This week, I caved. I bought butter and cheese and oranges, all wrapped in plastic. And my excuse was pretty poor: I was tired from work, a little hungover and I just didn’t have the energy to go to farmers’ markets that morning. And yes, I feel terrible, I feel guilty whenever I open my fridge, I feel weak for giving in.
But that doesn’t mean I am giving up. We all have our moments when we fail or when we lose sight of our goals. However these are the critical moments when we have to get back up again and get back on track to what we want to achieve, no matter how far away it seems. The reason that I am writing this post is to show people that everyone falls, everyone fails, everyone has that moment. And that is ok, as long as you don’t give up, otherwise everything else you have already achieved would have been for nothing.
Living waste-free is not just a fad or a trend that will come and go, it is a lifestyle that you have to embrace fully. Of course it is difficult, but I was brought up understanding that if something is too easy to achieve, you are not aiming high enough. I enjoy trying to produce zero waste, not only because I know it is so much healthier for our planet that is already strained under us, but because it is also a challenge. It is a physical challenge to find food and products you can use, and a mental challenge that forces you to come up with innovative solutions to everyday life issues. It gets people talking about important global problems that we need to start tackling right now, and it encourages the massive-scale change that is required to make the planet and people greener and healthier. And it is for these reasons that I don’t give up.
In the end, I’m doing this off my own back. No one has asked me to go waste-free, and not everyone supports me in it either. But I’ve done the research, and I know the awful impact I was having on the world by leading a “conventional” lifestyle. A lot of people look at me, amazed, wondering how I could possibly decide in a week to give up plastic and unnecessary waste, that my lifestyle is limited and I cannot enjoy the foods or convenience products that I used before. But I actually think I am even more free by living like this. I’m not controlled by external sugary temptations, or by what companies and the media dictate to me what they think I need in life to be happy. I am not shackled by convention, or held back by what is “normal” or “traditional”, and because of this, right now, I’m freer than ever before.
So even if you do give in, don’t give up. Keep fighting for your goals and your dreams. Don’t be held back by anyone else, and most definitely don’t be held back by yourself. Of course this can be applied to more than a zero-waste lifestyle, to anything you want to achieve. The same rules apply: dream big, and keep fighting until you succeed.