Environment is not the only motivation for a waste-free life
Carrying your tea and coffee with you in a thermos, going shopping with a lot of cloth bags and bags, looking for alternative ways for every plastic product, trying to disrupt the usual order and trying to do the more difficult thing... For many people, they seem like hard work and little impact. “What would change in the world if I didn't use a straw?” There are so many people who think that they give up to start living with zero waste or turn half way when they have started… However, if everyone in the world rejected a single straw just once, there would be 7 billion fewer straws in the oceans!
I admit, all these changes are a little daunting at first, and the problem of environmental pollution may not be a sufficient source of motivation to bring all these changes into our lives. These thoughts were already in a corner of my mind and made me sad in small doses, but especially after seeing the reactions to the paid bag application that was launched with the new year, this sadness came to light.
Normally, I was going to prepare an article about creating a waste-free kitchen for you this week, but while my mind was full of these thoughts, I couldn't write anything else than this article. This week, I will talk about what zero waste life has given me, and show that environmental pollution is not the only motivation. In this article, I will share my experiences and feelings rather than giving information and advice.
At first, my only motivation for making my decision to start living with zero waste was to stop the progress of environmental pollution, or at least stop being responsible for this destruction. That was the thought that drove me. I had a hard time, I researched a lot, I was very determined. Maybe I've only gone a few barley lengths, but I've made progress, and this seemingly small progress has had positive results that I never expected in my life.
I gave up sugar
During my exam weeks, the chocolates, wafers and biscuits I filled at home would overflow from the kitchen cabinets. On a normal day without an exam, I would eat at least 2 wafers. While watching movies/series, I wouldn't lose my favorite chips in front of me. Beyond the plastic problem, I had a seriously unhealthy snacking habit.
I never took these junk foods into account when I promised to stop consuming plastic, but I had a serious awareness in my first chocolate crisis. All the junk food was sold in plastic wrap! I wasn't going to break the promise I made to myself that "from today on, I will live without waste".
I tried to overcome the sweet crisis with dates, honey, fresh and dried fruits. I took a little tour of the neighborhood and found a spice shop selling open food products. I bought myself nuts and dried fruits (with the paper bags and jars I brought with me). I bought other cute little jars to take with me to school. It helped me a lot in both satisfying my snacking needs and suppressing my sweet cravings (especially dried figs and dried apricots are my favorites for sweet cravings).
When I feel the need to eat something, it is enough for me to pop two almonds and a walnut in my mouth and peel a tangerine, I look no further. Now I have more vitamins, protein, fiber and healthy fatty acids in my life and I no longer have any Chinese salt, glucose and fructose syrup in my life. My acne has reduced and my skin is brighter. Mentally, I feel like I've been cleansed.
My calorie intake has decreased!
You know junk food, the more you eat, the more you can eat. You eat a pack of biscuits, an hour later it's like you've never eaten. But the fruits are not like that; Thanks to the fibers in them, it saturates more quickly and does not allow you to overeat. It keeps you full in the long run, is beneficial to your body, and limits calorie intake.
I reduced my fast food consumption to zero because not only junk food, but also a whole world is served with single-use plastic. Therefore, since I quit plastic, there has been a serious improvement in my eating habits and I was able to achieve my calorie balance consistently for the first time.
I am free from poisons
The decision not to bring products containing microplastics and sold in plastic packaging into your home requires changing your cleaning habits as well. Whitening toothpastes, micro-particle detergents, dishwasher tablets and dishwashing liquids, products with microplastic boiling inside. You can never be sure that the dishes are completely free of these detergents, so you ingest detergent and microplastics every time you use the washed plates and glasses. Detergent residues left on the clothes cause allergies and itching on the skin, which is also one of the harms of the same toxic substances. I didn't realize how much trouble they gave me until I quit, I think the biggest benefit of zero waste life is that I have a non-toxic home in this way.
Now I only have the following products on my shelf of cleaning supplies: Olive oil soap, vinegar, baking soda, Arabian soap, they produce themselves from the olive oil they collect from their own olive trees. It is also sold in herbalists and spice shops in big cities, you just have to try to find the unpackaged one. Solid soap is enough for the dishes, it removes all the oil and rinses very easily. I can use it both by hand and in the dishwasher. I also put white vinegar in the dishwasher as a rinse aid, it provides both shine and disinfection. Even if the vinegar residue remains (which it does not), you are not afraid to swallow it because it is already consumed by adding to the food.
I usually make my own cleaning vinegar from fruit peels. It is not a very troublesome thing, I also use the fruit peels to prevent them from going to waste. I'm getting closer to zeroing my waste.
I can happily say that clothes don't make me itchy anymore, my skin doesn't turn red, I don't have to wear gloves while washing dishes because I don't use detergents that are full of chemicals that will damage my hands. After cleaning my house, my house smells like tangerine, not bleach (since I use tangerine peel in vinegar), I can comfortably inhale the smell of cleaning knowing that it will not burn my lungs.
My expenses have decreased
There was a huge cost difference between a self who makes his own yogurt, makes his own vinegar, does not use separate detergents for laundry, does not use separate detergents for dishes, does not treat drinking water, removes junk food from food expenses, and an old self who allocates separate funds for all these. Living with zero waste has contributed not only to the environment and my body, but also to my economy with the reduction of my expenses. At first, I bought new cloth bags, jars, thermoses with the leftover money, but now that I have completed all my zero waste materials, I save the extra money. In these days when the economy is pushing the pockets, it is really a luxury to be able to save. I am grateful every day to meet with zero waste.