I have noticed lately that a lot of people, myself included, are following a growing trend of Zero Waste shopping. I wanted to draw a line in the sand and ask, how is this any different from a regular, consumer shopping haul – and is this really Zero Waste?
The truth is, besides some major shifts in the retail chain, from the consumer perspective, it isn’t really any different. It seems we as a culture have not changed our behavior, but rather have just switched the focus of that behavior because it makes us feel good about ourselves.
I thought this was a good time to remind us all that the 5 R’s of Zero Waste is the key to making sure we kick our shopping habits for good. I am drawing the line in the sand for myself and saying that I am going to make a more conscious effort to live by the Refuse, Reduce and Reuse points because I have definitely gotten away from that.
I am going to follow Katherine Kellogs method of a 30 day wait on all purchases that aren’t food or basic necessities. Yesterday, my George Foreman blender broke, and immediately, I wanted to purchase a new one. Granted, I was going to purchase it second hand, but I forgot the most important of the 5 R’s – Reduce. I hadn’t even thought about the larger blender I already owned, or the stick blender I could use, the blender that I wanted to use was broken, and that’s all I focused on.
But before I made that purchase, I stopped, and I used the other items that I mentioned to make the meal I was intending. And now, I will wait 30 days to see if I actually need the new blender. I did not want to contribute to new products being purchased or going to landfill.
I want to say that this is not to call anyone out on what you should be doing, this is just something that i have noticed in my life and the world around me that I wanted to share with you.