“So how’s your Zero Waste thing going?” a friend asked me over breakfast the other day.
My shakshuka started to churn in my stomach. How was my Zero Waste thing going anyway? Also, how did she discover my blog?
I needed to buy myself time to shape an acceptably committed answer so I countered her question with the latter.
“Well, it’s no secret. It’s on your WhatsApp status.”
I had nothing to report to her in response to her original question. No wait! I did. I actually did.
“I bought myself some of those beeswax wraps and they just arrived yesterday. They’re supposed to be really good and sustainable alternatives to cling wrap.”
“That’s nice…” I don’t think it answered her question. I wouldn’t be convinced either. Because it just sounds like buying more stuff in order to stop using stuff you don’t really use that much to begin with.
And it’s true, to an extent. I rarely use cling wrap. Once in three months at best, when I end up baking a cake or a pie and want to wrap the pan for transport. I also have little use foil. I ran out a few months ago and just didn’t see the need to buy any more.
I guess what I should have told her is that I’ve been pretty good at eliminating foil and plastic wrap from my life. But I got distracted from this at the thought of all the waste I was creating by ordering new things online that I justified for the Zero Waste cause. But I couldn’t admit it because I did realise that it’s counterproductive given how each item comes packaged tightly in things like bubble wrap, plastic labels, brown tape and cardboard. Things I just chucked into the dry waste bin feeling relatively good about myself because they were actually ‘dry’ as opposed to covered in sticky yogurt or slick oil.
I also cannot boast about taking my own lunch to work in a steel or glass lunchbox because I’m honestly too lazy to actually fill them up with leftovers from yesterday on my way out.
What all of this really makes me realise is that it’s sort of easy to go Zero (or low) waste when you’re actually living your laziest life possible. That to be a person who is mindful of spending right, eating well and living conscientiously while also championing the zero waste cause is really really hard.
It’s like working out a muscle you have never used quite suddenly because you know it’s the right thing to do. Except you sort of fall back a little because the first day has left your muscles sore and your ego bruised.
Anyway, that’s all I have for now. I’ll be back soon with something more significant. Wish me luck!