I’ve been very crap (excuse the pun) at keeping my finger on the beat in terms of keeping a weekly diary for this journey. I think this is due to my sub-conscious belief that I’m actually failing, and failing badly. In reality, this is probably very true, but I’m a wonder at self-delusion – of which my wife would attest to most strongly and this enables me to stay in my bubble. I’ve been spending the last few weeks engrossed in some local native planting by the river I frequent in my home town of Kaiapoi, it was a sort of welcomed distraction from the disbelief I was starting to go zero waste.
Don’t get me wrong, I have certainly reduced a lot of waste that I was previously creating, but came to a dead end when I realized how the system of which we’re all a part of does not lean in the favour of those who want to go zero waste. Since then I came across something I never even knew existed before, and it has invigorated my drive for zero waste again. Remember in my previous posts how I cursed toothpaste and its evil brothers and sisters (all oral products) for being the bane of my existence, well now I’ve found a cure, and this will be the basis of my blog.
Terracycle, the new saviour when it comes to the unrecyclable products that bring people like myself to the very brink of head eating (my head, no one else’s). This is an initiative that was started by a chap in the USA to fill the gap in the recycling world and it has now grown all over the world, but yet still kind of secretive, as even my friends and colleagues had not heard of it. Here’s a link to the website – I encourage you to have a look around and see what it has to offer. It’s not only free and easy but they also have competitions going on all the time for those people who ‘really’ love recycling. It’s like a sewing and knitting group who have not only just found that their favourite shop is selling their products at ridiculously low prices, but they want to buy whatever you make back from you.
I have brought this initiative to my work place, and I have been blown away by the response. Much like me, people are concerned and want to do their part, they just don’t have the avenue to proceed with their goodwill. There was one objection to my idea, call it pessimism or just the need for someone to have their say, but the impression I got was that this initiative is more detrimental. They claimed that lobbying against government and the big companies to change the way they package things, to which I am in 100% agreement, but that takes time. You can still do one thing, as well as the other, rather than having a binary thought process that you can only do one idea and the other idea is defunct. For me, changes need to be immediate. We don’t have time to argue semantics and ideologies and if I can stop products being put into the ground, or worse, finding their way out to sea, then it’s a job worth doing, whilst lobbying.
This got me thinking about how we use language to define ideas and problems within our current social, cultural, and political sphere. I still hear people sceptical about climate change, and fear mongering the masses. Whether it’s true or not, we as a human collective have to make changes, the way we treat the world is not sustainable and we will eventually pay the price. I don’t care what people call it, I think environment breakdown is a more of a direct way of describing what we are currently observing around the world:
- Our waters are becoming more and more polluted, the soil in which we rely on to feed ourselves is becoming more and more depleted.
- We have a heavy reliance on ways of consuming raw materials in the world that is causing detrimental effects to the rain forests in Indonesia and Brazil.
- We have just witnessed the warmest year on record in the Northern Hemisphere in 2019.
The irony of all this is the simple statement that we humans need nature to survive and thrive, but nature does not need humans to survive and thrive, quite the opposite in reality.
This is a journey for everyone, one of self-awareness and compassion for the world we are a part of, one we never actually asked to be a part of, but now we are here, we have a job of stewarding what we have. Good luck, may the divine nature strengthen you in the pursuit of all things that are good.
Bio: Chris Chick is the name, accepting that I am 40 is never my game. I am a person who lives life on a day to day basis, realising the time is now, and now is the time, with a skip I my step. If you ever get the chance to meet me, please accept my apologies now, I hope I can make it up to you another time. As you can see, I do not take myself too seriously, but I do think deeply about life and purpose and whether what I am doing is positive in its own right. This is why I decided to challenge myself to the core and take seriously my impact on the world from a consumeristic standpoint. Fortunately I have always been a minimalist in practice, and would rather live out of a bag than a house. It is much easier to be content with life when you have little possessions, which I know is easier said than done for many people. I decided to try and go zero waste for two reasons, is it actually possible? and I wanted to experimentally have the background knowledge to actively engage people in conversation. All my previous conversations were theoretical and held little weight when coming up against retorts. Please join me on this practical and spiritual journey helping each other and the world one decision at a time.
Disclaimer: OPINION PIECE – The opinions expressed in this article may not necessarily reflect the views of OSOF.