s call him Dave (because that’s his name) who often led the groups. If he didn’t lead, he was still there partaking and helping out. He was a big, noisy, very funny Dub and I grew to like him a lot. He used to say to me at the beginning that if you went out on a paddle and you didn’t come back wet, then it meant you didn’t try to push yourself enough. In other words, you have to make some mistakes to learn what’s achievable and how to get there.
So I am making my mistakes and learning what’s achievable and how to get there.
I took on the Plastic Free July challenge. It started well but the effort petered out. There was too much going on and I found I had no time to organise myself in advance and ended up in situations were single-use plastic was unavoidable. That’s ok. I decided I would start again. I took it in baby steps and Instagrammed a bit more to keep me focussed. I liked it – mini challenges; plastic free veg and fruit shopping but then I would have to get inventive about meals. But that’s good. I could tire quite easily of meatballs and stir fries. I still bring plastic in to the house. But I try and be more aware of it when I do it.
I am trying to ease out the cleaning products and use just home made stuff so at least I know the chemicals involved. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. I am learning what works for us and our household. I am considering homemade toiletries but it seems a big jump in my head. But then again, so did family cloth and CSPs at one stage. So we wait and think and make plans and journey on.
I have plans that I am making and goals that I am aiming for. Not huge big lofty goals but little ones. Ones that won’t overwhelm me too much. Like bringing my own containers in to the butcher so I don’t have to buy meat wrapped up in extra plastic that just goes to the landfill. Now, in order to do that, I am going to need containers; preferably glass ones with lids. Things that I can put in to fridge or freezer when we get home. I am keeping my eye out for such a thing and trying not to rush in to buying new stuff for the sake of it. I hunted high and low for a non-plastic nail brush to have at the back sink for when we come in from the garden. I was so delighted when I finally found one. I really am easily pleased. Another little goal is to get rid of the cling film. I am going to try beeswax wraps. I’m not setting the goal so impossible that I feel I have to make the wrap covers. At least not yet. I’ll pick one or two up at some stage in a sale and try that. It’s all about the baby steps people. Baby steps.
Along this journey I have found some very inspirational people. Some are at a stage I could never manage. Like Bea Johnson. But I think there are very few who can achieve what she has done. I have found little pockets of people who are striving towards it though. Making mistakes along the way just as I am. But all joining in on the conversation and doing what they can. I am fascinated by all the different interpretations of what zero waste is. Is it no plastic in your house? Is it growing everything yourself? Is it no new stuff in the house? Is it organic? Is it locally produced? Is it fairtrade? Is it vegan? There are lots of opinions out there. What’s yours?