How saying “NO” is Zero Waste

REFUSE!! it is one of the 5 R’s of Zero Waste and Low Impact, along with:

Reduce
Reuse
Recycle
Rot
(Although some add Rent or Borrow, which I will do a whole other blog about!)

But let’s get back to refuse. This one has been the hardest one to learn for me, because of its all about saying no and at the beginning of your journey, speaking out is SO SCARY! You begin to have to say no to things like gift bags at parties, novelty items that your friends want to buy and samples when you are shopping, and every single time you say no, particularly to those whom you love, you see a flicker of judgment or WORSE….they are offended.

That is HARD! But the truth is, those who love you will learn to embrace the new you, and those whom you don’t know, well, who cares right? You eventually navigate a way around this that suits all involved. (If you haven’t hit this point yet, TRUST ME, it does come)

The part of refuse that I have really had to focus on lately is the public refusal. It’s remembering to say no straw or no napkin before they bring it to the table. It’s saying no receipt or no bag before the absent-minded cashier puts it in one anyway. Its remembering to bring all of your zero waste items with you, and have them clean and ready for the next day. All of which I fail at as much as I succeed.

This all sounds like a big rant about how hard it is to be Zero Waste, but I thought that for me, it might be helpful to write down my struggles, and maybe next time I will REMEMBER. But I thought it might also be helpful to you, to trigger something in your mind so that you too can remember what you need to do next time you need to REFUSE!

So let’s all make this week the week where we refuse! I would love to hear about your successes and failures in the comments below and if you want to get updates when I post a blog, click on the subscribe button and fill in your details.

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