One Bag Wonder

How to Reduce Your Waste & Have More Family Time

gathering silverbeet

What is the one thing you had more of in life? For me it is time. Time is the one thing you cannot get more of. Even the richest people in the world can’t buy time. My babies are growing up so fast and I know the years are just going to fly by. So I want to make the most of these precious years before I become “uncool” and lose my unlimited supply of hugs.

Going zero waste doesn’t have to be a burden that sucks up more of your time. in fact, it can actually help you to gain more time with your family, and bring you closer together. My kids love joining in and helping me fight the war against plastic. And there are so many ways kids and your other half can join in. I will admit, zero won’t always save you time, but any extra time you spend going zero waste, can be an enjoyable activity to do with someone else. And you know what, if you don’t enjoy it and it isn’t saving you time, maybe you should just focus on other things you can do that better suit your lifestyle.

Some of the fun things I love doing with my kids, in particular, involve jars, worms, baking, gardening or DIY. They just love coming to the bulk food store with me and helping me to fill up the jars we brought from home. Especially if they get to fill a jar with their choice of treat at the end.

And the worms! The worms (in our worm farm) are like pets to them. They serve so many purposes those worms! Archer just loves collecting up the food scraps and taking them out to feed the worms. Yesterday I showed him a whole lot of baby worms that had hatched and he was so excited. His exact reaction was… “Awwww they’re so cute”!

What kid can resist licking the bowl after a batch of cookies goes in the oven? Archer says he loves baking, and he does kinda help mix the ingredients up (more of an explosion) but I’m sure he just does it so he can lick the bowl at the end. Sometimes he can’t even wait until then though, he just wants to eat handfuls of brown sugar as I roll my eyes and eventually tell him no.

I don’t know if you saw the latest photo of my veggie garden, but Archer excitedly helped me plant most of those little seedlings. I am hoping in time they will actually save me many trips to the veggie shop because once they all start growing food, I don’t think we will be able to keep up! Maybe some will have to go to the community food bank.

Every kid loves creating things. At Christmas time, we cut up some old fabric and made it into wrapping paper. We cut some old potatoes into star and Christmas tree shapes used them to stamp paint all over the fabric. Archer loved that project so much. And the recipients loved the creative wrapping too!

But what can truly save you time?

Less trips to the shop. As I just said, when you become more self-sufficient, you save yourself a lot of trips to the grocery shop. Therefore you save your sanity if you have young kids.

Bulk buying. It’s not only growing your own vegetables that can save you time but buying food in bulk, so you are purchasing each item less frequently. I Buy 5kg bags of flour and rice, which saves on packaging, and saves me time on buying more because I don’t run out nearly as often.

Almost no rubbish bags to put out. Because we have only put out one rubbish bag this year, we don’t even have to think about collecting up rubbish bags around the house to add to the main rubbish bag, to then put out on the street first thing in the morning to reduce the chances of wandering animals shredding it into a million pieces, leaving a rubbish explosion all over the street.

Men, you may want to skip this paragraph. But ladies, having a menstrual cup can be a lifesaver in many ways. Not only do you not have to buy tampons, but it is always there! You never have to rush to the store because aunt flow arrived unannounced. Nope, your trusty cup has always got your back.

Buying less stuff. Just lately I have been doing Joshua Becker’s Uncluttered course and questioning everything we buy. Turns out most of the stuff I buy we can actually do without. This actually saves me so much time browsing online or in physical shops. And saves me money! It helped that I started clearing out my house and getting rid of the clutter. It makes me very critical of anything I buy because I don’t want the clutter to return. Turns out all I needed to do was tell myself, “you don’t need anything more”.

So honestly, some parts of going zero waste probably take up more of your time. But to me, those things can be fun activities that I can share with my family. If you want to start on your zero waste journey, but you seriously have no time to spare, there are things you can do that do not take up any more, or any less time, like buying a bamboo toothbrush instead of a plastic one. It’s ok for zero waste to be different for everyone. The changes you make may be different to the changes I make, and that’s ok. At the end of the day, if you are reading this, you probably care about the earth and are motivated to do something to stop so much rubbish going to the landfill. And for that, I am proud of you.

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