My first step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle was in 2012, when I was leaving for graduate school. Packing up my car, I realized just how much stuff I had. After donating more than half of my wardrobe, I quit my consumerism ways and started shopping second hand.
Flash forward to 2016. 2016 was (and still is) a huge year for me. I became a first-time aunt in August and got married in September. In January, when everyone was making New Year Resolutions, my mind was preoccupied with these two big events about to happen in my life. I started thinking about the kind of life I want to live with my future husband, as well as the kind of world I want my nephew to grow up in.
Sustainability has always been something that is of great importance to me. Although prior to going zero waste, the most I did was recycle. I did go to great lengths to make sure that everything that was recyclable was disposed of in its proper streams. However, I thought to myself, “there must be something more!”
I started doing some online research on how I can increase my impact and decrease my footprint. I had my “ah-ha” moment when I found out about zero waste living. I learned about cities like Kamikatsu, Japan and San Francisco, who are drastically minimizing their waste through composting and recycling. I thought, “okay, how do I do this on a more personal scale?”
I found blogs like Zero Waste Home, Trash is For Tossers, and Going Zero Waste, among others, and I got inspired to start my own zero waste journey. I started composting, shopping in bulk, and when disposable products ran out, making my own. I saw that my waste basically vanished.
I am happy to know that there are a lot of like-minded people out there. My husband and I went to Iceland for our honeymoon. One day, when we were hiking on the glaciers, our guide told us that due to the effects of global warming, the glacier that we were standing on wouldn’t be there in 50 years. He also showed us an adjacent mountain that used to be the spot of a magnificent glacier 30 years ago. Seeing that really broke my heart, but at the same time, gave me hope that as long as people are trying to minimize their footprint, we can really preserve these sights for generations to come.