People are slowly coming round to zero-waste, and both community and individual initiatives are building, but the concept is still pioneering. I get this all the time: what do you mean you’re zero-waste; what do you do with your garbage? By me saying I’m zero-waste, I am actually saying there is no such thing as garbage. Let me pause while you pick your jaw off the floor.
It’s all about perspective and attitude. It’s about the relationship you have with the objects you bring into your life. Your stuff is not just the items in the package, it’s the package too. Now, I’m not saying in 2009 zero-waste isn’t still a challenge. Some objects, and there are increasingly less, still can not be composted, upcycled, recycled, reused or renovated enough for you to want to keep them in your company. So what do we do? We find solutions. We find ways to avoid waste and support initiatives to stop making it. Because necessity breeds invention, when you give up your garbage can, you find solutions.
I’ve started a group at Evolver.net, Zero-Waste Practitioners, to get the discussion rolling . It’s place to share tips and resources for zero-waste living. There we can start to develop new relationships with our “stuff” by providing information and support for giving up the garbage habit.
Yes, there are a few who have called me crazy and others who have labeled me as just plain hardcore, and maybe I’ll stay a lone voice in a garbage free wilderness. But there’s a dream that keeps me going, one of hearing, Grandma, what’s garbage? Maybe that’s a good question to ask yourself today.