Feeling wasteful in a Zero Waste lifestyle

This past week, I had a big curveball hit my Zero Waste life. I have been moving along nicely, preventing all major waste, and dealing with small waste as it came for about the last 12 months, and then all of a sudden, it felt for a moment as if we were back to step one.

The reason for the sudden influx of waste was due to my recent wisdom tooth removal. This created almost one reusable bag full of waste, including medical cotton swabs, multiple medication packets creams, cleaning supplies, and all of the packaging that came with it.

I am not going to lie to you, at the time, I wasn’t thinking about the waste at all, and I want to put it out there – I think that is okay. I never really understood the concept that something else could be so pressing, that my values and beliefs, would be pushed to the side, but the pain I felt after the surgery, meant that survival (or at least pain relief and recovery) became the only thing on my mind.

Now that I look back on it, part of me is pretty disgusted by the amount of waste, if not in myself for wasting it, at least in the system that is set up to provide so many single-use items. But I also know that I couldn’t change any of it – the surgery was necessary and important, and some of the single-use items are ultimately necessary.

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly. ” (Anne-Marie Bonneau – Zero Waste Chef)”

Have you had any major setbacks on your journey? I would love for you to share them in the comments. As a community, we all have setbacks, but as long as we continue to work towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle, that’s what counts.


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