As the (sometimes) proud owner of an “Asian afro”, I shed a lot of hair. Hairdressers cower at the sight of my figure darkening the door of their hair salon (which often appears to only cater to girls with pretty, shiny Pantene hair). It’s thick, unruly, and bursts through elastic hair ties. It clogs hair drains and scares off boyfriends. I’m pretty sure no-one has ever nuzzled my hair (and I would like it to stay that way).
Up until about a month ago, all of the hair shed in my bathroom would end up in the bin and was sent off to live in landfill. The thing that kicked off my zero-waste journey was discovering the fact that I could compost my hair. Mind. Blown. Other non-obvious things included tissues and paper towels, pizza boxes, nail clippings, corks. Basically anything that was once living could go in our kerbside “green” collection bin (more on that later). My next thought was- why didn’t anyone ever tell me this? I felt left out- like every one else was secretly scurrying home and composting and not telling me about it. #fomo.
I suppose one of the things that I have learnt over the last two months is that unless you’re in the right circles (environmental studies majors and freegans I’m looking at you), you may never end up having a conversation about waste and landfills with your every day friends. Which saddens me- yes my social circles do consist of busy professionals who pledge allegiance to VW Golfs, but we all share the same Earth and we are all guilty of the same thing- trashing it.
The concept of “zero-waste” still conjures up images of unwashed, dread-locked tie-dyed hippies, or worse- condescending, over-opinionated environmentalists. I believe that the concept of going “less (or zero) waste” can be applied to everyone, and is not just the domain of uni students, stay at home mums, or freelance artists and bloggers. The principles can be applied by everyone, no matter how busy you are.
This is also not about being pretentious, or admonishing people for not being able to confine their trash in a mason jar. This is about starting a conversation, and discussing ideas, and coming up with small changes- one step at a time. I know people say- one less coffee cup? Who cares? Well- I do. That is one less cup to go to landfill. And even if everyone only remembered to bring their KeepCup once a week, or once a month- imagine the impact!
I am known by my friends to be the ultimate hipster-fashionista- with a wardrobe bursting at the seams I am the exact female consumer prototype that is probably on a poster on the wall of a marketing firm somewhere. However over the past two months I have slowly made some lifestyle changes. Nothing drastic, but each change I made I made sure that once I implemented it- it would stay that way. Sustainable ideas for sustainable living. Zero waste is not a passing fad, and I wanted those thoughts and ideas to stay with me for life. They say it takes 30 days for a new habit to form, but it is so much more complex than that. Zero waste is a lifestyle integration, layered with testing out new concepts, consolidating habits and being continually inspired to do more and do better.
My name is Lisa and I live in Adelaide with my partner, and an orange rabbit named Milo. We are two very average young professionals that you can find anywhere in Adelaide- however we too now run home to secretly compost 😉
A shout-out also to one of the fruit and veg stall-holders in the Central Market- we met last week and got to talking about zero-waste shopping, and she was so sweet and excited about it and kept asking me to start a blog. So I am 🙂