Although Earth Day was already three months ago, the state of our planet and how we can help save it should continue to be an ongoing conversation so I want to keep the discussion open for as long as need be.
Despite caring about the environment and wanting to reduce my carbon footprint, I never felt truly comfortable calling myself an environmentalist because I wasn't perfect at reducing my waste nor was I particularly well-versed on the subject. I knew a bit from what I've learned in school; a few documentaries; and articles I've read, but if you were to ask me specifics like statistics or the science behind global-warning I wouldn't be able to answer accurately. (Although, I may have been able to BS my way to a "good answer", but that's neither here nor there. 😉)
Additionally, with the Zero Waste movement all over social media, I felt completely unqualified to speak out. I wasn't practicing Zero Waste 100%; therefore I didn't have the authority to speak on the matter especially on such a public platform like YouTube. I was afraid I'd come off as preachy and ignorant, but I quickly realized that I definitely do have a voice and so do all of you! The most important thing is that we continue to spread awareness, that even if your message only reaches one person, that could be one more sea creature you save from choking on plastic.
This should not be about perfectionism; it should be about progress. Every step we take towards sustainability is a step towards change and change breeds results.
I'll speak for myself when I say that I sometimes get overwhelmed with all the ways I can better live a sustainable zero waste lifestyle. For example, not everything I purchase comes plastic-free. Even the tofu packages I buy is wrapped in plastic! So don't feel bad if you end up taking a straw at a restaurant as long as you're striving to do what you can. When we put that much pressure on ourselves giving up starts to look much more appealing. So let's not beat ourselves up, especially when we're conscious and wanting to eliminate waste as much as possible. And quite frankly, if anyone is to blame it's the corporations that continue to push consumerism and unethically made product to our faces to the point where they corner the market and are oftentimes the most affordable option for a lot of people. While it is true that if you purchase a reusable product that would initially cost more than the disposable variety it would save you money in the long run, the problem comes when you can't afford the upfront costs of more cost-efficient items. Some people simply don't have the luxury of paying the higher price tag now in order to save money in the future.
Unfortunately, the world, as it stands, isn't set up to accommodate everyone in living a zero waste lifestyle, at least not completely. Keep in mind that there are areas in the U.S. that are going through food droughts where they may not have fresh produce available to them and may have to resort to a lot of prepackaged foods. Zero Waste isn't an option nor is it a priority for many people whether it's due to their financial situation, their current environment, or cultural influence. So instead of shaming ourselves or anyone else, lets continue to stay aware, spread the message when you feel comfortable, and do what you can no matter how little or big it may be. Every little thing adds up to a whole and right now, that's all we can ask for.
✿ ZERO WASTE RESOURCES ✿