How to go low waste? Where to start...
‘I want to make a difference but where do I start?’… sound familiar?
I know first hand how it can feel to want to make a difference but not sure where to start... this can easily lead us to feel overwhelmed and unmotivated but I’ve been there (which is what led me to start The Good Karma Co.) and I wanted to share some of my learning’s, the motivation and tips that keep me moving forward and hopefully will inspire you too!!
1. You MATTER!
The first thing to remember is you are someone that can make a difference and your choices matter. There is no change too small.
It is also important to recognize that not everybody’s journey will look the same or follow the same timeline… and that’s OK! Wherever you are , meet yourself there with kindness.
Do what you can with what you have and focus on the successes, it’s all about the little wins – especially at the start.
2. Get familiar with the 3 R's
- Refuse – when possible refuse single use items & disposables. Things like straws, plastic bags, freebies (party favors, hotel toiletries), disposable items like razors, plastic cutlery, junk mail…. Commonly when out and about, at events, hotels and other facilities.
- Reduce – commit to reducing your waste by reducing your dependency on single use, plastic, disposable items, packaging and unnecessary purchases/’convenience’
- Reuse – choosing items and product that can be reused time and time again instead that have long term value and use or multiple functions.
Some great ways to apply the above:
- Borrow & Share – instead of going and buying new things consider borrowing from friends, sharing items.
- Repair instead of replace
- Refill / buy in bulk – can you refill rather rebuy, this often saved on packaging
- Repurpose – choose items that have multiple uses, such as a french coffee press that can also be used as a tea press and as a water jug.
- Rot / Recycle - these options manage the problem but the only real solution and best thing to do is focus on reducing our waste!!
3. Awareness + Planning = Success
The key to success is practicing awareness & planning for your daily life. Prepare for success!
Look at your daily life, we must first be aware of our habits if we want to change them! where do you see opportunity for improvement?
Eg.. do you always get a coffee from the same place - can you take a reusable coffee cup? Do you always buy individually packaged snack - can you buy in bulk instead and separate portions at home?
4. DEFINE YOUR WHY.
We all have different problems, different lives and different needs, so defining your why is a great tool that will keep you motivated. Not all changes are easy, some require more time and commitment than others, so find your reason and keep it close to your heart!
What is your why?
- Is It for your children’s future, the animals, a beautiful part of the world you love, the oceans, your loved ones….?
- What compels you to act?
- What brought you here?
4. Important Questions to ask...
Start to retrain your brain to think differently:
- How can I do this differently?
- Is there another way?
- What can I do?
- What is a realistic change for me?
- How can I apply the R's here?
5. Start with the easy switches!
The best way to start is slowly and with the easy changes that you can implement into your life with little effort, this way when you succeed you can feel motivated to make more changes! From dish brushes, to dental floss, look for the switches that appeal to you the most and start there! Take it one switch and step at a time!
Let's be more materialistic!
Lifestyle, marketing, convenience and money have rendered us somewhat guilty of having a rather careless & disposable mindset. Can we instead start to value the everyday items and turn the mundane into meaningful?
We are too often disconnected from our everyday material items, we take many for granted and easily dispose of and replace things as quickly as they came leading to a constant flow of waste.
Can we instead value ALL of our material possessions, look after things better, repair rather than re-buy & choose quality and longevity over convenience.
Does it spark JOY?
Do the items in your home, and the purchases you make, bring you joy and make you feel good? For me, my bamboo dish brushes brings me joy, it’s such a simple, small thing, I feel good when I wash the dishes, I enjoy the process just a little bit more.
When you enjoy what you have you value and use it more!!!
How you can inspire others…
Lead by example! This is your journey and you might have people behind you or ahead of you and that’s ok, focus on doing your part, be kind to yourself and others.
Let’s encourage, inspire and educate each other to a better way of living.
Reach out to me anytime, Rebecca firstname.lastname@example.org