Sometimes I feel very alone in my pursuit of green living, but turns out there’s a whole community of people out there eager to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. I’ve recently encountered a blog called “Going Zero Waste” by Kathryn Kellogg, and she has a 31 day challenge to greener living. Since I’m on the second step of environmentally-friendly living – R-E-D-U-C-E, I figured now would be a good time to take the 31 day challenge and see if zero waste living can be easily achieved.
Day 1 of the Zero Waste Challenge focuses on our overconsumption and consumerism. We simply buy too much stuff, oftentimes it’s stuff we don’t even need. I’ve been blogging about the concept of minimalism and our need to scale back shopping, and I believe this is a great place to start. Everything we buy must be produced which consumes resources, especially water. These items must then be shipped (usually abroad) which requires burning fossil fuels. Everything we buy takes a toll on the environment, and when consumerism is encouraged on a massive scale, this has dire consequences for the planet. By rethinking the way the economy works and encouraging a “less is more” attitude, we can start reversing the damage done by our constant consumption.
If you must shop, consider resale; items that are used. Much of what we buy from clothing to house goods can be purchased from resale shops, flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales, and other places. By shopping resale, you’re preventing the endless cycle of overproduction -> overconsumption -> waste. These items are usually cheaper though the quality is often like new. Some people turn their noses up to gently used clothing and other items, but I personally love going to flea markets and thrift shops. In fact, R-E-S-A-L-E just happens to be one of the R’s in my 10 step program to greener living. I’ll get to that after this 31 day challenge.
Kathryn also gives good advice about reducing our shopping habits by borrowing items instead of buying them outright, repairing items instead of replacing them, and seeing if you can make do with what you currently have instead of purchasing something new . So for the next month I’m going to try to not buy anything unless it’s a necessity like food. I can’t wait to get going on the 31 day Zero Waste Challenge! Do you want to take the challenge with me? Let’s get started!