Can you go zero waste?

Zero Waste

Reading time: 12 min

Have you ever thought about being planet conscious?

What it has to do with being a kite girl?

Spending a lot of time on the beach and in the water, whether is kiting surfing, or snorkeling and the truth is the amount of trash I´ve seen and keep on seeing both on the beach and in the water makes me feel incredibly useless. 

I´m not going to stay here to tell you the 1000 times I felt deeply angry and sad in finding remote and desert beautiful places covered by human trash. Because you’ll think I’m very boring, it’s an uncomfortable truth that most want to avoid or think it’s a reality too far away and you don’t feel connected. I get it, I mean… after all, why should you care about a remote beach in Guatemala?  

So when you travel a lot you see a lot of crazy situations bad and good, as they say, traveling opens your mind and soul. 

See that plastic thingy hanging from my wetsuit?

And when you travel, you get to know new people and the beautiful thing is that some of them will inspire you and elevate you. 

My ex-partner was a “planet-conscious freak”, I loved him so much for this because he challenged my consumeristic approach to life. Just to give you the idea he became vegetarian, quitted drinking, and started meditating just after we got married… THAT WAS A TRAP!!!! Eheheh jokes aside he started a journey around self-discovery, consciousness, and meditation that elevated both of us, me as a follower. If it wasn’t for him, the current version of Gio would not exist so I owe him a lot! 

I used to buy a lot of useless things, clothes and shoes – omg I had sooo many pair of shoes – and buy all sorts of food in any shape and form depending on what I wanted to eat no matter if it came from New Zealand, or was processed food plenty of chemicals or wrapped in 200 layers of plastic… as long as it was tasty I would buy it!

Of course, living with somebody who embraces the cause of a conscious living, that makes his goal to reduce his footprint impact is no piece of cake believe me. We were buying mostly locally produced products (imagine that on an island where everything is imported from the USA…) we were both vegetarians back then, clothes shopping was reduced to the bare minimum, we started to live a minimalistic life. We were full of experiences and low in material things. 

I remember he ”brainwashed” me with love for the planet, that each time I would go grocery shopping when I wanted to buy a product I would think “Would Dani buy this?” And in my mind, his first reaction was a no go eheheh

People like Dani are essential because they help the change by supporting their cause even for the others. If I have to be completely honest, once we decided to split ways I went banana and forgot for a while to be planet conscious. It was an easy life again! Because let’s be honest, living a planet-conscious life is no joke. It’s way easier not to think about how much waste we are generating every single day. We live a life where if something breaks it’s easier to throw it away and replace it with a new one than repair it. We got used to buying processed food rather than raw local ingredients and cook by ourselves. Our fruit and vegetables now are coming from the other side of the world. And we are preferring quantity over quality. This brings us to generate a bizillion tons of waste. 

All the trash I create now!!!

So I went banana on waste life, and then, the little planet conscious Gio came to knock at the door because she was feeling more and more guilty. She remembered all those beautiful places she saw full of trash. All those white sand beaches and river canyons full of waste, the reefs dying, the kids playing in streets covered with trash. All things she saw with her own eyes. To not talk about the gigantic island made of trash in the middle of the ocean, I only saw videos of that but it was enough.

And right at this moment when I felt I needed a guide, life wanted me to cross paths with Alice, one of the founders of an Italian organization called INSPIRE. Alice explained to me that the real issue here is not using less plastic, the real issue is the amount of waste we generate which it’s increasing each year more. This is becoming unsustainable and lots of countries are struggling in dealing with this issue.

Click to check their website

So what can we do? We can be more conscious about our purchases!

Alice told me, every time you buy something you should ask yourself 3 questions:

  1. Do I really need it? 
  2. If yes, is there an alternative with less packaging/waste products? 
  3. Can I improve the quality of this purchase by substituting it with a product that would be more sustainable and durable, which would not become useless within a short amount of time, forcing me to buy a new one? 

If we could apply this to most of our purchases I bet it would reduce quite a lot the amount of the things we would buy and mostly we might not going for the first option, training our brains to do a more conscious purchase.

Talking with Alice we immediately clicked and we similarly see things and I guess meeting Inspire was the awakening call I was looking for to go back to a more conscious life.

We are teaming up with Inspire to create awareness about Zero Waste, because sometimes we think the change needs to be big but in reality, we can start to change small habits and be more impactful! 

That’s why each month Inspire will propose a Zero Waste Challenge, we will launch it with a LiveVideo on Instragram, and the challenge will last for 21 days. Which apparently is the time we need to change a habit!

During these 21 days, I´ll keep you posted on how it is going through my daily stories. The fun fact is that all the challenges are secret and I´ll get to know them live together with you! 

Would love for you to participate in the challenges and share how it’s going! You can use #InspireChallenge so that we can interact with your content! And don´t forget to tag us in your stories @lagiokite @inspire.ecoparticipation

On the Mondayy 31st of May at 19:30 Rome time via Instagram Live we´ll launch the first challenge so stay tuned to get to know what’s cooking!

CHECK THE ZERO WASTE GUIDE AND RATE YOURSELF!

In the meantime Inspire asked me to do an assessment of my Zero Waste level so that they can be as creative as they can to make my life impossible eheheh

Here’s a nice exercise for you as well, rate yourself from 0 to 10 how much of the following points are already in your routine. 0 being something you don’t do and 10 something you definitely do.

You can find the full version of the Zero Waste Guide by clicking here

GENERAL SUGGESTIONS

General suggestions: the easy ones 🙂

Be mindful of how we move around  Adopt the transportation that has the least impact on the environment

I´m rating myself 8/10 – I mostly move around walking, however as soon as I need to go out of El Medano I need to take a car as public transport is not really well connected in the island

Reduce buying online products, especially on big e-commerce and mostly it would be way better to buy local!

I´m rating myself 5/10 – Living on an island far away from everything it’s quite difficult to find some products!!! I can definitely buy more local products!

Let’s meditate 

I´m rating myself 1/10 – Is kiting meditating? I really can’t meditate or I really never put my mind into it… I prefer meditation in sport!

Repairing instead of rebuying

I´m rating myself 7/10 – I try to repair all things that I can!

Let’s not blow it all up in…smoke!  

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Oh yeah! I don’t smoke cigarettes!!!

GROCERY SHOPPING AND OTHER PURCHASES 

Local purchases

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I used to go more often to the market … I definitely can do better!

Reusable bags and nets for groceries and all kinds of purchases

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I forget a lot the reusable bags… I´m terrible! 

Package-free and on-tap products

I´m rating myself 1/10 – Omg this can be brought to another level!

FOOD 

Eliminate single-use plastic bottles

I´m rating myself 5/10 – I now buy 2 bottles a month… but in Tenerife, we need to buy gallons of water for the house

Plan your meals and food shopping

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I usually prepare my meals but sometimes I still go grocery shopping last minute

Adopt a Zero Waste kind of diet (local products, seasonal ingredients, vegetarian diet)

I´m rating myself 4/10 – omg I used to do all of this.. now it’s food madness

Waste oil

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yess I put waste oils in glass jars and periodically dispose of it at a nearby drop-off point!

Moka machine and reusable pods

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yesss I use a Moka!

IN THE KITCHEN

On-tap and DIY detergents

I´m rating myself 0/10 – nope I usually buy them at the supermarket

 Cloth napkins and reusable tableware

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I only have the reusable tableware

Loofah sponges

I´m rating myself 0/10 – omg I use normal sponges!

 Eliminate plastic and aluminum foil

I´m rating myself 6/10 – Yesss I usually use jars 

BODYCARE AND PERSONAL HYGIENE

Soap bars soaps on tap

I´m rating myself 5/10 – mmmmmmm I buy quite some normal soaps in plastic bottles BAD GIO

 Diy toothpaste and deodorant Cotton swabs

I´m rating myself 7/10 – I have a crystal deodorant and reusable cotton swab but the toothpaste?!? Can you DIY?!?

 Toothbrushes

I´m rating myself 0/10 – I used to have bamboo ones now I went back to the normal plastic ones!

For women, the Menstrual Cup

I´m rating myself 10/10 – BEST PRODUCT EVER!

HOUSEHOLD

Turn the tap off instead of having it uselessly run when we wash something

I´m rating myself 6/10 -Maybe guilty a little bit

Turn off the lights when nobody is in the room

I´m rating myself 3/10 -yup I’m one of those people

 Choose a fan instead of an AC

I´m rating myself 10/10 -I hate the AC!!!

Sweep the floor with a broom instead of using the vacuum cleaner 2 out of 3 times

I´m rating myself 2/10 – Come on the vacuum cleaner is so easy to use!!!

Hang clothes to dry instead of using electric dryers

I´m rating myself 10/10 – YESSSSS! Also, I don’t iron them so I need to properly hang them!

Don’t charge electronic devices more than necessary

I´m rating myself 10/10 – Yess I’m very careful because otherwise, you risk ruining the battery as well!

HOME HYGIENE

On-tap and homemade detergents

I´m rating myself 0/10 – ok ok definitely can improve this!

 Transform Old sheets, towels, and cloths to clean

I´m rating myself 6/10 – I’m on a good way there

Reusable garbage bags

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Wait what the hell?!?!?!

CLOTHING

No fast fashion

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty

Swap and borrow

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty

Repair

I´m rating myself 3/10 – My grandma taught me a lot!

No online shopping

I´m rating myself 0/10 – Guilty

OUTSIDE, TRAVELLING, AND OUTDOORS

Let’s be mindful of how we move around

I´m rating myself 7/10 – yesss I´m kinda

Reusable water bottle

I´m rating myself 8/10 – almost 85% of the days!

Carry your own Zero Waste meal

I´m rating myself 7/10 – could do it more often!

Reusable cutlery kit, sporks, and cotton napkin

I´m rating myself 8/10 – Missing this napkin thingy!

Straws

I´m rating myself 10/10 – No straws please indeed! I even bought the metal ones just in case!

Leave no trace

I´m rating myself 10/10 – I usually bring back all my trash and if I found more I´ll throw it away too

GARDENING

Stock rainwater

I´m rating myself 0/10 – it doesn’t rain in Tenerife 

Grow your own food

I´m rating myself 1/10 – I grew tomatoes!

 Natural and homemade pesticides and remedies

I´m rating myself 7/10 – yess I try to!

Composting

I´m rating myself 0/10 – not doing this currently!

PRESENTS PARTIES AND FESTIVITIES

Party rentals and cutlery

I´m rating myself 8/10 – whenever I’m organizing a dinner at home I use normal dishes

No balloons and lanterns

I´m rating myself 9/10 – No no no 

 DIY decorations

I´m rating myself 10/10 – I don’t decorate so it’s easier eheheheh

 Sustainable wrappings

I´m rating myself 8/10 – yes I try to

DIY presents

I´m rating myself 2/10 – mmmmm I tried once and I sucked so I went back to normal presents

AT WORK

Zero Waste procedures and policies (Before printing a document, let’s ask ourselves if we truly need to – make our own personal notebooks, agendas, and calendars – reduce the use of technology to only what’s needed)

I´m rating myself 0/10 – I’m kind of a tech freak….

Carry your own meal and snacks

I´m rating myself 6/10 – still missing some days but getting there!

 No vending machines

I´m rating myself 10/10 – we don´t have Vending machines at the beach!

ECO PARENTS

Uuuuuuufff I don’t have kids! But for the ones who have them 🙂

Washable diapers

 Second-hand objects, clothes, and accessories

 No single-dose

 Percarbonate and baking soda instead of detergents Biodegradable wipes only when necessary 

PETS

Don’t have pets but if you do:

Biodegradable bags for poop 

DIY Treats and toys 

Food in bulk or homemade 

You can find the full guide with lots of explanations and details here https://inspire-ecoparticipation.com/en/zero-waste-guide/

Do you want to be part of the change?

On Monday the 31st at 19:30 we´ll launch (via instragram Live) the first challenge that will run from the 1st of June till the 21st. Are you ready for it? I definitely am!

Follow INSPIRE https://www.instagram.com/inspire.ecoparticipation/

One thought on “Can you go zero waste?

  1. Ciao, mi chiamo Claudia Leonardi sono di Vicenza, mi piace molto parlare di zero sprechi che io traduco ; vivere in modo essenziale, io sto lavorando a un progetto di mobilita sostenibile con lo scopo di trasformare il traffico automobilistico in una grande rete fi trasporto collettivo per dare valore sociale ed ambientale a un problema di grande impatto.
    Mi piacerebbe parlarne con voi .

    Like

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