Zero waste: how to change your habits

Zero waste is a concept I’ve been hearing of around me for years with exemples of relatives that changed their consumption habits to reduce their waste. Little by little, this notion of consuming better and less made its way through my mind. Yes, but how to achieve zero waste when I am so used to my usual consumption habits?

How I took conscience of the necessity of zero waste

I started my way to zero waste stopping makeup remover pads. My sister proved me how much it was polluting the planet, expensive and how many other longterm alternatives existed. In 2016, I bought makeup remover pads made in bamboo fibers from Les Tendances d’Emma. Not the smoothest pads ever (they kind of feel like towels) but this was so useful to stop buying pads in cotton every two weeks and to take them everywhere and just wash them!

I kept on changing my hygiene routine with the purchase of a powder deodorant from Lush. I used it until the end but really didn’t like it (it left green powder everywhere!). I then bought a solid deodorant still from Lush and bingo! With this one, not only did I have an efficient deodorant, but also a zero waste and longterm deodorant.

Having hard times going on in zero waste

After those two big changes in my beauty routine, that were small steps for the planet, I wanted to go further in zero waste. But this is when I faced many difficulties: I was a student, moving every 6 months to another city, and I wouldn’t live next to bio and local shops. It was then very difficult to go further in my zero waste path. I bought a solid shampoo, but it was very hard to change the most important, my food and cooking habits, which wastes the most. Impossible for me to buy bulk products, to stop cooking kitchen, to sort out. In Paris, then Rotterdam, it was too expensive, too binding, taking too much space. I knew I was gonna leave those places, and knowing that, I wasn’t projecting myself enough in a zero waste kitchen.

Besides constraints, zero waste is a state of mind

Table napkin in cotton : Dille & Kamille / Enamel plate : Dille & Kamille / Glass bottle with reusable straw : Maisons du Monde / Tote-bag : shop in Lille

This is what I understood when I finally moved to Barcelona. I took my way back to zero waste living with my eco-friendly sister for a while, but stopped after she left. In my studio, it was hard for me to stock what could have helped me to have a more responsible kitchen, and I have to admit, I was too lazy finding and going to eco shops where they sold food without wrapping.

Deciding to do zero waste is a big step towards a more eco-friendly life, but it doesn’t come without big constraints. I think if you don’t have that motivation to take the time to do it, it might be very difficult to go for it despite all of the good points to do it.

Then, it’s only after my last moving to a flat I knew I would stay that I took the decision to try it for good now. I go towards zero waste slowly, at my pace, but little by little, my hygiene, beauty and cooking routines have changed, to reduce constantly my waste.

These are my zero waste actions right now :

  • Using a solid shampoo and soap, with a textile kit for travel
  • Using a solid deodorant
  • Using a solid makeup remover
  • Using cloth napkins for table
  • Using a glass bottle at work
  • Refusing plastic straws
  • Selling my old electronics and sort out my clothes
  • Buying secondhand clothes or vintage

Read my retrospective on 2018 

The zero waste actions I’d like to achieve in 2019 :

  • Buying a bamboo toothbrush and a solid toothpaste
  • Stopping plastic bottles and buying a water purifier
  • Learning how to do my own laundry soap
  • Using more tote bags and less plastic ones

I could change my habits even more, but for now, I want to change my routine progressively without feeling restrained. The literal zero waste is still far, but the “less waste” life is already there!

And you, what are your “zero waste” actions?

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