It's in the above quote from Bill Neidjie, a well-known Kakadu elder who had a lot to do with the listing of Kakadu National Park as a world-heritage site.
It's no more or less complicated than that.
Yes, ZERO waste.
Well, when I say zero, I mean zero + 1 because I'm not perfect. See note #3. regarding trash jar.
A few points to note:
- I define waste as anything I can't compost, recycle or reuse. In short, anything I would send to landfill.
- Over the past couple of months I've made a concerted effort to create no waste.
- Despite my best efforts, I sometimes do end up with waste. I've been storing this waste in an old jar - my trash jar.
- Living waste-free hasn't been as hard as it sounds.
Over the next few posts I'm going to share all my learnings, tips and tricks for successfully living a zero waste lifestyle. It's my mission to show you that it's not hard, you can do it and it's actually really enjoyable.
Firstly though, I've outlined three steps that make commencing the journey towards zero waste easier:
- Observe your life for a few weeks.
Notice when and what you throw away. Notice what disposable products you have at home - in the pantry, in the fridge, in the bathroom, laundry etc. Jot these down on a scrap of paper that you stick to the fridge door. My list included things like:
- the little stickers that come on fruit
- dental floss
- the plastic string that attaches a price tag to an item such as clothing
- Understand the reasons why you want to cut out waste.
Is it because you care about the environment? Is it because you want to reduce exposure to toxins? Maybe it's because you want to live a healthier or a simpler life. Maybe you just want to challenge yourself. You want to feel cleaner. You just wanna break free from clutter and crap.
- Understand it's a constant work in progress.
Nobody is perfect. You discover new waste traps all the time, such is life. You learn and you grow from it. Some days you'll find it easy, other days you won't. Some days you'll succeed, other days you'll fail. You just gotta take it on the chin and keep going (and pat yourself on the back for at least doing your best and attempting something most people don't).
Next time I'll walk you through some products and ideas to stock up on that will act as your zero waste living kit.
And I'll show you a photo of my trash jar thus far.
Any questions or comments or thoughts to share so far? Fire away!