Un-glamourizing Zero Waste

As a millennial, I have a guilty passion for Instagram. So, when I started my waste reduction journey, it quickly became one of my main sources of information. To me, waste reduction belonged to the broader minimalist movement. Getting rid of unused stuff, stopping buying things you will not use and reuse what you had seemed tinted with good old common sense. You know, the one our grandparents had? 

Even though the aesthetics of owning less seemed appealing to me, I soon fell into a pit of despair as I scrolled though kitchens with matching glass containers neatly stacked in a pristine white background. Every room in the house seemed to follow the same pattern: everything matching in a neat neutral background. 

uOttawa zero waste kitchen, jars, containers, cutlery
Thinking of taking my reusable water bottle is a real achievement, so attaining the zero-waste home was like walking on the moon. As I kept researching, the very idea of buying containers seemed to defeat the purpose of zero waste in the first place. Why would I buy stuff when the goal was to reduce my consumption? To have the matching soap dish and cutlery set? To get an inox container with little sections to put fruits I will not eat anyways? (I like smoothies better!). 

uOttawa, zero waste, kitchen, jars, containers

Funnily enough, the first of the concept in zero waste is “Refuse”. So, I refused the matching containers on the white background and embraced my messiness instead. I use a plastic box as a sponge holder, and I have mismatched containers that I sometimes fill with packaged food. Does it look good? Probably not. Is it ok? Yes, for it is better to do something than nothing at all.  

You don’t know where to begin your zero-waste journey? Here are the two things you should remember: be kind to yourself and stop buying sh*t you don’t need.  

~ justine lemoine – recycling coordinator 

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