Hello and Happy Easter Monday! I am excited to share with you an interview with a friend who is running a zero waste home. Her name is Soahary and she is one of the ‘eco warriors’ who managed to change her lifestyle to help the environment. Her motto is not to focus on perfection but try to make better choices slowly and over time.
Why did you decide to start a zero waste lifestyle?
One day I realised that we consume too much meat. That’s why I decided to reduce it in my diet. And suddenly I noticed how much less plastic packaging (non-recyclable) there is to bin in my home. As I have always been very conscientious about recycling, this was the tipping point for me. I thought that there were probably so many other types of packaging that could be eliminated by changing my lifestyle. And that’s when I began efforts toward my zero waste home.
What are your 10 top tips to run a zero waste home?
Ten might be too many! But let’s start with a few principles.
- If you really want to do it ask yourself a few questions first: Why do you want to do it and what does it mean to you? Zero waste home combines awareness with a certain life philosophy. Don’t do it to follow the fashion!
- Then think about zero waste as a goal while being aware that it’s not 100% achievable. It’s all about trying and accepting imperfections.
- And the last thing, you have to be patient. It takes time to change habits. Don’t alter everything you do at once. Not all the changes are easy to implement, nor easy to accept. And they might not be for you. I strongly believe that if each of us takes small steps, that are feasible and suitable, the planet will be doing much better.
And now to make it happen, start by observing your daily habits and your waste bins! The easiest is to commence in a bathroom. What do you find inside your bin there? And what could be the eco alternatives to reduce waste:
- Ear cotton buds – oriculi reusable ear buds
- Make up remover cotton pads – reusable pads
- Feminine hygiene products – menstrual cups
- Ready made shampoos and shower gels – soap and shampoo bars
Since we started a zero waste home we empty our bathroom bins every two months!
Did you encounter any obstacles?
Zero waste home lifestyle comes with costs. Shopping in refill shops is more expensive than purchasing packaged food in supermarkets. Buying in bulk is the easiest thing to do in order to change daily habits, but sadly is it pricey.
Unfortunately there are so many places, shops, events etc outside of our homes are not set up for zero waste. For example, take away shops generate a lot of waste. You won’t be able to follow a zero waste lifestyle unless you bring their used food packaging home to recycle it.
What about your life style today? How much has it changed?
Yes, my way of living has changed a lot – for the better! I behave and shop differently:
- from local producers
- products bought in bulk
- much less meat and more vegetables and cereals etc
- I no longer buy new clothes (except underwear and shoes)
- if possible, in terms of distance, I use my car so much less
As a result, I generate much less waste. And it can be proved by the number of rubbish bins my home produces! I am endlessly trying to reduce consumption, waste and pollution. And I feel lighter, healthier and more satisfied in terms of how I feel and the impact I have on the planet.
Lastly what does your new life style look like in numbers?
The grocery shopping costs almost balance out. We pay more for products bought in bulk and for vegetables. But we buy much less meat creating savings.
In terms of clothing, I would say I reduced costs by 70%. I sold many clothes and I buy (but without excess compared to before when shopping was like me hobby) second hand – thank you Vinted!
And regarding cosmetics, hygienic products and other household items, I would say the costs dropped by 60%. The zero waste products are relatively expensive. But thanks to DIY home decor, toilet gels, laundry products etc., I am creating savings and I know exactly what I use!
Thank you so much Soahary! I know you’re also running your own blog (in French). Check it out if you’re searching for natural product recipes.
More about zero waste and zero waste home
Swedish recycling so successful it is importing rubbish
Sweden recycles an astounding 99 percent of locally-produced waste, thanks to the sensitiveness of its citizens to the environment and sophisticated collection techniques. TRT World
Zero waste isn’t zero
We’re all operating in what’s called a linear economy, where products are meant to have an end-of-life so you’re forced to re-buy them. We take raw materials out of the earth (not replacing them), manufacture products from them, and use them once before they’re discarded into the landfill. Polly Barks
The zero-waste revolution: how a new wave of shops could end excess packaging
Some view zero-waste shops as inherently middle class in their combination of healthy eating and social concern, but Masefield hopes his shop can reach a broader demographic. The Guardian
If you’re searching for interviews with other ‘eco warriors’, why don’t you check my blog about starting your own beehive?