Monday, June 10

No Impact Zero Waste Living

Ever since TIME published its three-decade-long timelapse, I've been more reflective about my choices that I make. Being eco-freindly has always been of interest to me, but now I'm focused once more on change. Making choices along one's journey through life will add up over time, and will positively influence others as well. Be inspired by other cultures across the globe that are insanely happy with so few worldly possessions. That's because they have it figured out. Every plant, animal, and insect is in balance. Some of us humans are the only ones that really disrupt that balance on such a frightening scale.

I'm reminded of Jim Merkel's work with RADICALLY simple, and how it would take 4-6 Earth's to provide resources for everyone if they chose to live the way first-world countries do. I'm also reminded of the Stephen Hawking's plea for space travel, because humans most likely will consume Earth's resources within a 100 years from now. Again, those haunting images from the timelapse are foreshadowing just that.

So what do we do then? Isn't it natural to live like this? Our culture sure influences us to believe that, but it doesn't have to be that way. It's just what some of us know, so it's acceptable and normal. I'm reminded of a student that had a very different experience when they went to study in South America. The rainforest was pristine and all the locals were living in harmony within it. That meant that the student couldn't bring anything with them that would contaminant the environment. They explained how hard it was at first, but slowly came to realize what an extremely valuable life lesson it was. When they came back to the urban jungle they just couldn't go back to living their normal consumerist lifestyle. They changed for the better, and it was very easy to retain that lifestyle living in the modern world. So be the person that makes a huge difference in your community. Others will be touched by your actions. Even if you start out small, those small changes turn into big changes and it will matter in the long run.

It's also a great way to save a lot of money. Just take a moment to imagine the possibilities. All of that extra money and time saved could go to good use. For the most part, material possessions don't make a person happy. If the essentials are covered, that's all one needs to be truly content. Cutting back on spending not only helps your wallet, it helps the environment. Really evaluate why a purchase is made, and if it's truly needed or not. 

Here are some awesome tips to help:

1. Be happy with less. Go hang out with friends, take a walk, and enjoy life. The best things are always free. They're most likely more healthy as well. Laugh, love, and get a lot of fresh air!

2. Stop single use consumables. Plastic bags are being banned in a lot of cities, but it doesn't stop there. Packaged food is not only bad for you, it's terrible for the environment as well. Bring your own containers/bags, buy in bulk, and shop at the farmer's market to eliminate this type of waste completely. This will save so much money and will also encourage healthy eating. 

3. Carpool, bus, bike, or walk. There are so many perks to these alternatives. It's so fun to walk and explore, and it's free! This is how I learned how to get around in San Francisco. I just walked everywhere. Sometimes even with bags of groceries, which is an excellent workout as well. Carpooling is just as fun, and this is a great way to save money because all of the passengers can chip in for gas. It's a fraction of the cost per person, and in California there are incentives like cheaper bridge tolls and carpool lanes.

4. Use natural cleaning and hygiene alternatives. This is a big deal! Especially if one has a family of little children because they're extremely sensitive to these things. Any chemical exposure seriously deteriorates health over time. Use things like water and vinegar for cleaning and coconut/jojoba/olive oil for beauty.

5. Rent, borrow, and share instead of buying. Libraries are so great for just that. There's really no need to own too much. That, and others can use it as well. So we all benefit in the end. Or it's always nice if you have a trusted friend that wouldn't mind loaning something to you and vise versa. Then no money needs to be spent on stuff. Sharing is caring, right? That also includes giving. It will always come back in one form or another. Not necessarily from the same source, but it always does. So give to those in need.

Also, check out what others are doing too:

Love Claudia xx