Going Zero Waste: Take a Step at a Time!
2019 was very successful in bringing to the fore the climate crisis and that brought about a lot of awareness about the ill-effects of consumerism.
Terms such as ‘greenwashing’ and ‘eco-anxiety’ were coined to draw consumers’ attention to malpractices in the name of organic and natural products. Some big global brands have vowed to change their business practices to include sustainable and ecologically justifiable options.
If you are thinking of changing habits and purchasing better alternatives, know that it’s best to start small. Let’s say this month, switch to a bamboo toothbrush. Adjust to that before you invest in tooth powder. Next, look into your hair care routine. And just like that, a chain reaction will result in most of your household items undergoing a makeover.
The key is to go slow and remain steady because it’s easy to get overwhelmed and give up. Aim for a product that’s good for two things; your body and the earth. If it benefits just the first and not the second, then it most certainly does not belong in your house!
Discard things responsibly
I took between 2016 and 2020 to modify my oral care routine, basic essentials for personal grooming and hygiene, everyday cleaning agents, grocery containers and kitchen utensils to include eco- friendly options.
However, do make sure to first consume all that you currently possess instead of throwing it away. And when you do have to discard it, remember to do it responsibly.
How to involve kids in your routine?
Children learn fast and are much more open to change. They’ll learn to know what’s good and what’s toxic, which bin is for dry waste and which one is for kitchen waste. In fact, a lot of schools already talk about certain green practises and it’s only best to replicate them at home.
If adults give up the notion that anything new that enters the house has to be flashy and brand new, children will easily give it up too. They will remember to carry water bottles and cutlery from home if as adults, we show them how to.
Beware of ‘greenwashing’
Some companies, in an attempt to sound more environmentally friendly, resort to making false claims about how their products are made of recycled material or will save energy, etc. For example, bamboo toothbrushes in plastic packaging!
Educate yourself about your favourite brands and if they don’t meet your standards, it’s time to switch. It’s best to look for alternatives that are available locally. If it’s a home-grown product/brand or a DIY technique (for example baking soda + vinegar to clean kitchen grease) that your parent or grandparent would have sworn by, then adopt it without a doubt.
Are you becoming eco-anxious?
Because there is a learning curve involved and it’s a slow and steady process in a fast paced society, one may become conscious about the products that one is still using. There is no need to bash yourself up for using a tube of toothpaste that will take another month to get over.
With so much information and false news at our fingertips, one is more likely to worry or get agitated about the present and imminent conditions of the environment. It’s best to do as much as one can, have hope, and seek professional help should the need arise.
Remember to just keep doing what we can because every little change matters and it counts!
(Gargee has studied Economics and is trained in the classical arts. She has been a language trainer and content editor. Currently, while other things come and go, running a home-based business and mothering a toddler are her constants. Follow her journey: @myecodeed)
(The views expressed in the article are the author’s own. Let Me Breathe neither endorses nor is responsible for them.)