Small changes

Absolutely selfish gains from switching to a low waste lifestyle

If you’re still sitting on the fence about going low/zero waste, here’s a case for choosing to adopt a low waste lifestyle, and how it will benefit you personally.

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.

Jane Goodall
1. Enjoy a fit and healthful life, maybe even lose weight.

Learning to cook yourself nourishing, wholesome meals is a huge part of living a low impact life. With renewed focus on not buying processed and packaged food, you will be forced to buy fresh fruits, veggies, legumes and grains. Buying fresh, unpackaged ingredients is not just good for the environment but also better for your body.

2. Acquire new skills and hobbies

In addition to learning how to cook, living a low waste life will also offer many opportunities to hone new skills. In an effort to find a more sustainable version of a product, at times you will decide to make them yourself. It was my decision to reduce my waste that led me to gardening. Maybe you have a lifestyle sorceress in you waiting to come out to whip the most delicious smelling personal care products. You’ll never know till you try.

3. You will learn to put yourself first

Reducing your impact or even trying to do so requires that you be thoughtful. Every meal you consume, every purchase and decision you make, you will think about how it impacts people and the planet. This way of thinking will bleed into almost all aspects fo your life and you will start thinking about yourself with as much love and care as you do for mama earth. This will help you take better care of yourself physically and emotionally.

4. You will learn to say NO more often

In our desire to be socially obliging, we all struggle to say no. We end up overcommitting time, energy and maybe even money in an effort to not be branded rude. When choosing to go low waste, there will be lots of unnecessary everyday things that you will refuse to participate in or buy like that plastic bag your grocer decides to put your purchases in, or that packaged bag of toiletries your aunt decides to gift you, or the packaged instant noodles your friend thinks is a great idea for a meal. Living a low waste lifestyle will help you develop the habit of saying no more often.

5. Save money

You will invest your money in reusable items, choose to walk smaller distances, stop impulse shopping and stop wasting money on buying overpriced packaged food or ordering in. They seem like nothing at first but over time, these costs add up to be a lot.

6. Find the right kind of people who support and uplift you

Before I started my journey to zero-waste, a lot of my lifestyle activities were just mundane things I needed to do. Now, I put an effort into researching sustainable shopping options in my city. in doing so, I met many people who share the low impact ideology and/or are zero-waste aspirants like myself. Finding these people, even though I haven’t met a lot of them, makes me feel supported and empowered and will do the same for you.

7. Be more organised

The process of going zero waste involves planning. Your meals, daily activities, shopping schedule, storage requirements will all have to be planned. Your life will be so much more organised and you’ll have lots of extra time to do the things you love because you’re not wasting an hour each day, trying to decide what to cook.

Maybe caring for the planet is not your biggest priority or maybe you find it too time consuming, but choosing to lower your impact will do wonderful things to your personal life. If not for any other reason, choose to do it for these self indulgent reasons.

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