Hi imaginary Zero Waste readers! I’m a student living in Galway, Ireland and I first discovered the Zero Waste movement late last year(2015) after stumbling across a TED talk given by Lauren Singer, who writes about her ZW life on her blog trash is for tossers and who runs a sustainable business called The Simply Co. She is based in NYC and she gave a talk about not having created rubbish in 2/3 years. I was so taken with her and her ideas so I began researching further and liked what I saw! I watched loads of environmentalism documentaries and followed many ZW bloggers. I also watched Vegucated, a documentary available on Netflix that really made me want to go vegan, as many of the Zero Wasters and environmentalists I’d been following had discussed the issue of animal agriculture and its effect on climate change.
I’ve wanted to start a blog for a while now to help document my transition to a Zero Waste vegan lifestyle and I’ve finally taken the plunge! I’m not very good at keeping a diary-a few failed attempts when I was younger fizzled out pretty quickly! Hopefully I’ll stick with this and I’ll have something to look back on when I’m a bona fide Zero Waste guru/aficionado and Level 10 vegan! Also, this is a great way of procrastinating from working on my thesis…I will stop at nothing to avoid working on it.
I’m completely new to blogging but the aim of starting this blog is for me to share what I learn about living Zero Waste and going vegan in Galway city and the difficulties I encounter along the way. I have a head like a sieve so it will give me the chance to note down everything I discover, my Zero Waste wins and fails and allow me to categorise stuff so I can have a little Zero Waste e-directory.(I like the idea of putting e- in front of words. It’s a such a cute little prefix.) Perhaps somebody might even find this helpful someday, as I’ve not come across much information about ZW living in Galway on my e-travels(!), although the Zero Waste Ireland Facebook group is a great place to get information, and a really friendly open forum for discussing Zero Waste issues and asking even really silly questions.
Some changes I’ve made so far to move closer to a Zero Waste lifestyle include:
- Using a reusable water bottle everyday at work and whenever I venture out of my jammies into the outside world.
- Using reusable cloth bags to go grocery shopping.
- Buying my olive oil ‘loose’ or ‘in bulk’, (whichever term tickles your fancy), in a glass flip-top bottle.
- Buying loose bars of soap unpackaged in health food shops.
- Trying to avoid plastic when grocery shopping by buying foods only packaged in glass, paper or metal e.g. opting for grains, beans etc packaged in cardboard and tin cans.
- Making the LIFE-CHANGING switch to a menstrual cup as an alternative to disposable sanitary pads/tampons.
- Giving up make-up remover wipes and using coconut oil in a glass jar instead.
- Using a compostable bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one.
- Experimenting with ‘no-poo’ shampoo methods.
- Using handkerchiefs instead of disposable packets of tissues or toilet roll.
- Wrapping sandwiches/snacks in tea towels/cloths instead of using cling film/tin foil.
- Trying to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle and reducing consumption of fast fashion by shopping primarily second hand. I was a lover of second hand shopping years before I ever heard of ZW or ethical clothing!
- Making my own homemade deodorant-I’ve given some of this to my mam and a fellow vegan friend and they both swear by it!
- Separating organic waste in a compost bin.
- Bringing my own containers to restaurants to bring home leftovers so I can refuse their plastic takeout tubs and avoid food waste.
Some ZW things I would like to do but haven’t gotten around to yet:
- Making my own toothpaste.
- Making my own makeup-although my makeup collection is quite small, I think I’m still a long way away from getting through all of it.
- Making more homemade food from scratch e.g. bread, desserts, biscuits, to eliminate the need for packaged goods.
- Getting loose foods that I would previously avoid because it was only available in non recyclable plastic packaging ie nuts.
- Making my own plant-based milks. e.g. oat milks.
- Making homemade cleaning supplies.
- Repairing or upcycling clothes with tears.
- Hand making gifts e.g. knitting a cushion cover or scarf for someone’s birthday instead of buying them something. This takes quite a bit of planning!
- Shopping ZW for items that aren’t fruits and veggies at markets.
- Shopping ZW for sweets at an old fashioned sweet shop.
- Refusing paper napkins in restaurants/cafes.
Wow, bullet points are absolutely fantastic. Kudos to whoever invented those. I find making lists so cathartic! That pretty much sums up my ZW journey so far! Stay tuned for more eco fun and games!