Moving to Seattle and meeting some of my online friends in real life has been so exciting! Last week I had the honor of sitting down with the ladies from Eco Collective Seattle, Genevieve and Marimar, to chat about zero waste living. So what exactly is zero waste? People who practice a zero waste lifestyle work to reinvent resource lifecycles by reusing products, reducing consumption, and working to not send trash to the landfills. Sounds intense right?
Now, I consider myself waste conscious, but not zero waste. Honestly, I’ve found zero waste intimidating and have been afraid to ask questions. But the ladies of Eco Collective Seattle really changed my view and opened my eyes. Marimar and Genevieve were so approachable and I felt totally comfortable asking my zero waste questions. They provided me with answers that were reasonable and did not make me feel ashamed of my current lifestyle. These encouraging ladies provided me with tips and practical alternatives to integrate in my lifestyle to work towards zero waste living.
Value What You Have & Slow Down
Zero waste is a process and a journey of transformational change. Zero waste living is not something that is going to happen overnight. And that’s okay. Take your time. Don’t get too excited for your new zero waste lifestyle and throw away all your plastic products….because that contributes to the waste issue. Instead value what you have, use the goods you have to their full life cycle, and then begin the process of phasing out plastic or other products that aren’t eco-friendly.
A lot of times we get caught up in the consumer trap when practicing new ways. We tend to think, “If I have this product it will make living zero waste so much easier.” Or fill in the bold parts with what applies to you! But it’s true we get caught up! The Eco Collective Ladies reminded me that it starts with small changes. Such as valuing what you have and making intentional purchases. Todays fast paced culture encourages consumers to make impulse purchases without thinking about the value items bring to the individuals lifestyle. Before purchasing try to make do with what you have and reflect on the potential purchase for a few days (or weeks). Is the items something you truly need? What purpose and value will this material item bring to your life? Overall try to make your purchases more thoughtful.
Genevieve and Marimar’s journey to zero waste reminded me of my own journey with ethical fashion. Transitioning my closet was not something that happened in one day. It was a process of cherishing the clothes I had, phasing out my fast fashion clothes, and reflecting on the greater impact of my purchases. Any type of transition into living a slower lifestyle is a challenge, but it can change you for the better. You learn a lot about yourself and our society. Defy the odds and make a slow living lifestyle change! Whether that’s zero waste, ethical fashion, minimalism, or another kind of conscious change the journey is the destination.