Alternative title: things I don’t do and genuinely don’t care about!
Zero waste fails vs. low impact living
I talk a lot about how I believe zero waste isn’t a helpful term, or even achievable. It’s certainly not something I strive for and prefer aiming for low-impact sustainability as much as possible.
Sometimes it isn’t possible. For me, and perhaps for you too. Because the word ‘possible’ is subjective and wholly dependant on your lifestyle, your privilege etc etc and for me, that also includes emotional privilege.
As a pregnant mum with a toddler in tow my version of zero waste looks different to this time last year. And…..although I love all the ‘Gold star for just trying’ type stuff, I don’t really buy it. I call BS on myself because I’m barely trying at the moment.
Instead of beating myself up about it I thought I’d share the things I’ve given up recently. My zero-waste fails, if you will!
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Making my own EVERYTHING
From nut milk to vegan cheese, toddler-friendly treats and vegetable crisps…..just urgh. And that’s just the kitchen. Add in cleaning products, face masks, tile scrubber, nappy rash balm, bubble bath, bath bombs….OH HELL NO.
I should know my limits. I mean, I’ve mentioned before that DIY beauty is not my thing and I prefer to leave it to the professionals and shop mindfully.
Mostly though, the convenience food is a toughy. The whole family is vegan and both my husband and I work full-time so it started feeling kind of ridiculous spending every waking minute unhappy/dealing with a screaming kid who JUST WANTS A FREAKING SNACK or doing the alternative; knackering hours spent making crappy versions of the things I like.
Honestly, I know I can try harder on this one but I’m giving myself a pregnancy pass. For now.
Shopping for everything in bulk
We are very lucky in that there is a small bulk store within walking distance. However not everything they sell is quite what I want…..for example (and please don’t roll your eyes at me here) the chocolate buttons taste like shit.
So instead of buying stuff I hate and then feeling virtuous yet mildly depressed about my cup of tea and unpalatable chocolate I decided to get a grip and chalk that up to experience.
I do still compost…..just not on the scale I was previously. I had a great system of using my Bokashi bin for all compostable kitchen bits and food waste, leaving it to pickle for a couple of weeks then popping it in my big compost bin to work it’s magic.
But guess what? Composting is a humongous pain in the ass when you don’t know what you’re doing. The Bokashi part is the easy bit; getting the right layers of ‘brown’ and ‘green’ waste (which includes shredding cardboard and paper layers) to make the damn compost is the ultimate snoozefest.
We still have our big compost bin which is almost full and brewing beautiful compost as we speak but honestly…..what the fudge will I do with the compost when I’m finished? And how do I know when it’s done please and thank-you?!
I am not a big shopper, but sometimes, only Amazon has the thing you want. Or Etsy. And I buy all my clothes second-hand which, outside of pregnancy, is simple to do in charity shops.
But maternity clothes? I’ve solely relied on eBay and Vinted and that means packages of stuff.
Occasionally I also like to just buy something. Just because. And in those instances I email the seller and ask for no plastic packaging….this usually works a treat and often the seller is excited to come up with new plastic-free packaging solutions.
But it’s never zero-waste.
So there you have it. My zero waste fails. Ps – I am 100% totally okay with them right now too.