30 Day Zero Waste Challenge

REFUSE. Truly the entry point to Zero Waste.  I was preparing a post about simply refusing freebies/goody bags/swag/giveaways which so often end up as clutter and stumbled upon the true heart of the matter of the journey to zero waste.

Here’s some wise thinking about refusing and how challenging it truly is:

“The act of refusing requires a serious mind shift.”

“By choosing Zero Waste, we are forcing ourselves to go against the grain and refuse things that we otherwise would have accepted without a second thought.”

“Refuse! …Just because it’s free doesn’t mean that you need it, so turn down the freebies if you don’t actually need it. Freebies are often cheap crap that will end up in your trash sooner rather than later. This will take some guts but if you want to live a completely trash free lifestyle you’re going to need some guts!” http://robgreenfield.tv/trashme/takeaction/

“The first step to reducing waste in your life is to prevent the waste from entering your life. Seems easy, right? In theory, sure, but in reality, taking freebies is tempting. Free isn’t really free. People love free stuff. They LOVE it. It is so easy to take something that costs you nothing. Clearly marketers have figured out how to trigger that chemical reaction to getting excited about cost-free stuff.” 

“Simply say “no thank you.” You don’t have to accept things into your house just because they are given.”

“…Start thinking of our money and our choices as “votes.” For example, accepting a plastic straw in a restaurant when you don’t really need or want one is essentially saying, “Yay! I love single use plastics (SUPs)! Make more, please! While none of us set out to make destructive purchases, when we accept them as the status quo we communicate our ‘okay-ness’ with products that harm our planet.”

“Refusing may be one of the weirdest and most uncomfortable social actions I’ve ever had to make.”

“Choosing to refuse that free pen made me feel like an ungrateful, lame-o to be perfectly honest. In the past, I would have seen the freebies as a jackpot (OMG, free?!); now I’m starting to look at them with new eyes. What is the cost of that pen that I don’t see?”

“Freebies like pens or swag bags are tempting. VERY tempting. To be honest, I am actually a cheap person. I was brought up in a bargain hunting crazed family. We would spend a LOT of money on useless cheap things just because they were a steal. What helped me resist the temptation to always grab everything free within my arm’s reach was to remind myself of the horrible carbon footprint, the exploitation of workers, and how in the end, those things will be come clutter and a problem. Too useless to keep, too “good” to throw away.” 

Great Tip!

“Take out your phone and take pictures of pamphlets or business cards. Accept the information, but not the physical item! This way you have all the crucial information on you at all times. I mean, cross my heart, I’d lose those cards anyway, but I am very careful not to lose my phone!”


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Quote of the Day:

“Simplify your life. Learn to say ‘No’.” – Anonymous