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Monday, 8 April 2019

Zero Waste Confessions

Hannah Barnes

I've been trying to move towards a zero waste lifestyle for about two weeks. It's something I've been considering and researching for a while now. After making careful preparations for a few weeks before hand, I'm now giving it a shot. 



 Since then, I've been learning as I go and inevitably, making a few mistakes. Even so, I've succeeded in slashing the amount of waste I throw away each day and I'm really proud of that. It's still easy to mess up though! So I wanted to share with you some of the - sometimes stupid, sometimes just plain guilty - mistakes I plan to stop making.

1. Rookie Mistakes 


If my head isn't in the game, it's very easy to mess up and make the wrong choice when it comes to going zero waste. I've ordered coffee...whilst my reusable coffee cup languishes in the car (only to kick myself later); realised I have nothing to eat with on the go, and patted myself on the back for taking my own container to the butchers...only to head home and portion everything up using plastic freezer bags. I'm trying really hard to make it as easy for myself to make these changes as possible, but sometimes I'm my own worst enemy!

2. Always Be Prepared 


I've noticed that preparation can be key. Despite my best efforts sometimes going awry (see above). If I have the right tools to combat single use items, I am a zero waste queen...most of the time. This means staying on top of what's in the cupboards and what we're eating each week. If I'm hungry and I know what's on the menu, I'll happily use up what's left at home or grab some bits from the farm shop before I leave work. If I haven't thought ahead that day though, it's all too tempting to dash round the supermarket and grab whatever I fancy. Only when I get home does the penny drop on the amount of rubbish I've just created. Luckily with my bulk buys from Plentiful, I'm now in a far better position.

3. The Whoopsie Pile 


I swear there's something primal about the reduced pile in any supermarket. I just can't seem to ignore the call. I justify this because this food, and all the packaging that comes with it, is headed for the bin anyway. By buying it, I am at least making use of the resources that went into producing it. Whatever my reasoning though, it still creates plastic waste and I definitely need to do some research into the best choice here. If you know how best to play things when it comes to reduced food items, let me know in the comments section.

3. The Recycling Bins 

This one's a real whopper. You might want to sit down. Up until this year I didn't even have recycling bins at my home. I looked into when we moved in and point blank refused to pay the £180 charge for 5 ugly bins. I had every intention of recycling myself, but have to confess I was never particularly productive. I knew when I started this journey that the first step was to get some bins. Despite wanting to throw as little away as possible, I knew I had to begin taking responsibility for how I threw away what little I did. So I finally got my bins and did a little happy dance out on the drive. Now I'm a recycling queen extraordinaire. I even have my own little bin for bottle tops, ready to drop in at Lush next time I'm there

Have you made any Zero Waste mistakes along the way? I'm actually glad to have mine off my chest! So feel free to purge your own in the comments section below. 

Hannah Barnes / Author & Editor

I keep myself busy with my small business; The Loft Gifts, the period poverty charity I run; The Crimson Wave, writing here and for vaious platforms and a growing menagerie of household pets.

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