30 November 2015

Things might not ever change in my lifetime


Last week, my plastic free and zero waste life, was exposed to a wide audience. My freckled face was appearing on national TV, my voice heard on radio here plus around the world, and my words were appearing in various publications.

The opportunity, while unexpected, was humbling, daunting and exciting. I connected with so many wonderful people.

I was feeling really good. Great, in fact. That was, until I realised, there's a huge chance things won't ever change for years, decades...or even in my lifetime.

I might not ever see plastic packaged food and plastic water bottles vanish from shelves. I might not ever see landfill contribution decrease.

It took me a couple days, to let this settle over me.

Things might not ever change in my lifetime, and I am okay with that. I won't stop doing this.

Every interview ended with the same question, "is this for the rest of your life?"

Yes, it is.

This is how I want to live my life, regardless if others follow along, regardless of mass change.

I will continue to share; continue to write and talk. When you find something that makes you happy, it's hard to stop. And I love living plastic free and zero waste. I am happy to  keep doing what I can, with what I have got.

Whatever happens, thank you for all the plastic free & zero waste support :)
  1. Keep doing what you are doing Erin. Every little thing we do helps.

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    1. You are right :) It's the little things.

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  2. I think you are doing a fabulous thing. I am on a zero waste mission with my family (four kids rolling their eyes) and have reduced our weekly waste to a single (smallish) bag. You have helped change my life and I am not going back!

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    1. Mum & Dads embarking on a zero waste journey are my heroes. All the best with it :)

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    2. This was obviously ages ago but Littleblackduck, I have six kids and would like to get down to one bag a week (even though no one is on board). How do you do it?

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  3. I think you are doing a fabulous thing. I am on a zero waste mission with my family (four kids rolling their eyes) and have reduced our weekly waste to a single (smallish) bag. You have helped change my life and I am not going back!

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  4. Congrats on those opportunities to share the zero waste message. I think it's great what you do and totally has a positive effect!

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    1. Thank you so much Alyson :)

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  5. Anonymous12/03/2015

    I first heard your story in the DailyMail and I have been hooked on your website blog ever since. In this short time, I've bought bamboo utensils for my bag (banning plastic silverware), I bought a menstrual cup to stop using feminine products, and I've recycled a ton of junk from my house. Thank you so much! Get twitter, by the way, so I can retweet your wisdom. @marissamacabre via Twitter from USA, Yoga Instructor

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    1. They are some massive changes you have made. Thanks for the support :)

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  6. Erin, what's your advice on strategies for not being frustrated with others wasting around you? I am a mere babe when it comes to zero waste lifestyle, just beginning to implement some strategies. I'm OK with being disappointed with myself when I produce waste, because I also get the upside of joy as I have small wins in other ways. But it's also easy to look around at others using disposables and creating rubbish and want to ask them to do the same or be really frustrated at how oblivious they are.

    I don't want to confront or preach on a regular basis. I know there are ways to more positively influence others instead of that. But in the meantime, do you just ignore? Only focus on yourself?

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    1. PS - I just had a small realisation. I should just focus on myself because - to quote Paul Kelly - from little things, big things grow. You and other ZW bloggers have resulted in small changes in my habits. If I just do my own thing graciously, others may see do the same. For example, I encouraged three friends to purchase Oxfam 'chickens' instead of a crappy do-hicky for a $15 Kris Kringle event.

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    2. I learnt to just focus on my own rubbish and live my life. If people asked questions, I would explain. If i worried to much about other people I would have constant anxiety.

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  7. Or....... Things might change in your life time. Perhaps someone heard you on the radio last week, and has already made changes because of what you do.
    So, here's what I've done since I heard you on the radio:

    (I already composted and used the kerbside recycling)
    Driven around my tiny town, and found out what stores I can buy in bulk (not much, but more than I realised)
    Checked with my local butcher, and yes, they're happy for me to bring my own containers.
    Cancelled a couple of subscriptions that arrived during the week.
    Checked at my local supermarket and discovered that the bin for recycling bags is not just for used shopping bags, but any scrunchable plastic, and taken a small bagful in.
    Asked for my sushi to be just handed to me over the counter, not in a bag- shopkeeper was bemused but happy to oblige
    Provided a waste free present for a Kris Kringle
    Contacted a company about a part for an item I was going to throw out. I'll probably still not keep the item, but it can now go to the op shop and be reused (yes, the part can be sent, and for free too)
    Read, read, read and learned a lot.
    Our waste has already down to less than half of what it was a week and a half ago, and despite lots of eye rolling from the family, they're getting on board somewhat too.
    Never underestimate what you can do, Erin, even in your life time. Who knows how many others have heard you, or read you blog and made changes.

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    1. Whoa! That is quite an achievement in a short amount of time. I hope you are proud of yourself. They are big changes. Thank you for the words of encouragement :)

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  8. So agree. We're doing this for us, sure, but we're also doing it for everyone else in the future. As my dad says, "little by little we go far." Congrats on your TV appearance, and thanks for all you do to make zero waste more mainstream!

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    1. Thanks for sharing your dads quote, I have written that one down to remember. And thank you for the congratulations :) Happy to keep doing it for the future generations.

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  9. Well done Erin. You are inspiring and with some of your suggestions I have been really reducing my waste - it's baby steps here, but they're in the right direction!

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  10. Well done Erin. You are inspiring and with some of your suggestions I have been really reducing my waste - it's baby steps here, but they're in the right direction!

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    1. Baby steps, as the best steps to take. I still take baby steps in my journey. Congrats on reducing your waste, especially during the holiday season :)

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