Thoughts on the Zero-waste Movement

There has been some discussion online about the zero-waste movement and its turn towards excess consumerism, which doesn’t align with the original message. As with any new movement, people can get carried away and lose sight of the core message. Considering I sell zero-waste items, I wanted to reflect on the discussion and gather my own thoughts. This post by Bea Johnson got me thinking and initiated my own response…

Although I see that buying a bunch of stuff is the opposite of living more simply, I also find it very inspiring to see how many people are getting excited about the movement and the fact that there is a ‘movement’ at all. I personally enjoy all the beautiful images people are sharing. I sell zero-waste items and I’m careful to only sell items that have proved very useful and have brought more beauty and joy to my daily life. For me, zero-waste is not only about reducing my footprint but also about creating more serenity in my routine and that includes aesthetics. I love my net grocery bags and mesh produce bags because they make shopping more satisfying, partly because I love the visual nature of the produce. I suppose I could use an old pillowcase or something I already have but that wouldn’t bring me the same joy. There are plenty of ways we can get creative with what we have but I do feel it’s a net positive to offer a handful of items to inspire and help each other make the transition. I also see it as a spectrum, there are those die-hard zero-wasters that collect one year’s worth of trash in a jar and there are those who haven’t had any thought about waste, yet are waking up and making slow incremental changes. We should honor everyone’s journey and help each other both be mindful about where this is taking us and also remember the joy in it.

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