The first steps
I’ve been thinking a lot about where to start our minimal waste makeover. My idea is to go through our home room by room and look at topics/product groups/ideas that can be linked to that space. So first I thought, let’s start with the kitchen, then I figured, the kitchen involves so many things, maybe it would be better to start with some place less complex.
Then it hit me, the first thing to do is not necessarily choosing the room, but to really define what I want to do here. Well, the title of the thread already gives the gist away... 😁 But still, I want to make sure I have clear goals in mind for this transition.
I think most people think that going minimal waste or zero waste is a lot of extra and time-eating tasks on top of their busy lives and also the changes made towards living a simple and more environmentally friendly life would take away lots of comfort from them. My husband is a very good example of a reluctant family member, he cares about the environment, but he also likes his favourite products and usual comfort.
So my main goal is to find ways of going minimal waste at a relatively comfortable pace and in a sustainable way. We are a family of three with an 11 month old and 1 year of acute sleep deprivation. So it’s important that we don’t create extra chores, pressure and tasks for ourselves. In terms of budget I’d like to find solutions that won’t add extra to our costs in total. My husband is eating a carnivorous diet, while I prefer the vegetarian meals.
And yes, I am going to document all steps with photos, product names, prices, and reactions from hubby and baby.
You may say that this is all good, but where are the specifics and actual steps for this week? I agree, we need practical and specific steps - no matter how small they may seem in the grand scheme of things. So here are the points I’ve been working on this week:
Took a note of the cost of our current weekly grocery shopping. (Roughly 60 euros)
Made a list of all products that can be bought loosely in our closest supermarket. (Pepper, potato, tomato, pear, apple, avocado, banana - not a long list unfortunately) This means that surprise-surprise, our way of shopping needs to change drastically.
Made a plan on how to use up all the already available cleaning products and food bought with packaging as quickly as possible.
Also we try not to buy more stuff with packaging. (We’ll see how this one goes as I really want to do proper research for each product group and find good solutions.)
Made a research about local farmers, suppliers and minimal waste groups/initiatives. So this seemed very tricky as we live in Galway, on the West coast of Ireland and we don’t necessarily have the selection of options, shops and suppliers that a bigger city or metropolis could offer. However, this is not an excuse and it looks like I just had to dig a little bit deeper to find out that there are choices for us to buy loose vegetables, fruits. I also found out that there is a zero waste shop soon to be opened, so I am very excited to see what they’ll offer.
So this is how far I’ve got, small steps, small steps, sustainable small steps.
PS: For anyone potentially reading from the Galway, area, here is the result of my research so far:
Zero Waste Galway Facebook group - for ideas, community, zero waste news, item swaps etc.
Zero Waste Ireland - for resources (books, blogs, videos)
Eco Galway Girl Blog - for zero waste inspiration
Galway Market - to follow the local farmers selling their fruits and vegetables on the Saturday Market
Little Green Shop - not in the Galway area, but they seem to deliver here
Green Earth Organics - vegetable box and plastic free grocery delivery service
Original of thumbnail image is from Unsplash.