You’re Doing It Wrong: The Zero Waste Community Was Never About Being Perfect

The zero waste movement has been gaining momentum in recent years, with more and more people looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint and live more sustainably. However, as the movement has grown, it has also become increasingly associated with a sense of perfectionism and judgment. In this article, we’ll explore the origins of the zero waste movement and why the focus on perfection is misguided.

The Roots of the Zero Waste Movement

The zero waste movement began in the 1980s, when a man named Paul Palmer, who was working at a landfill in California, noticed that the vast majority of the waste he was seeing could be easily reused or recycled. He began to advocate for a more circular economy, where resources were used and reused rather than being discarded.

This idea was picked up by others, including a woman named Bea Johnson, who began blogging about her own efforts to reduce her waste in 2007. Her blog, called Zero Waste Home, quickly gained popularity and helped to spread the message of the zero waste movement.

The Problem with Perfectionism

As the zero waste movement has grown, it has also become increasingly associated with a sense of perfectionism. In many cases, people who are new to the movement feel pressure to be perfect in their waste reduction efforts, and are made to feel guilty or ashamed if they don’t meet this impossible standard.

But this focus on perfection is misguided. The goal of the zero waste movement is not to be perfect, but to reduce our waste as much as possible and to shift towards a more circular economy. It’s important to remember that every little bit helps, and that even small changes can make a big impact.

The Importance of Progress, Not Perfection

It’s important to focus on progress, not perfection, when it comes to reducing our waste. Every time we make a conscious choice to reduce our waste, we’re taking a step in the right direction. It’s also important to remember that progress is not a linear process – there will be setbacks and mistakes along the way. But that’s okay. The important thing is to keep moving forward.

Simple Steps to Get Started with Zero Waste

If you’re new to the zero waste movement, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. But there are simple steps you can take to get started.

  • Bring your own reusable bags, containers, and utensils when you go shopping or out to eat.
  • Say no to single-use plastics, such as straws and disposable coffee cups.
  • Compost your food scraps.
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging waste.
  • Support companies that have sustainable practices.
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The zero waste movement is about reducing our waste and shifting towards a more circular economy. It’s not about being perfect, and it’s important to remember that progress, not perfection, is what’s important. By taking small steps to reduce our waste, we can make a big impact.

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