Our March Guest Blog is from Ally in Church Village who shares these great top-tips for reducing your waste. You can follow her on Instagram
I’m originally from Perth, Australia and came to the UK on a Working Holiday Visa by myself and doing my own thing.
I have been living Zero Waste for around four years, I came across it on YouTube while renting a room in Victoria Park, Cardiff and now I’m married to a lovely Welshman, live in Church Village and adopt a mostly Vegan diet (I do eat vegetarian options from time to time).
My experience has been pretty good, it has had it’s challenges and moving from Cardiff to RCT has had its limits to what you can get package free when I first moved to Church Village in March 2018.
Since the concept has grown, many more people are aware of this topic and either know a bit about it or have adopted this lifestyle to the best they can. Businesses like No Waste Living and Truffles who are both based in the Talbot Green / Pontyclun area have been operating for a few years now.
My tips are:
1. Take baby steps:
-Think about the purchases you make, do you need that bag of bananas? when you can get them loose
-If you know someone already that is living this lifestyle, talk to them about their experiences
2. Start with simple small changes:
-Borrow books from your local Library (It’s free to join and they are operating during Covid)
-Look in your kitchen cupboards and draws and see what you have already, more than likely you won’t need to purchase items and if you do, see if you can source them free from someone you know or look at the second hand market, I have placed ads on Gumtree and Facebook Market giving away free plastic containers and or glass jars as my collection at times can grow and I find someone else may need them and this means they get reused again before being recycled or disposed of
(Once you have done the above, you can complete this with other areas of your home)
3. Do your research:
-When I moved to Church Village, I wanted to know what options I had to get ZeroWaste or minimally packaged items and came across businesses like Pete’s Shop and stalls in Ponty Market. Supermarkets are also a good help too yet supporting local is the better option when you can.
4. Think about what matters to you:
-I support organic and Fairtrade items as they mean something to me, find brands that match your ethics and values
-These items that I buy may cost more money yet I’m happy to spend money on items that have many benefits (As someone who doesn’t eat animal products and consumes animal by-products like milk, eggs and honey from time to time, my money has been shifted to purchasing organic and Fairtrade more often without affecting my budget)
5. Try not to feel guilty:
-Along this journey, you will probably feel guilty at some point, try not to do this. Our World is based on a consumerism economy and changing this to a circular economy will take time, your small changes do help and the longer you do this the better it gets
6. Track yourself:
-Use apps or pen and paper to record your changes and how it makes you feel, other benefits include feeling a sense of achievement, saving money, supporting things that matter to you and educating yourself in how you can make your home a better place to live
7. Support Network:
-Having a good support network is a great start, finding individuals and groups can be easy and challenging to find, with Social Media and the topic being more common it has been easier to have a support network
-My husband supports me in what I do, he partially participates in how we live, he is not Vegan or Vegetarian. We try and purchase his animal-based products in our own containers when we can and when this isn’t an option we look at reduced to clear, larger volumes, better sourced packaging like tinned and glassed items and also look at brands that use minimal packaging and have better ethics
-The changes my husband and I have made have rubbed off onto other people, this includes my in laws who now get their milk delivered in glass bottles instead of purchasing plastic bottles from the shops (The price of milk is a little more, the benefits though are you don’t have to leave the house, you can change your order within a short timeframe, payment is made every few weeks, your recycling bags don’t need to be placed out as often and you don’t make any unnecessary purchases
like you would at the Supermarket!)