Zero Waste is all about developing DIY skills, supporting your local community and going beyond personal lifestyle to shift the consumer culture.
Living an “eco lifestyle” is wonderful but is not the same as taking political action.
The zero waste lifestyle helped me develop new skills like making my own toothpaste, helped me build relationships with skilled community members and align my actions with my values so I can live in a place of greater integrity but it is not an end all solution. GreenPeace CEO and Story of Stuff founder, Annie Leonard, says actions like buying organic or bringing our own bag to the store fall into the category of responsible adult hygiene and household maintenance. Individual lifestyle changes miss the structural drivers of our current system focusing on consumer power rather than recognizing the power we hold when we become engaged citizens. The only way we are going to make the corporations and oil companies take responsibility for producing toxic materials is if we work together. That means releasing judgement, breaking down social barriers and working with people who are different from ourselves.
We have been brainwashed into consuming single-use disposable plastics even though they pollute our Ocean, wildlife and us. The trash creators tell us recycling and resource recovery are the best options to save our planet from these deadly materials. Yet as I dug deeper and realized that recycling is a public relations campaign to get us to overlook the simple root solution of source reduction.
Zero waste living is empowering and simple. An unbranded life, letting go of labels and embracing the beauty in bulk jars and cloth bags. No more labels screaming at from the fridge or bathroom cabinet. Zero waste living prepares me for the future when we rise above the plastic age and live simple, happy lives with less stuff and more fun!
While I deeply appreciate the simple mindset zero waste has brought me I realize that I have to go beyond my own personal lifestyle if I want to create large scale change. Activism is of the highest importance for creating a more peaceful and fair world. By standing up as united citizens we can make leaps and bounds towards a peaceful revolution.