You may have heard about this crazy phenomenon where people collect the tiny bits of garbage in mason jars and showcase it with pride. These zero-wasters are showing off the minimal amounts of landfill waste they’ve produced, usually over a significant amount of time. The zero-waste movement has been making waves on social media and given my environmentally conscious tendencies, it’s been making waves on me. The concept of being able to live without garbage seemed nearly impossible just a couple weeks ago. The more I read about the zero-waste lifestyle and followed others doing it, I started to believe it was within my reach.
I decided to kickstart my zero-waste adventures with a 30-day new year’s resolution challenge. The goal is to produce no garbage for the month of January. I repeat no garbage! I’ll permit myself to buy new recyclable and compostable products like aluminum cans, glass bottles or paper, but I’ll aim to reduce those as well. Another rule: no plastic! I’ll keep all my current plastic items but refuse to bring new ones into my life.
After weeks of research, I learned that zero-waste is a pretty loosely defined term, not meant to taken literally. We can’t actually produce ZERO waste. I mean, we breathe, we poop, we waste. We’re human. For me, the idea is to shed as little garbage from our daily habits as possible. It’s no easy feat but it’s doable.
In fact, the idea is kind of exhilarating. It’s a huge middle finger to the ugly side of consumerism. Don’t get me wrong, I love to consume! I know not all consumption is empty or ugly. I love clothes, kitchenware and I love to eat out! Like a lot of take-out. As I’m writing this right I am eating out of a plastic takeout container. It’s bad. This won’t be easy for me. I doubt I’ll ever kick the desire to consume but I’m hoping the challenge will teach me to buy with intention and support eco-friendly businesses.
A 30-day challenge makes you rethink your habits, even if you don’t end up changing them for good. In the past when I’ve done diet challenges, like gluten-free, vegan, or the candida diet, I kept the parts that fit my lifestyle and rejected the parts that didn’t.
I’m reaching out to all MTL VEG followers and asking: “Will you join me?” Kick garbage out of your routine! I’ll be there for moral support. If enough people are into it, I’ll start a small Facebook group for moral support. If you aren’t sure yet, I’ll be posting every day leading up to 2018 with an item or a tip that I’ll take with me along for the challenge.
Join the zero-waste Facebook support group: