Today we spoke to George, new to the scene of living zero waste and already he’s growing masses amounts of his own food in his garden and allotment, reducing his need to buy plastic wrapped produce.
George is 24 years old from Ivybridge, Devon and has taken his new year resolution to make changes to his attitude towards the environment and plastic to heart after starting January 1st 2018.
He’s kindly answered some questions that will hopefully inspire you to make headway on changing your habits and explain how he became inspired to go more zero waste.
George, zero waste is growing movement and a new concept to most, so what does being zero waste mean to you?
To me zero waste means living in a way [simply] that produces no waste through buying and consuming products
Was there any person or moment in particular that you remember which inspired you to start changing your habits or that altered your beliefs and priorities?
Having travelled part of Asia for two and a half months, seeing the effects of industrial and lifestyle waste – more specifically plastic, I returned home wanting to do more.
I had met people whose lives had been destroyed because of the likes of; plastic pollution, chemical use in farming, production of packaging and realised our impact from the western world is huge. With our education systems, money, science and understanding I have been left wondering why aren’t we doing more? Laziness, attitude towards others [and] our environment?
I don’t know if I will ever know but if I can do my bit for my conscious and inspire others along the way, then maybe we can combat our plastic pollution habits and put pressure on the big brands to make changes also.
Since making the decision to reduce your waste and live a more zero waste lifestyle, has it been difficult?
Yes and no. It’s a learning curve and starting out is difficult. I am far from completely plastic free but every time I reduce plastic consumption in one way or another, is another battle won.
Supermarkets are doing better with fruit and vegetable products but I’ve found shopping locally in butchers, natural food shops and the like, is a lot easier to find plastic free products.
Going back to old systems like using soap to wash and having a milkman who delivers in glass bottles (luckily also does fresh bread, butter [etc]) helps.
It takes more time, which i imagine for a lot of people is hard, but hopefully this will put more pressure on supermarkets
Do you think that living more zero waste is a financial burden or issue?
At the moment yes, but the tide is slowly changing!
What changes were the easiest to make do you think?
Non processed food products by an absolute country mile!
On that note, what changes were, or possibly still are the most difficult?
Meat products are hard, as my local butchers and in supermarkets sometimes refuse to wrap in anything other than plastic, and giving meat over the counter without any covering is frowned upon.
Buying clothes also, as the majority use plastic in tags and as a material
What inspires you to keep going the most despite these difficulties?
The environment and the ecosystems within, future family and keeping where we live as beautiful as it can be and is!
Have you started anything on the back of becoming zero waste and as part of your journey?
I run a social media page (Instagram – @greenfingeredg) where I show small changes I make which I believe normal ordinary busy people can do
What benefits have you personally found from living a more zero waste lifestyle?
I have met a whole host of amazing people on the internet because of it. I have also found that I have a new outlook on the life I live, and I enjoy the battle with zero waste. It is genuinely challenging but hugely rewarding
George that’s amazing to hear and so glad that it’s given you such a positive outlook and lease on life while doing so much good for the planet! One last question to help our readers, especially those who are new to zero waste – what would be your best tips for them?
Don’t try going t-total, all or nothing. Start off small with food and target a new change every week or month. Remember, every item which is waste free is a battle won.
Also, if you’ve had a bad day, week or month, don’t give up, don’t be disheartened – get back on track and keep making small changes which allow you to do what you want when you want to do it.
We’d like to thank George again for giving us his time to talk to us! If you’d like to follow George on Instagram and see what he gets up to (he also has the cutest puppy called Flo!) you can follow him here @greenfingeredg
Keep checking back here for the next interview with more zero waste heroes leading the way and keeping you right on how you can make more zero waste changes in your life.
Have you thought about growing your own but don’t know where to start? Do you think that you don’t have enough space to grow? Have a look at our blog post ‘How to grow your own plastic free herbs and vegetables with little space’
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