In my post ‘Balancing Morals’, I looked at how the decisions we make in trying to waste less could potentially have a negative impact elsewhere. One of my goals when I set up this website was to look at how we can reduce our waste but still live our lives. In this post I’m going to be looking at how our efforts to waste less could have a negative impact on you, and how we really really need to avoid that by taking care of you.
Should you ever reduce your waste at the expense of your health? Of course you shouldn’t! Don’t not take your meds because they come in a plastic packet, don’t ever put yourself at risk (you can’t save the world if you’re not living!). Your health is so important so please don’t ever let your health suffer. For the minor ailments, perhaps consider natural remedies before reaching for the paracetamol, but if you’re really suffering, see a doctor and get the treatment you need.
Dental care is all a bit plasticky! Plastic toothbrush, plastic toothpaste tube, plastic floss… of course there are alternatives. There are some excellent bamboo toothbrushes out there as well as recipes for homemade toothpaste or jars of natural toothpaste. But if you find that your teeth are suffering, maybe reconsider your dental regime. Maybe don’t give up the electric toothbrush, just make it last a bit longer by using that for one of your daily brushes, and a natural toothbrush for the rest.
In this post I looked at how you can actually end up saving more by wasting less. But sometimes it can be a little expensive (e.g. I just spent £9.00 on a solid shampoo bar and tin from Lush). To me, that’s money well spent, but make sure you only spend what you can afford. If you find you’re spending a fortune, make some choices about what you’re willing to sacrifice and live within your means.
As I said in my ‘Family Affair‘ post, my husband is incredibly supportive of my waste-less living and I’m so grateful for all that he does for me. But, as we all do, he sometimes makes purchases that are far from sustainable. Early on, I may have scolded him (sorry my love), but you can’t tut at someone every time they buy a chocolate bar (they might not share it with you if you do!). So don’t be judgmental and don’t scold. Encourage your loved ones to do what they can, but they need to make their own choices and being sanctimonious about it isn’t going to change anyone’s mind.
You only need to scroll through some zero waste Instagram feeds and you see countless images of seemingly perfect zero waste lifestyles. I’ve been guilty of it myself and getting myself in a spiral of guilt that I’m not living the most waste free lifestyle I could be. Please don’t ever feel guilty or think that you’re not doing enough. The fact you’re even reading this would suggest that you care, so don’t beat yourself up about it, just do what you can.
Reducing my waste genuinely makes me happy! I feel good about it, and not, because, as I said above, I’m being sanctimonious about it, but because it’s fun! I love being creative and doing something I believe in and feel so passionate about. But if you’re finding it hard, if you’re struggling, if you’re stressing, please don’t let it bring you down. It’s a wonderful, positive thing and I really hope it has a positive impact on your life like it has on mine. And hey, if there is something you’re struggling with or it’s getting you down, drop me a message here and I’d love to chat to you about it.
That goes for anything, if you ever want to talk about how you can reduce your waste, please please please get in touch and I’d love to chat it through with you. Or post it on the forum and your Earth, Wind and Waste friends will support you with their wonderful ideas.
This post isn’t meant to be all doom and gloom, there are so many wonderful things about waste-less living, but don’t live in a waste free straight jacket. Build the lifestyle that suits you and live your life the way you want to.