Who hasn’t heard about zero waste or minimalism these days? Seems like every other article is about “moving towards sustainability,” or “environmental activism,” attempting to convince everyone and their mom that to waste is sacrilege and we must carry the cross on behalf of the environment. Zero waste, living green and minimalism don’t explain anything though. They’re just buzzwords. They don’t explain what people do, or why they care whether the companies they do business with are environmentally conscious or not. In my experience, wasting less and living on less isn’t an elaborate scheme. It’s pretty simple actually. The following explains why I live like a minimalist and why customers like me give a rip about what happens to our trash.
My weekday mornings follow a routine. Gym. Breakfast. Place eggshells in compost. 5-minute shower. White shirt and one of my two pairs of jeans. Brush teeth. Take out recycling. Grab water bottle and lunch made in reusable container. Head out the door to work.
It’s simple. Mostly because I don’t have a ton of stuff to worry about. Everything I own is carefully selected by how long it will last and how many shopping trips it saves me. Buying less is cheaper, simpler and means I’m wasting less. And I hate unnecessary waste and complexity, so it’s an all-around win.
In a nutshell, this is low waste, minimalism. Maybe you’re skeptical as to why this millennial fad has taken off. The reason these lifestyles have caught fire is because the kids who were raised on a steady diet of advertising and consumerism are sick to death of being told to buy crap that falls apart…just so they can buy more crap that falls apart.
Along with this realization, people care more about environmental preservation. I want to keep the beauty of nature for myself and others to enjoy. What a shame it would be to watch the world become a squandered dump because no one was willing to make switches towards living on less.
This is why I wear the same clothes, bring my reusable grocery bag and don’t buy paper towels. I don’t expect myself or others to have zero waste… It’s just an honest attempt to learn to be content with what I have and take care of the world I am lucky to live in.
People like me are looking for haulers that work towards sustainable solutions. While I realize many of these “zero-waste” practices can’t be realistically supported by local haulers now, my hope is that haulers throughout our area will evolve to make it easier on customers to protect the environment.