Tips on staying zero waste when it seems too hard

That feeling when you’re so tired you’re not sure you can do what you need to do, much less deal with living zero waste.

I’m sure we’ve all felt it anecdotally, but science actually backs those feelings up with cold, hard facts. Studies show that sleep deprivation “lowers inhibition and enhances impulsivity to negative stimuli”. Basically, when you’re tired it’s much easier to make poor choices you wouldn’t otherwise.

In zero waste terms, I’m sure we can all think of an example. Buying a plastic-wrapped ready meal on a 15 minute lunch break. Forgetting your reusable mug and getting a single-use cup because you need caffeine. Making an impulse purchase we later regret because we were too tired to do proper research. read more

Zero waste in a food desert: how I shopped

This is an updated version of a previously published post.

I vividly remember one of the most miserable experiences of my first few months in Indy. Neither my husband nor I had snagged a job yet, and we were coming to the end of our savings. We lived close to downtown but the nearest grocery store was 1.2 miles away. We needed food but really couldn’t spare money for an Uber (nor was there a direct bus route).

So my husband and I walked to and from the store, the cold November wind whipping past us. On the way back we were burdened by bags heavier than we could really carry, but we couldn’t imagine doing this again before it was absolutely necessary. read more

Why zero waste needs to turn into community action – and how to start

I think we can all agree our individual zero waste goals are not enough to reverse the damage humans have inflicted on the planet.

The problem is we – even those of us practicing zero waste – are operating within a system that rewards corporations engaging in economically destructive behavior. Our system encourages consumers to make poor decisions. No matter who we are or where we live, our lives and lifestyles have been commodified to the point where it’s very difficult to truly make a change while operating within the system.  read more

How do I go zero waste with a partner that doesn’t care?

Let me set the scene: we’re wandering through the aisles of the grocery store, tossing in some loose produce and bulk dry goods here and there. I turn around for a second to consider a sauce of some kind and when I turn back around: BAM! A pack of ramen sits in the cart, taunting me with its plastic.

No, it didn’t jump in there by itself. I’ve got a husband who, while pretty receptive to a lot of my wild ideas, really really loves ramen.

I roll my eyes and sigh less-than-goodnaturedly. read more