Why I’m doing the ultimate detox: moving in a ZERO WASTE direction

sero waste main

Google ZERO WASTE and there are surprisingly few logos that pop up in the search – and those are mainly from US and Aussie initiatives.  So kudos to Scotland for their ZERO WASTE SCOTLAND campaign – and for having a logo and a government initiative targeting better use of national resources behind this. (More at www.zerowastescotland.org.uk)

I’ve been on a personal ZERO WASTE mission this month.  I’ve never really been a hoarder and am relatively good but not great at recycling but if you dig a lot deeper, even recycling isn’t the ultimate answer.  (Buying, producing and using less is). Every time we go to a coffee shop and get a grande latte to go, what happens to those billions of big, medium and small takeaway cups? If you think about it, recycling is crucial – but we produce so much more than we recycle. Space on our delicate planet is limited.

“Moving in a zero waste direction is my goal this year

(less size zero, more zero waste for all of us?)

Moving in a zero waste direction is my goal this year (less size zero, more zero waste for us all??).

Three “events” triggered my zero waste mission: first, the time I moved to Ireland for a few months and went to a Tesco’s near Dublin to buy a week’s worth of food for someone – a man and his dog who both loved their food.  When the cashier asked where my bag was I said “no problem, could I buy three  please?”

“We don’t sell plastic bags,” she replied.


Murphy’s law, it was rush hour and with a queue building behind me, I watched as an assistant appeared from nowhere before disappearing into the back of beyond/warehouse area to look for three cardboard boxes for me.  They had no plastic bags!!

Mortified, I lingered at the pay point like a moron until the young guy came back with some boxes. I carried them to the car, laden like Santa Claus on a sunny Irish spring evening. From that moment onwards there were always bags in the back of car.

Then, more recently, there was the time when in the scorching midday heat (in the Med) I lugged rubbish and recycling back and forth from the bins, a good walk from where I was staying.  This has got to stop, I thought.  By the following weekend I’d got things down to half – both the rubbish and recycling – and felt about 5 kilos lighter myself.

But the “aha!” moment as Oprah would call it was THIS brilliant piece in STYLIST magazine about Lauren Singer

Living a zero waste lifestyle – Lauren Singer

Photo: Stylist magazine

The ultimate detox? Woman who lives a ‘zero waste’ lifestyle can fit two years of rubbish in a jar

All hail Lauren Singer.  She’s saving time, money, resources, energy, pretty much everything… and what if we could even move just 30% – 50% in a ZERO WASTE direction? The benefits for life on the planet are too huge to get our heads around, practically.

And the beauty of it is, it’s more do-able that you’d think.

                                                                                              Photo: Stylist Magazine

On my travels to places like rural parts of Morocco where many people’s home decor is “style nothing” – and where what little they have they often share – and where you adopt a spiritual appreciation for food as nourishment rather than something that gets played about with by TV chefs, it hit home how little we really do need.  Lots of us need lots of stuff, smaller numbers of us don’t. But when it comes to generating waste and wasting energy, resources and money, the best antidote to a toxic world is – and I’ve never been surer about anything or more motivated to do something which is why I’m moving in a  zero waste direction (not sure I’ll get there but everything about journeying towards it is good.)

It’s not as hard as I thought it would be. I’ve had to change/rethink how I do things, plan ahead more (but you save time in the end) and alter how I buy stuff but I’m still operating (!) at about 50% less waste than I was last month and I will n-e-v-e-r go back to how it was before.

So what’s it like living a ZERO WASTE lifestyle?

Here’s how Lauren got two years’ worth of “rubbish” into one glass jar, read up on her tips in the STYLIST mag feature HERE


A good one to share on social media (…second least preferred option: buying more than we need?!)




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