Like Obelix, I became increasingly aware of my waste management when I had my first child.
I was already a fervent defender of the environment at the time, so the notion of sustainable development simply took on even more meaning with my child.
However, the only people who took the subject seriously were the Front commun d'une gestion écologique des déchets and Recyc-Québec.
The pressure of current information that comes to light provokes an understandable sense of urgency in many people.
Even though we've been hearing about the urgent need to act for several years now, many people don't know where to turn.
Many want to bring about change, but there are so many of them being brought to our attention that it's hard to get started.
Yes, it's important to encroach, yes, it's important to start now. But... one step at a time, every gesture counts.
So we breathe and choose a first gesture.
But how do you do it?
Easy, easy. We simply break it down into simple steps that we can integrate into our daily lives. Integrating a zero-waste lifestyle can be done without any major implications for our tumultuous lives in the 2000s.
Step 1 to a zero-waste lifestyle: choose a room
First, we're going to focus on the places where we generate the most waste, the most pollution.
To make life even easier, in the average home, the two rooms most likely to generate waste are the bathroom and the kitchen.
So we're going to target the room where we feel equipped to act, to change our behavior to become more consistent with our environment's ability to support us and future generations.
So you choose one of the two, either the kitchen or the bathroom.
Step 2 towards a zero-waste lifestyle: study yourself
Before taking action, we bring to our consciousness our daily habits that generate waste in the room we've chosen.
We don't need any extra time or energy to do this. We continue our life as we know it by observing ourselves.
We're going to observe everything we have that has a single or limited use. Most of the time, we're referring to everything that has to do with packaging, both when we buy it and for its practicality.
Step 3 towards a zero-waste lifestyle: we choose
In the observations of the second stage, there are certainly a multitude of things you could change.
A job well done can bring out a mountain of observations.
Once again, don't panic. This step is all about choosing ONE thing you're comfortable with and can change.
For example, if you've chosen the kitchen, it might be to stop using the plastic bags offered in the produce section of your grocery store. Or, if you've chosen the bathroom, your decision could be to find an alternative to the plastic shampoo bottle.
Just one thing you feel comfortable implementing a new strategy for.
Step 4 towards a zero-waste lifestyle: take action
Once you've decided on the habit you want to change, it's time to act. In any case, if you already have leftover shampoo or plastic wrap, you're not going to throw it away!
The idea here is not to get rid of something you already own. In fact, what you have left over can be used to find a replacement product or to integrate a new habit.
If we return to our examples, the plastic bag offered free in grocery stores for vegetables could be replaced by nothing at all or by a reusable vegetable bag, while bottled shampoo could be replaced by bulk liquid shampoo, allowing you to reuse your bottle, or shampoo in bars.
To find alternatives, you can browse the various websites specializing in zero waste and draw inspiration from them.
Fifth step towards a zero-waste lifestyle: give yourself time and the right to make mistakes
Like a child learning to walk, we give ourselves the right to fall.
Some people say it takes between 10 and 21 consecutive days to fully integrate a change of habit. So, we're allowed to forget our vegetable bags... the important thing is to persevere.
Sixth step towards a zero-waste lifestyle: back to step 3.
Once our new habit has been integrated into our daily lives and we're comfortable with it, we return to step 3 to choose the next aspect to introduce into our daily lives.
A little free advice: if the members of your household don't follow suit at the same pace as you, you can continue on your way. This way, you'll serve as a role model, and we need a lot of them!
We've also written an interactive list of complementary ecological habits. You can get it for free by clicking here. It sometimes happens that automated sending doesn't work. Check your spam first, and if it's not there, send us an e-mail.