“Zero Waste is such a special doorway”, I explained to anyone who engaged me in conversation about my lifestyle last year. In mid-2016 when I chose to quit single-use plastic, motivated by the destruction I knew was happening in the oceans, I felt very scared. I worried that I’d miss out, make a fool of myself, become an outcast. I couldn’t know that leaping out from the safe norm to that very different ‘zero waste’ lifestyle would 3 years later seem one of the most fulfilling choices I have ever made. I have found zero waste to be a portal to new discoveries about my world, about other people and about myself, and as I discovered in Masters research interviews last year, other ‘zero wasters’ too discover this same doorway to greater choice and fulfilment.
More and more people I meet seem to be considering whether to go ‘plastic-free’, their first step in seriously reducing a personal ‘waste footprint’. However, others express fear or sadness that reducing their own ‘waste footprint’ is irrelevant for they have seen levels of waste in S-E Asia, or realise manufacturers are not shouldering their share of responsibility, or understand that much of recycling is a ‘have’. I’m aware of these issues too. “We take along with us those who are ready for the journey,” says an African proverb. Over this year I plan to document how I show up in the world as a ‘zero waste granny’ and why I continue to walk the talk. For ‘those ready’, I want to share low impact practices and wider understandings that work for me today, as well as others I am yet to fully embrace. Meantime dear reader, do these new year’s resolutions for 2020 by Australian permaculture artist, Brenna Quinlan, challenge you into further practical behaviour shifts? They do me!