For a year and a half now, I've been working on reducing my trash down to very little. When I left college and began living on my own for the first time, I faced thousands of choices about how to live daily life. Like most adults, I hauled my trash to the curb, visited the nearest store to replace this sponge or that laundry detergent, and spent a bit too much time browsing online stores. These routines were tiring and wasteful, but normal. And, yet, they don't have to be.
To reduce my environmental impact, I began striving to reach "zero waste." Through composting food scraps, bringing my own reusable produce bags and containers to the grocery and farmers' market, and decreasing the amount of material goods I purchase, I've come closer and closer to being zero waste.. I no longer have to take out the trash more than once every couple of months, and I rarely take out recycling, either. My life is simpler, my home is lovelier, and my conscience is lighter.
It has become weird to me that an object we use briefly - a toothbrush, a takeout container - will sit in the landfill for centuries after we're gone. My efforts to go zero waste also mean that I purchase fewer unnecessary objects, resulting in lower carbon emissions and less resource extraction. I aspire to live in a world where this is the new normal.
In this journal, I'll be sharing more posts that will help you take steps toward going litterless, if you're interested in doing so.
Photograph from a hike in Murray Canyon, California. It's important to me that the my impact on the world helps maintain more outdoor habitats like this, not more landfills.