Yes? That is the same, initial feeling I had - the more I researched about going waste free, the more I learned that there was so much more I could be doing, and it all just becomes a bit overwhelming. So overwhelming that it sometimes seems easier to bury our head in the sand and let someone else worry about it.
But it's okay – you're not alone, we are here to inspire you and help each other out along the way, and to let you know that every little bit you do does make a difference. By making a conscious effort to reduce our waste we are leading by example, which helps inspire others. As a consumer we are also letting companies know that this is what we want, forcing them to take notice and change their ways for the better. Through these actions it will become normal, making it easier for everyone to live more sustainably.
I found the best way was to start small, develop a habit and grow from there. For me the biggest issue was plastic. Almost all the plastic ever made still exists today, and it takes thousands of years to break down, into smaller pieces of plastic. It never really goes away! So, for me it made sense to start there. Through research and other eco-friendly advocates, I identified several plastic products that are the main contributors to plastic pollution. With a few small changes in my daily habits, I could cut these main contributors out of my life:
From these four options, pick one you want to cut out of your life and own it! There will be times along the way where you forget or can’t be bothered but that’s ok. This is a process and it won’t happen overnight. It will soon become a habit and so natural you don’t even think about it. When you feel ready, start reducing other things and before you know it you'll be plastic free.
Two years ago, I replaced disposable coffee cups with a reusable one. There were a few mishaps along the way of course which made me feel guilty, but before long it was habit. Two years later and now I take my reusable coffee cup with me where ever I go - if I do forget it, I will either go without coffee (I know, sounds impossible right, but its better than creating more waste!) or have coffee in at a cafe, which can actually be a really nice start to the day!
I now bring very little plastic into my life and it has been a long but rewarding journey to get here. The key is to remember that it is a process, it takes time and it's ok if you forget every now and then - we're all human. Everything you do still makes a difference and what you are doing is also inspiring others to make a positive change. There are many people out there sharing their journey to inspire, motivate and help us along the way.