15 August 2016

Living like things don't exist

We've developed a bit of a habit in our family, of living like certain things don't exist. It began with choosing to have our second baby at home. Later, we decided to home educate our owlets and, through our school-free adventures, we gradually forgot school was such a big part life for so many. Living without it quickly became so normal for us, we were surprised every time the school holidays happened and there were children everywhere again!

We applied the same thinking when we decided to try living waste-free. Initially for a short time, we removed the option of single-use products in our world. And so they ceased to exist for us. Plastic bags, bottled drinks, straws and disposable cups just disappeared from our line of vision, unless we had to refuse them. Suddenly, supermarkets weren't part of our weekly shopping trip and our view of what was necessary in our daily lives changed. 

After a short while, the plastic and waste around us everywhere became overwhelming. We were horrified at the amounts of plastic we saw in the street, at the shops, out and about. It's everywhere! We couldn't help but see it, and we wondered if the game of pretending that we played, of living like things don't exist, was a game everyone else played too, but in reverse. Instead of seeing waste, they saw products they couldn't do without. People could see the value in products that were useful to them in the short-term, but not their legacy. We had once been blind to the amount of waste we generated. Our bin was once full every week and it wasn't a problem for us. The rubbish truck would take it away and it wouldn't exist in our world anymore. Only it did, and it does. It will for many generations to come.

For us, it was surprising just how quickly we adapted to a world where single-use plastics and products don't exist. We started to always remember our water bottles, remember shopping bags, coffee cups and straws if we thought we'd need them. Even the owlets were totally on board with it... And so zero waste life became very achievable. There are still a couple of things we'd like to remove from our realm of options - they're a work in progress. Some are used based on their ability to compost in our garden, or fill our bellies in a way that works for us right now. For now, we are comfortable with them, but I'm interested to see how we go down the track.

Feel like playing along with us? We have a Facebook group called Zero Waste Tasmania where we run these weekly challenges for people to pretend single-use things don't exist for a week each. 

It can be fun to test the boundaries of what you're comfortable sometimes and seeing things from a different perspective, don't you think? 

~ Lauren. xx


  1. Such a good idea Lauren! Do you accept non-Tasmanians to your FB group? I'd love to join!

  2. I am trying to far more mindful of the waste that we generate. Posts like yours remind me that we have a long way to go, and that it's really all about the mind set.
    I also have a very beautiful just turned 4 year old little boy who is autistic. He is due to begin school in 2018 and that is scary times for us. While he's little we can protect him from cruelty and downright ignorance, from adults, not just children, so homeschooling and particularly unschooling has taken our interest.
    Thanks for your post :)
    Dani @ sand has no home

  3. I really loved this Lauren and can completely relate to the idea of living like things don't exist. TV and supermarkets and packaged food disappear from our awareness and just like you I'm shocked to occasionally discover that those things are huge or essential parts of many people's lives still. I'm mindful of waste in many ways, but we have plenty of distance still to go. Every step counts though, and I love that you are encouraging your community with weekly challenges to try zero waste living. Sometimes the scope of the problem feels overwhelming, but it's people like you that really make a difference. Go you! :-)

  4. You are so right. I also think that people live like things don't exist, like plastic pollution in oceans, toxins in our water systems, corporations that buy rights to water, global warming, antibiotics in our meat...just to name a few. It's not a pretty picture when you take in the true path of the world, but we need to open our eyes and implement change, just as you are doing!

  5. I love your perspective of living like they don't exist. Fo so much of humanity these wasteful things DIDN'T exist. We need to go back to that time and remember what life was without them. I'd love to see your posts on #WasteLessWednesday blog hop! Next one opens on Wednesday! http://www.skipthebag.com/search/label/Waste%20Less%20Wednesday


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