Transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle can sound like a herculean task. It’s great for the environment, however, it requires a lot of sacrifices. But knowing your reason and having a plan will help you achieve this goal.
So, buckle up, and get ready to answer these 3 questions before making the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle.
1. Why am I transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle?
Your why-power is stronger than your willpower. When all else fails, your reason for doing something is the only thing that will help you move forward. So, ask yourself why you want to transition to a zero-waste lifestyle.
- Do you want to lessen your carbon footprint?
- Does your heart break when you hear about animals getting stuck in plastic?
- Do you want to change the world?
- Do you want to cut back on your monthly expenses?
- Do you want to live minimally?
- Do you want to maintain natural resources for the future generation?
- Are you sick of living in a cluttered environment?
- Are you doing it because your friends are doing it, too?
- Are you passionate about the environment?
- Do you want to make a difference?
There are plenty of reasons for desiring a zero-waste lifestyle. Once you have discovered your why-power, evaluate it. If it’s not serious enough, you are more likely to give up down the road. If it is, then it should help you sustain your new lifestyle.
So, figure out why you are transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle. And make sure your reason is strong enough to motivate you, especially when the going gets tough.
2. What will I change first?
Before you transition to a zero-waste lifestyle, you need to establish the first thing (or the first few things) you will focus on changing first. This is crucial because changing your habits all at once will set you up for failure.
Habits are rooted deep within us, and it takes time to form new ones. When you force yourself to change everything at once, you will end up failing many times. It’s a common mistake many people make that leaves them feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and defeated.
So, avoid this by figuring out where you should focus your energy first. Here are a few ideas you can consider:
- Bring your own reusable containers at the supermarket when buying fresh produce
- Line dry your laundry instead of using the dryer
- Buy makeup essentials only from shops that offer a wide range of zero waste products
- Learn how to compost in your backyard
- Repair or replace leaky fixtures
- Bring a tumbler with you wherever you go instead of buying bottled water
- Turn the tap off as you brush your teeth
- Replace old lightbulbs with LED bulbs
- Unplug appliances and other home devices when not in use
- Purchase only second-hand items
Master one habit and then move on to the next. Keep doing this until you are finally living a sustainable lifestyle. By committing to one habit at a time, you are turning one huge goal into actionable steps.
3. What do I expect to happen?
Setting clear expectations is always important. It helps you establish better your purpose behind doing something. It also helps you understand what you are getting into to avoid disappointments.
Before you start making the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle, ask yourself three things:
- What challenges do I expect to face along the way?
- What do I expect to learn?
- What do I expect to achieve?
After setting your expectations, research about living zero-waste. Then, evaluate how realistic your expectations are. Adjust them accordingly until they become realistic and doable.
Misconceptions About Zero-Waste Living
There are many misconceptions that surround zero-waste living. It’s also important to know what they are, so you can prepare better for your transition. Here’s a few of them:
It happens overnight.
Contrary to popular belief, transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle does not happen overnight. It takes time because it involves changing ingrained habits. So, don’t be hard on yourself whenever you fail. Just get back up every time and be persistent. Before you know it, you are already halfway to living zero-waste.
Many people think that living zero-waste is only for the rich. However, a true zero-waste lifestyle promotes living mindfully, minimally, and frugally. It will help you cut back on monthly expenses, and you will notice this in a few months as you transition.
It’s all or nothing.
Living zero-waste is defined by many as having no trash to take out. If you find this impossible to do, it’s okay! You can still practice living zero-waste according to your needs.
For example, if you can’t commit to zero-waste travelling, then go zero-waste on your shopping habits. Focus your energy on what you can change. Remember, doing something is always better than nothing.
Again, making the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle is not a walk in the park. It requires dedication and commitment. But as long as you stay persistent, then you will eventually succeed.