The 60’s and 70’s had the novelty of plastics, the 80’s had big business and ‘greed was good’, the 90’s was all about having it all and the 2000’s was embracing globalisation. Now, in the aftermath of exponential growth and extreme consumption of resources, it’s time for people to embrace the zero waste movement. This slower, less convenient lifestyle is hitting the breaks on the so called progress of the last half century and bringing it all back to basics.
To survive we are going to need to move from a mindset of excess to necessity. What fuelled the belief that greed was good and plastic was fantastic? How did we get from the war years of conservation and community to ‘Treat yo self’? It is easy to see that one single industry is responsible…marketing. Mass messages that reach multiple generations. For all the green washing that the environmental movement is given, it promotes an anti-establishment way of thinking that allows people to see past the glossy adverts and celebrity endorsements. It reminds us to question why?
What fuelled the belief that greed was good and plastic was fantastic? How did we get from the war years of conservation and community to ‘Treat yo self’?
Having to find a way to cook without the use of plastic packaging requires kitchen skills that may have been forgotten. Making things from scratch and modifying recipes is a daily requirement. As is looking for alternatives to big supermarkets and their love of the single use, plastic bag. Understanding the value of what used to be seen as waste, such as kitchen scraps and recyclable materials.
I was concerned about how much extra time and money it would take to live this way. What I realise now is that before, I was wasting my time and money on unnecessary things. I am happier, richer and have more time than ever since I have learned the value of happiness, wealth and time.
For anyone thinking of making some zero waste changes in their lives my advice to you is start slow, make changes as needed, and decide what is worthy of your time.