This is not a post aimed at trashing zero wasters – pun intended!
Seriously though, the Susteo team are crazy about finding ways to help lower our impact. Waste is a strategically important part of that.
But let’s call a spade a spade – Nobody, and I mean nobody is a zero waster! At least nobody that I have ever seen… and trust me I have looked far and wide.
It’s a great idea – in theory, and it’s a fantastic marketing statement. But it’s all but impossible for any one human to live up to. And here’s why I dislike the concept?
It falls into a watered-down version of extremism, people who tell you they lead a Zero-waste lifestyle are great humans, don’t get me wrong… they are superhumans because they really are trying to achieve an impossible task, but they are also liars.
We humans try and fail. Some of us get up and try again. Sometimes we fail again and less of us get back up and try again until we finally stop trying out of frustration. So it’s not really helpful when we set humans an impossible task… like Zero waste!
At this point many of you are thinking, I could do Zero waste! But could you?
Could you make time in your life to prioritize waste? And to only purchase products which you know have had strong ethical and sustainable focus during the sourcing and production supply chain? Can you be sure that your zero waste product didn’t leave behind a trail of waste. How?
Do you live a life free from plastic, can you be sure your paper products are being recycled correctly. I could go on and on but I do have a point to make.
You can’t do Zero Waste, seriously
Zero Waste – It’s a beautiful ideology, but it’s just not a realistic goal or expectation for anybody. And that’s my biggest fear as our team set out on our sustainability journey of change, by setting unrealistically high challenges for humans is setting us all up for failure, frustration.
Zero waste will never be a thing. I’m sorry to burst so many bubbles, but just stop and think about what your life looks like in that zero-waste bubble, it’s not an easy life. That’s right, you may as well go live in the forest and learn how to make underpants with leaves but only if you are also a vegan.
Less Waste is the only answer
Less waste, recycling, and being environmentally conscious are real things. They are likely to be the only real things that will pull us out of what some see are a nose dive to destruction. Better still, these are things that are easy for us humans to achieve and share.
So the next time a “zero waste” asks why you have plastic in your fridge, tell him or her to go fu*… No stop please, don’t give them a hard time. They may be lying to themselves but they really are trying extra hard, and remember extremists are people too.
Tell them you love that they care, but also tell them that they are not being super helpful to the cause if they nit pick every little thing.
There is good news, we will get there. I believe we will get to a point where our impact can be offset by technology and some conscious thinking. But you will never be Zero waste – so stop trying. Less waste and gentle activism can have more success.
Join our Sustainable sentiment snowball, how? Just find content that scares you, inspires you, makes you sad or happy and share the hell out of it. The more we share the more those in power will care!