The Unspoken (expensive) Reality of living Zero Waste
For someone who runs a business striving to be as Eco-friendly as possible, you would probably think that I weave my own shopping bags and concoct my own shampoo bars. Sadly, this is not the case for me or the other person in my household. Or our dogs for that matter. The temptation to completely eradicate any trace of plastic from your life is THERE, and has been stirring in me for a while. You start with the small stuff. You buy the aluminium straw, you start bringing your bags to the shops. That stuff's easy.
What do you do when you're in the store and all their vegetables, all their grains, all your favourite snacks come in shiny non biodegradable, not even recyclable packaging. We were ecstatic to hear of a brand new zero waste shop opening in our town. We put aside a good chunk of our budget (not knowing what to expect) and headed down. Bear in mind, we have 3 dogs for whom we cook ourselves. Meat and wholemeal grains like rice just happen to be the bedrock of their dishes. Counting up our jar filled treasure we collected a few pounds of rice, some other grains and a couple of toiletries. We got so excited pulling those little levers and filling our jars up with stuff that we didn't even comprehend the amount we just spent on what was mainly exotic lentils and rice.
I do not think the prices were unfair, do not get me wrong. They were fair for an independent shop and there was nothing wrong there. The shop is a lovely and much needed addition to a thriving community. It sets the precedent for living consciously and shakes the foundation of what people have done thoughtlessly for years. I kept buying my grains from this independent for a month, until I semi-broke down and admitted to myself that this for me, to massive disappointment, was not a realistic way of living. The next best thing was to to look for large plastic bags of brown rice, but this product seemed to be non existent. Now I buy all my brown rice from Aldi, I spend 99p for one non biodegradable, not even recyclable bag.
We all try to make changes for the positive. We all forget our keep cup when we pass by the Starbucks, and sometimes we just buy the disposable cotton wool wipes to take off our make up at night because we haven't washed the fabric cloths fast enough. The truth is, and especially when you are on a tight budget, things like period proof pants or elegant water bottles are things you have to plan for. More often than not, they get pushed back to the back of your mind, and budget. Some of us have kids, some of us have dogs, and some of us simply cannot take public transport to work is if it's unreliable or not even around.
It's important to support each other as this new way of living is thrust upon us, seemingly out of nowhere. It's also important not to judge, as we all make mistakes, and we're all trying to cut down a particular habit, swap a tool, change the way we look at things in general. Zero waste is a goal at the end of the day, and anything we can do to get to that goal is an achievement for the better, and a better alternative to synthetic underwear is our entire Cotton & Push collection, which is on sale now in our Online Shop.