The zero waste lifestyle is becoming more and more popular; so, I wanted to talk about a few of the common myths.
It Costs A Lot of Money: MYTH
This one couldn't be further from the truth. You will be saving exponentially. Packaging, paper towels, tissues, all that stuff costs money and you're literally throwing it away. Packaging on average adds an additional 15% cost to any purchase.
The zero waste lifestyle is focused on repairing an item instead of replacing it. Instead of buying a new pair of boots for $200, have them repaired at the cobbler for $25.
Zero waste promotes the use of the second hand market. We'd much rather buy something used than waste precious resources to create something new. The second hand market is full of goodies. All of the furniture in my house is second hand, most of my clothes, and lots of my zero waste essentials like my mason jar collection. I added three pieces to my closet this year for $75; retail value was $695.
The initial investment for reusables might be slightly higher. For example, a high quality water bottle costs $20-$30, but after filling it up 20 times it pays for itself. Don't forget to check out the second hand market, I found my kanteen at the thrift store for $1.00.
No more impulse buys either! You have to actually plan when you go shopping or to the grocery store. You're shopping more efficiently and buying only what you need.
And, well.... I guess you could run into an impulse buy... like around Christmas... you could find a penguin plate at the thrift store - that matches your shirt. I mean how could I not buy that!? (Worth the sticker, worth the dollar)
You Have To Store Your Trash in a Mason Jar: MYTH
No, of course you don't! That's silly. The reason a lot of zero wasters store their trash is to be aware of the type of trash they're creating. In fact, I would recommend that you go through your trash. Seriously, do a trash audit. By looking at what you have, and being aware of what you're throwing away, it's so much easier to figure out what you need to eliminate. When I started GZW, I realized 75% of what I threw away was organic. I started composting and diverted almost all of my waste.
The goal of the movement isn't to have everyone in the world cancel their trash service - although that would be pretty awesome. It's to bring awareness and change how you see the world. To make you think, "Maybe that doesn't need to be wrapped in plastic?"
It Takes A Lot of Time: MYTH
It feels the same to me. I go to the store less. I've downsized, so I have less to clean, less to maintain, and less to repair. Plus, I don't have to take out the trash.
I cook dinner almost every night which takes about 30 - 60 minutes. I make our cleaning products which takes about 30 minutes every six months. And, I make a lot of beauty products which takes about an hour every other month?
I won't make anything on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It isn't sustainable for me. I'm waaaayyyy to lazy. Thankfully most all of my recipes take little time, little effort, few ingredients, and last a long, long time. Some of my favorites include dry shampoo and deodorant.
You Have to Keep Everything With you at All Times: MYTH
I've already debunked this on my travel post. I do think it's important to be prepared for unexpected situations. My go to items are a napkin and a 16 oz mason jar maybe slip in a bulk bag or reusable bag that folds up real small just incase? But, I don't think there's a need to bring every reusable you have with you everywhere at all times. But, you have to have a napkin.... 'cause - donuts.
You'll Be Healthier: TRUTH!
Yeah, you probably will be. You'll get to know your farmers. You'll start shopping local, which is great for the economy. Your sugar intake will probably plummet (mine did) and you'll be replacing that processed food with fresh fruits and veggies!
You'll most likely be eating less meat and dairy and focusing more on a plant based diet. Plant based diets are the kindest to the environment and the best for your health. You might even find yourself switching up modes of transportation like walking and riding your bike. I love walking to the coffee shop or farmers market!
Your House Will Look Like a Pinterest Board: ???
Ok, so this may be true. When your house is filled with glass storage jars and lots of natural products like bamboo, how can you go wrong? My house if made up of all second hand pieces, but I think they go together well.
Is there anything holding you back from the zero waste lifestyle? How can you reduce your waste in the coming months?