One day, Lauren Singer realized that everything she had was “wrapped or packaged, one way or another, in plastic.”
She first decided to eliminate plastic from her life. Then, she gradually decided to stop making trash altogether.
How did she do it? She:
- Stopped buying packaged products, and began bringing her own bags to the supermarket.
- Tried to get her food in bulk, bringing her own clothe bags or jars.
- Started buying secondhand clothes.
- Stopped buying things she didn’t actually need, and gave away the stuff she had that she wasn’t using.
- Started to make all her own personal care and cleaning products—including toothpaste and soap.
Now that Lauren has been zero-waste for over three years, this is what has happened to her life:
- She saves money by shopping in bulk, shopping secondhand, and not buying anything on impulse.
- She eats better. Since she doesn’t purchase packaged foods, it’s a lot more difficult to purchase foods that are processed and otherwise unhealthy. Instead, she ends up eating a lot of (organic) fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes (beans), and a lot of seasonal and local foods. Local farmers markets offer unpackaged produce that also happens to be fresh, delicious, and otherwise “amazing.”
- She is more organized, has more space, and more time. Since she has to plan out her shopping trips more meticulously. She doesn’t end up having to run to the supermarket all the time to get things she forgot, or have to order takeout because she’s run out of food. And she doesn’t have to constantly run to the pharmacy to get this or that scrub or cream. And because she doesn’t have so much stuff anymore, her apartment is a lot less cluttered, and she doesn’t have to spend so much time cleaning up.
- She is… happier.
As you can see, this is a way of living that is not impossible.
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