Despite our continuous love affair for them, going zero waste is more than refusing plastic bags and shopping at your local farmers markets. Getting good with Mother Earth, unexpectedly and consequently means getting good with yourself!
Yes. You read that right! There are some serious, odd but rad benefits that translate into real life skills that is worth talking about.
Zero waste encourages people to refuse and reduce the amount of waste they generate. Taking on this lifestyle requires greater awareness of our own self in order to look below the surface. You naturally become more aware or mindful of your surroundings and the people in it. You are also forced to be aware of your own habits, choices and intentions.
Awareness is important because when we have a better understanding of ourselves, we are able to experience ourselves as unique and separate individuals. We are then empowered (yeah, baby!) to make changes and to build on our areas of strength as well as improve where we need to.
Since going zero waste and letting go of clutter, I've had more time to stop and appreciate nature. It's all I'm seeing lately! I have to say that our home is so beautiful! To me, the greatest joy and sense of wonder flows from being more aware and open to the beauty, power, intricacy, and magnificent abundance of our Earth.
You might not think this is related but hear me out! Zero waste is also about going against default and conventional society, and, whether you’re a confident person or not, it takes guts to go against the grain.
Imagine this: You’re walking into a new cafe or store, eco bag ready and armed with your food container, drink flask, and reusable straw. Before you even try to decide what to order, you start questioning everything: Will people judge me? What if they reject my container? Do I accept food in a plastic tub or simply leave the line?
When you are trying to live a life out of the norm, you run into a lot of fear of rejection, fear of standing out, or fear of being judged. Then, after all that self-riddled anxiety, you have to dig deep for the confidence you didn’t know you had, to convey that this is the norm. AND dude. It’s the coolest thing in the world!
This new found confidence surprisingly shines in other aspects of my life. Getting out of your comfort zone from time to time creates just enough good stress to ramp up your focus, creativity, pace, and drive, and it helps you respond to life stress when unexpected things happen.
When going zero waste, I'm sure you would not think your communication skills are going to improve, but they will!
When you authentically live your values, which involves doing things slightly out of the ordinary, people will come up and talk to you and you’re your communication skills are put to the test.
To communicate well is to understand, and be understood. Explaining why you don’t want plastic and preaching zero waste is not an easy task. Each time it happens, you get a bit more clever and creative so that the message gets across without it being too much.
This is a conversation that we want to keep having after all! Communication is a skill, and we all know that practice makes perfect!
Have you noticed other benefits during your Zero Waste journey?