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My two most impactful changes for living zero-waste

My two changes for living sustainably

One of the questions I was asked recently was ‘what are the two most impactful changes you’ve made’ and I thought I would share my answer with you all! 

We have to keep in mind that this will be different for everyone – my answers might not resonate with you, or might not apply to you and that’s OK. We all live such different lives, have different priorities, and different options available to us.

So for me, the two most impactful habits I’ve made are: reusable menstrual products and being kind to myself.

 

Sustainable period products 

Organi Cups sit on a table with their cardboard packaging

I never liked using tampons and pads, and until 2014 I didn’t know there were other options out there! In 2014 I made the switch to a menstrual cup and it honestly changed my life. After 4 cycles I was saving money (the menstrual cup at the time cost me $40 and I was spending at least $15 on tampons each cycle), I learned more about my cycle and my body than I did before, and was no longer every scrambling to find tampons! 

Now I mostly just use period underwear, and again it’s such a game changer. I love being in control of my cycle and knowing my flow.

 

Changing my mindset

When I first started out on my zero-waste (or low-waste) journey, I would be so mean to myself and really get myself down if I made any mistakes. Working at my old job teaching sailing, parents would bring me coffee sometimes and I would accept it but then get so angry at myself for having used that disposable cup. This isn’t a productive or healthy mindset, and not a sustainable one either!

Every piece of garbage I walked past that I wasn’t able to pick up would haunt me and I would beat myself up for not picking it up. But it isn’t possible or realistic to pick up every single piece of garbage out there. 

So a big shift, and this happened through COVID, was learning to be OK, that I’m not perfect, that I will create waste, and that it is OK.

This is a principle that I apply to my friends and family (not judging them and getting mad at them for the choices they make) but it was a hard one to apply to myself! 

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