At this time in my life I feel secure and stable. I have a career in education and a house with plenty of yard and garden space. My husband supports me in the choices I make; he also makes changes with me. I feel that this combination has allowed me to pursue goals and a lifestyle that takes more discipline, but ultimately is more satisfying.

For many years I have made my own beauty products such as essential oil perfumes, oil cleansers, muscle rubs, lip balm, and moisturizers. This led me to discovering even more simplistic and natural beauty routines. I happened upon blogs of people living waste free lifestyles and I thought that was a wonderful pursuit.

Another part of me is my love of cooking and preserving food. I have canned, pickled, fermented, baked, and eaten plenty of delicious and healthy food over the past years. Clearly, I enjoy cooking from scratch and eating food that is in season.

These parts of me have made an easier transition into living a zero waste lifestyle. I don’t just tolerate using only baking soda to brush my teeth and as my sole ingredient deodorant, I actually enjoy it. I am grateful to drive 25 minutes to refill my wine growler. I make the most of my errands by creating routes to pick up other things that are part of my zero waste shopping: the half & half in a glass bottle, flats of berries, the chain grocer with a sizable bulk section that is happy to allow my own bulk bags and glass jars, the Mexican store with beautiful legumes and dried peppers.

If someone I knew decided to be waste free five years ago, I probably would have thought, “Good for them, but there is no way I am capable of such a thing.” My hope is to be inspirational, not chiding or haranguing. My hope is that people don’t feel like I’m judging them, as they would feel while eating meat when I first became a vegetarian. It is not an expectation of mine for others to follow what I do.

Learning about our wasteful society is something I can’t ignore. How I live is something I can control: it is my own life.

So I choose to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot because I can. I could be full of excuses, but I would know that I was cheating myself and our future generations; those children I go into work every day to teach and to inspire.

I welcome any questions about this or any other topics. It is a pleasure to share knowledge and conversation.

Peace and love,

Kristan

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