Naomi here, and today I’ll be sharing some common Q and A regarding waste-free living, and how I myself live this lifestyle. If you read my previous post (Why I gave up living a waste-free life), you would have seen that I feel so strongly convicted about this lifestyle and I will never stop trying to reduce my waste and help the earth. It can seem so overwhelming at times, but that’s what today’s post is for. To help answer some questions you may have! So, we’ll get right to it!
Q: How did you start your waste-free journey?
A: Oh! I was so inspired by a video I watched on Netflix (watch the trailer here), and another one on YouTube (watch here). The one on YouTube I’m referring to has received much criticism for being posed as unobtainable, however, I was deeply inspired and it helped me to realize just how much junk we have in our home and everyday life! I took a challenge to remove the bin from my house and asked my husband to give me one month to reduce our waste. That has been the way we have lived ever since!
Q: What has been the biggest transition to a waste-free life?
A: For us, it’s been on the go snacks. We’re HUGE fans of road trips and pit stops and stocking up on snacks and chips and chocolate. Now, we see everything as wrapped in single-use plastic and it’s just really difficult to find alternatives to snacky food…
Q: Isn’t waste-free living so much more expensive?
A: There are so many amazing products out there at the moment that help us live this lifestyle. And while some of them seem more expensive, in our experience, waste-free products are based on sustainability, and sustainability is based of making things last and so yes, it may cost more initially, but things last longer and you buy them way less. For example, I use a menstrual cup (this one), and it cost me R500, but I won’t need to buy one for another 9 years. In the year I’ve been using it, I’ve saved hundreds of rands buying menstrual products every month. So in short, no, waste-free living is actually more cost-effective than waste full living.
Q: How do you not have a bin? Where do you throw your rubbish?
A: So our basic principles of a waste-free lifestyle are three basic steps: Recycle, Compost, and Eco Brick. We make sure if we do purchase items in packaging, that it is recyclable, and we collect our recycling in bags and take to our local center once a week. Then, we compost all food waste. An alarming amount of our waste is food, which when sent to the landfills/ dumps is extremely harmful to our environment. We toss ours in our garden and allow it to decompose and nourish our soil. Then we eco brick whatever is not recyclable/ food waste. We are currently collecting our eco-bricks and will make an outside chair from them. You can also take to local community projects that build really incredible things with them.
Q: Do you feel like what you’re doing is really making an impact?
A: Absolutely! We 110% are convinced that what we do, little by little, will add up to much. We hope that if nothing else, we inspire others to make small changes that can have big impact. If everyone gave up on their dreams because they seemed too big, or unattainable, the world would look very sad!
Q: What is a suitable alternative to toothpaste tubes?
A: We use toothpowder that we stock on our store (view here) that comes in recyclable glass containers. We also recommend attempting to make your own, and then there’s also Lush toothy tabs that are great and fun to use! So many alternatives that are inexpensive and work!