Why did I start this lifestyle?
Honestly, the beginning of my life Zero Waste was an act of pure curiosity. I wanted to know if I could really change my own habits and reconfigure my head to be more aware of what I was consuming. All my life, and especially in the last five years, after a career in ecology and several projects dedicated to environmental conservation, I know that this is my “project”. That the latent theme of the world that synchronized with me was the environment. For years I thought that what I did and the few things that had changed in my routine made a significant difference in the problem, but it was not until I crossed paths with the Zero Waste that I realized that there is always more to do.
It started as a week-long experiment, where I read like crazy, I tried to understand every detail of what this challenge would present to me, and exactly everything that would have to change me to achieve it. I started by changing my toothbrush, simple. After so much information I knew that the process would not be easy, so I went to the less risky side. But on the fourth day I got bored, I felt it was much more layers, and that’s where I realized that if I did not try the things that scared me the most from the beginning, I would never try them. And without wanting to lose the trip, I spent a whole day in my kitchen preparing toothpaste, deodorant, cream and Zero Waste shampoo. The next day I had to go buy food, So I took my cloth covers (the pillowcases of my house) and went to buy everything I could find without packaging. I discovered that when I started with those four basic things, my “elementary purchases” significantly reduced their price. At that time, I lived alone and obviously I did not have to buy much, but it opened my eyes to understand that I can live my life the same, or even better without having to acquire so many things, and while generating much less trash. Simple. Easy. Cleansed.
It started as an experiment, and now it has become my modus operandi. My way of thinking has changed completely, it’s like having my eyes opened to a million things I’d never seen before. I am aware all the time of what I use, of what people around me use, of how the products I used to buy are presented, and I am constantly trying to find an alternative to that problem. It forces me to be creative because there is not always the most obvious alternative but having to look for the next best option is a challenge that I love. Completely becoming Zero Waste is a challenge. It does not happen overnight, especially if we live with more people, or we are badly used to using a thousand different products for each thing. I’m definitely not 100% Zero Waste … yet.
Purpose of Upcycle Mind
I now want to create a community that values simplicity and manages to create a lifestyle that goes beyond impulsive consumption. Create a greater awareness about the consequences of the waste patterns of our world and how to contribute to change them. Read about my learning at my website.
Victoria Chiriboga, Quito, Ecuador, founder Upcycle Mind