There is often a much simpler way of doing things- If you make the effort to look for it. 'Simplicity does not just happen’ (Edward de Bono). I’ve been reading and thinking about what it means to be zero waste (sending nothing to landfill). And as usual the more I read the more complicated it seems.
We in Sobo Wastebusters started to unpick the recycling issue - The what, where and how we can do this locally! We’re pleased to say that we are going to have our first event on Tuesday 26 February just to talk about local recycling and waste reduction.
our Stuff stands in the way of our dreams
I have lots of stuff, what do I do with it? A zero-waste way means that I should be simplifying my life and what I have in it. My question is what do I do if I want to declutter? I’ve read that ‘The clutter filling our spaces impacts on our productivity, stresses us out and keeps us stuck. Our stuff stands in the way of the lives we dream about’. It is true that stuff blocks your vision? I’m always reminded of this and notice all the stuff I have when I come back from a trip.
how much stuff do we need?
I am surprised about how little I really need on a day- to-day basis. For example I’ve survived with only a rucksack when travelling for 7 weeks. You plan, prioritise and take the stuff you know you like to wear, things that are useful or necessary and lightweight! So why don’t we do this the rest of the time?
I think we all have been conditioned into thinking that we need things that we really don’t. Even now we are at risk of thinking that we need to buy new eco-friendly stuff, when actually we don’t. We’ve probably got something that will do for now. For example do we really need a bamboo cutlery set? There’s lots of cutlery in the draw that we’re not using. I've actually got plastic versions from a picnic set. It’s thinking about the whole picture and being creative. The plastic cutlery isn’t going to go anywhere anytime soon, so you might as well use it. This seems so simple, but comes as a revelation when you start applying the same thinking process to the stuff you already have.
de-clutter the 'KonMari' way
For me 'refuse' and 'reduce' are interconnected.
Refuse, the basis being; If you don’t love it let it go! However, my next question is can I reuse it for something else? A broken mug I’m fond of as a plant or toothbrush holder.
Next step, recycling this doesn’t always mean the recycling bin. First is charities or charity shops. For household goods there are a couple of organisations looking for things to help people on low or no income to furnish their spaces. Clothes and textiles are a big one, buy less, better quality, swap with friends, re-fashion, swap with the switch-it clothing exchange, give it to a charity shop or a textile bank. We will talk more about this on our first event at Terroir Tapas 26 February.
REFUSE, REDUCE, REUCE, REcycle..........
Refuse – Say no to things. I think this means not only not buying things new but saying no thank you to other people offering you things or even giving you things. A bit like saying no to unnecessary Christmas and birthday present. Plus no to bags of any sort, take your own. Or the paper napkin, wooden stirrer and paper straw!
Reduce – Bulk buying, refilling (remember to bring your own bags/ containers)
Reuse – From clothes, furniture, to paper bags. Even a paper bag has to be recycled or composted. I’ve started taking a bag I’ve dedicated to bread.
Repair – Like reuse; if it's broke get it repaired – we have our monthly Repair Café. Or ask a handy friend.
Recycle – Still don’t need it? Recycle, donate to a charity or groups in need. This can be food as well as stuff. There are some great schemes around such as the Boscombe Community Fridge, Olio food sharing app, local food banks – see our ever growing local recycling guide list.
Recover - This could be composting at home through the food waste collection
To achieve simplicity you have to want to get it, and put a high value on it.