The majority of my fellow zero-wasters out there seem to be women. Does it have something to do with the fact that we, at our grass roots, are all nurturing home-bodies who want to look after and sustain our Earth, who has never asked us for anything in return? Maybe. I spoke to the local eco-shop owner about it, and she confirmed that most of her customers are women. Strange.
Anyway, another perk of being female is our innate ability to nag (gently, of course). It’s our way of showing that we care 🙂 I’ve nagged my male bosses, colleagues, my partner, my dad, and my (male) rabbit. So my poor partner has been the victim of (ahem) gentle reminders of our evolving lifestyle. It’s a work-in-progress. For example: the day after I had banished our huge kitchen bin to the garage, he brought home two packs of mince plastic wrapped in styrofoam from the supermarket…
We recently spent a Sunday afternoon traipsing around the Adelaide Hills in Lenswood (a pretty area filled with apple and pear orchards). We went on a long walk, petting all the friendly dogs and horses along the way, and foraging for blackberries by the roadside (pictured above). (This is also a plug for always having a produce bag on you- tasty roadside snacks!)
It was a perfect way to spend an Autumn day in Adelaide, and we got some good exercise out of it (8 kms, some it is a bit steep). It’s also a good walk to do if you want to avoid the mummy-strollers and crazed army cadets who clog up the Mt Lofty walk on a weekend.
Zero- waste dating tips
1. Don’t nag too much– the best thing is to focus on your own efforts, after a few weeks it will rub off and suddenly he’ll be asking you where every bit of “trash” should go
2. Be hyper-vigilant. As soon as you turn your back he will come back with a big styrofoam box of something. I can’t supervise every single shopping run, but if he is heading out I’ll corner him and thrust an arm-load of bags and produce bags at him, in the hope that some fruit and vegetables will “accidentally” fall into a reusable bag 🙂
3. Be prepared. When we go out for dinner, I always make sure that we’ve got a couple of small Pyrex glass containers (lidded) with us to take leftovers home. I also bring my own cloth napkin to use (if the restaurant supplies paper ones), and I have a stainless steel straw (which I haven’t succeeded in using yet- every drink comes with a straw and I keep forgetting to ask for no straw!). We usually stop off for gelati for dessert on the way home, and I’ve recently added a small mason jar to our “going out” bag- it’s the perfect size for 2 scoops of ice-cream. If we’re going out during the day I’ll have a Keep-cup on hand- in case of a coffee emergency!
4. Celebrate the small victories. 2 days out from our scheduled kerbside collection of the garbage (landfill) bin, I am happy to report that it only holds two plastic bags contaminated by chicken juices. After inspecting the bin I ran in excitedly to my partner, and we did a victory dance. With twerking. Woo!
This is what our “kitchen” bin looks like nowadays (one-week on from our “experiment” of banishing the bin to the garage):
Zero-waste we are not, but we will get there one day!