Hi! Green Indy is a blog about zero waste, minimalism, and generally being less of an a**hole to our Earth (Lafayette, Indiana, specifically) by me, Polly Barks. I’m a writer, teacher, and a natural-born researcher/experimenter.

I fell into minimalism naturally after I moved 800 miles from home for college, and then over 4,000 miles to get my first job as an ESL teacher in Russia. Years of country hopping honed my belongings to a bare minimum and I found that even as I’ve become more settled, I enjoy the feeling of worrying about less.

Aside from my essential weaknesses – all the food and old film cameras – I don’t want for a lot. (Yes, I only own two pairs of pants. No, I’m not usually super stinky.) But taking my low-key lifestyle to the next level? That’s a different story.

I started leading a full zero-waste lifestyle in late 2016 after experiencing life in an Indianapolis community where affluent trash gets left behind and food desert conditions and a lack of infrastructure meant many of my clients and neighbors rarely ate fresh fruit or vegetables.

Since going zero waste, I’ve tried to spread the word – particularly about how accessible it is – because I’ve lived first-hand knowing how hard it is to even eat healthy when you’re worrying about paying rent.

My experience with zero waste has been full of learning experiences, fails, and even some occasional wins. I hope you’ll join me on my adventure!

Since Russia, I spent two years in Indianapolis before buying a house in Lafayette, Indiana. I’m currently in Lafayette getting to know the area, meet new people, and test strategies for engaging non-traditional audiences (ie. not us urban, affluent, white folks!) in zero waste practices.

If you live in Lafayette, I’d love to see you at an upcoming workshop. If you have an idea for an exciting local collaboration, please feel free to get in touch at any time!

The biggest zero waste myth

The biggest zero waste myth is that it’s hard, expensive, and time-consuming. Yes, it might be one of the three (or maybe two at times), but not all of them.

I did a case study on whether shopping at Walmart was cheaper than shopping 100% bulk – check out the answer! (Spoiler: it’s bulk!)

Really, zero waste doesn’t have to be the difficult, unachievable goal so many imagine it to be. Because zero¬†waste is an end goal – the in-between process is a much more flexible, fluid thing. Working towards your ways doesn’t have to be a chore.

I know that a lot of people can’t afford zero waste options, don’t have time, or don’t even have access to the resources that would let them go fully zero waste. That’s OK. Taking steps towards reducing your waste is a huge first step.

This blog is here to break down a zero waste journey into 100% manageable steps.

doesn’t have to be hard in more realistic less Pinterest for the form of zero waste green indie blog is all about going zero waste without the worries of looking perfect of having a perfectly white kitchen there’s no perfectly white kitchen here t

A more realistic, less Pinterest-worthy form of zero waste

Green Indy Blog is all about going zero waste without the worries of absolute perfection.

There’s no perfectly white kitchen here. There’s no ultra-minimal, beautifully decorated house. It’s just me, a regular person on a very regular budget, trying to show how everyone has the opportunity to at least start going zero waste.

Don’t buy in to the hype that you need brand new stainless steel containers or a full set of pristine Mason jars to start your journey. Use and abuse what you already have (yes, zero wasters use plastic!) and then thoughtfully consider other options when the time comes.

Landfills ain’t pretty and keeping stuff out of then doesn’t have to be either.

Please note: I will occasionally use affiliate links within posts to products that I own, have tested, and sincerely enjoy.