In late 2014, I was deeply inspired by a young women’s experience of removing trash from her life. For 2 years Lauren Singer took the incredibly honorable step and looked at her waste production.
“I didn’t start living this lifestyle to make a statement — I began living this way because living a zero-waste life is, to me, the absolutely best way I know how to live a life that aligns with everything I believe in. ”
As I read her Blog: http://www.trashisfortossers.com and looked over her New Company: http://www.thesimplyco.com. I realized that if she could do it, so could I.
This is first full winter I have spent in Canada in many years. Naturally, I have been looking for ways to stay inspired and excited through the darker days. This gave me my answer! It was my call to step up and into my own empowerment. As Lauren expressed, I too realized how I wasn’t living in alignment with my true values. I have always considered myself an environmentalist. I was raised in this climate, its deeply rooted in my bones, maybe even my DNA.
But, what was I actually doing to support and sustain our precious earth? I cherish my walks in the forest and receive so much form the mother natures mystery and magic. As I go deeper into myself through yoga, shamanism, and self inquiry many new layers are revealed. I am beginning to look into the places that I don’t want too. Here it is clear where I am stepping outside my truth and integrity. In the past I would have internally judged myself and then kept on going at the same accelerated pace.
This time, there was a voice that yelled stop.
I couldn’t turn away from what I saw this time, instead I gathered up my energy and made a choice to be more pro-active and take initiative. This excited my spirit and we were off.
There is no turning a blind eye to the fact that I was being disorganized and scattered in my purchasing. I am giving myself permission to start slow and ease into this new shift. I am congratulating myself when I am more conscious and accepting of myself when my choices are less than integral. Whenever I hear the sly voice in my head say: “it doesn’t matter” I know it really does!
Control Alt. Delete…re-programming.
I have been shining the light into my waste production and especially looking at my consumption of plastic. It has been about 3 months and I am proud to say I have made small yet powerful changes.
These are the steps that have helped me thus far…
1. I looked in my home to see what was plastic? How could I eliminate or re-use the plastic?
2. Shopping is a fun game, I laugh as I dance through the store. Everything is wrapped in good old plastic…cucumbers, lettuce etc…this has been a challenge, as try to eat organic as much as possible. I am seeing where I have to meet myself half way and learn where to shop!
3. Re-filling bottles and containers. I have found great spots to re-fill my shampoo, soap, laundry detergent. So far… www.nezzanaturals.com in Victoria is awesome!
4. Where can I make it myself? Lip balms, creams, essential oil sprays (I love finding re-usable containers and making things to put in them)
5. Tooth paste: This was a great gift from my dear friend, I found a glass jar of wicked-awesome tooth paste. Uncle Harry’s natural products from Washington. www.uncleharrys.com
6. Local shops are my best buddies: The local Farmers Market is always a joy and it is so nice to meet the people behind the product. I have found my local meat shop (for the meat eaters) The Butchers Block. They are keen with my re-used bags and containers!
7. Awareness. I have my shopping bags, Togo containers, mugs and re-used bags in my car always. Also, in my purse, so I am never with out supplies. Being prepared is key.
8. Bulk bins are where it is at. Anyone who has lived with me knows I am a bag re-user (it usually drives them crazy… all these bags drying around the house) it is for good reason though!
9. Think Thrift Stores. I am always surprised how much packaging accompanies a purchase when you buy something brand new… is it really necessary?
10. #1 Obstacle: Traveling...this is where I see how dedicated I am to my values and choices, planning ahead is key. Some places, I am learning will not take re-usable containers because of Food Safe reasons and restrictions?
I see my previous impulse buying habits with a greater awareness now and I feel revived by the experience of aligning my values with my actions. My fridge is really simple and my cupboards have very few snack foods but I have to say I don’t feel deprived. I feel grateful. I am getting creative and energized by the whole process. I look to the quote in my kitchen when I am washing the dishes “be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Gandhi
Change is an inside job, how can I expect the mass corporations to change their ways, if I am not willing to changing my own. I have to look at my own shadow to help shift the collective shadow. It is not a game of fault, we have never been taught to live simply. Actually, we are programmed to do the exact opposite. Consume unconsciously and be happy-right? This is not my experience at all.
We don’t have to look far to see the environmental changes taking place. Climate change is real and it is happening right now. You may think this small step is insignificant, when there are so many others being unconscious, but look at the momentum getting going. Lauren inspired me and maybe I will inspire another and then we just keep on paying it forward. Until it is the norm to wash your plastic bags and make your own lip gloss? Who knows, all we can do its try.
Mother Theresa says: “live simply, so others can simply live”.
When we can feel the pain of the earth inside of our own hearts we can feel she is crying out to us to do something for the water, soil, animals, and creatures. I imagine our beloved sea birds with bellies full of our plastic, sea turtles eating plastic bags mistaking them for a jelly fish, and a mountains of trash that people live on top of and I am humbled. I graciously put the item back on the shelf and give thanks for all of the abundance in my life.
To the living earth, our planet, our mother Gaia, our home. I bow in honor and humility to all that she provides.
So it is
~ Melody Nicole Walford