As we approach the end of the Zero Waste Challenge, Kathryn encourages participants to start their own Zero Waste Group. However, I have some doubts about the Zero Waste Movement and its efficacy at combating climate change. I also don’t think it’s realistic to expect busy families, students, and hard-working people to commit to the lifestyle. Small changes, if done by large numbers, can make a big difference, but who’s the real culprit when it comes to pollution, deforestation, and climate change? It’s not your average, every day citizen. It’s the major corporations who are causing the bulk of the damage. That’s not to say I don’t believe in individual responsibility and the small changes we can make, but to make a real difference, we need to look at who’s causing the damage and how to not support them.
This is one of the reasons I want to start my own upcycling business. I want to be a problem solver. I want to come up with solutions to our poor recycling system. I wish I was an engineer so that I could come up with an affordable alternative to gas-guzzling vehicles. I would love to invent a better form of transportation, but I don’t think I have the know how to accomplish such a feat. Therefore, my primary focus is what we, as individuals, can do to survive a gloomy future and live a sustainable lifestyle in our own communities.
There are various groups online. You can find Zero Waste groups on Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, etc. and having other people around you to help hold you accountable is certainly helpful. I’m not trying to dissuade anyone from pursuing a zero waste lifestyle. I’m simply saying that in the long run, what kind of difference does it really make for us to use metal straws and cloth napkins? The fact of the matter is the green movement is discouraging for a number of reasons and sometimes I feel like giving up, but that’s why it’s so important to have a community around you who also cares about the environment. I’ll keep doing my best and try to maintain positivity in this ever-warming world.