Don't know how to start your journey?
For the majority of people (myself included initially) the thought of going zero waste starts with completely overhauling one's home, pantry, shopping and life in general. To sleeping under a tree, from which all of your food must come, wrapped in hemp blankets or tie dyed rags, feet (and dreadlocks) caked in mud, communicating with the animals like Ace Ventura...
But it doesn’t have to be such a drastic change right off the starting line (although should you want to, be sure to give me a shout!!)... Start slowly and change things as you go. Once you start seeing the difference in your garbage bags (which hopefully become a thing of the past), recycling bins (and wallet might I add!!) and how you view things in your day to day life, the transition will have already begun and you’ll be one step closer to having a lesser footprint on this already over trafficked world. A simple once off purchase of a reusable water/soap/oil bottle or eco laundry egg does more for the environment than most people will ever know. It's not only eliminating all of those single use bottles from going to the rubbish dump or the recycling plant. It is reducing your reliance on fossil fuels and the process to create that very plastic in the first place. Now think about a few other items that you use daily that come in or are plastic bottles alike. Your toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, liquid soap, and that's just the first 10 minutes after you’ve woken up! The list of products and how we have become so reliant on plastic in 2020 is endless. Again, I’m not calling for the Ace Ventura overhaul but simply paving the road for the bigger picture here, to start small to grow into becoming less reliant on single use plastic.
One of the first things that people often say when addressed with the plastic conundrum is “well I just couldn’t bear life without my Doritos (or insert whatever it is that you can’t live without)”. Mine is good quality tortilla chips.. The world could be hell in a hand basket and I would be very hard pressed given the choice between fresh air or water and a bag of my favourite tortilla chips. These things in our lives we often refer to as our guilty pleasures have, in recent years, become commonplace and not so much the treats they once were. I was struck by how much more I enjoyed certain things when I didn’t have them as often because they came in plastic and therefore we didn’t have them at home all the time. So I'm telling you to keep your guilty pleasures for every now and then and change the rest.
Every time you go shopping at your local supermarket it is impossible to avoid plastic. Whether it be the bag your apples come in or the wrapper on the toilet rolls, there is plastic everywhere. That’s where the beauty and value of a minimal or zero waste store comes in. They buy in bulk and responsibly recycle or repurpose any of the waste that comes with the items for your. Then you, the consumer, buy the actual products in reusable glass jars or compostable/ recyclable brown paper bags. So you’re helping reduce your footprint by refusing the single use plastic containers that typically clutter shopping store shelves and reusing the glass jars you have at home. AND, remember when I mentioned that you’d notice a difference in your wallet too?! Well, stores have to package and market their items and pay for the shelf space in the store which adds up to sometimes 20-30% of the cost of your items. So by shopping with a zero waste store, you’re actually saving money.
At J.A.R. you can get everything you need, not only to begin your zero waste journey but to continue refilling it. Just About Refills, is just that, it's Just. About. Refills. They take the simplicity of shopping from way back when in the 1900’s where you only bought what you needed and have added the comforts and convenience of online shopping delivered to your door in 2020.
The biggest take home from this (besides your shopping cart full of goodies of course) is that you don’t have to be perfect in your zero waste journey, you can just be a little better than you were the day before. You have to start somewhere, and there is no better place to start than at Just About Refills.
P.S. However, if you do want the complete home and pantry overhaul the gals at J.A.R. can do that for you too, click on the 'Re:Store Pantry' category for them to come help you get started in your home in White River or Nelspruit.
-The Lowveld Herbivore