At first I thought this would be kinda easy, then I realized it wasn't, and then it became kinda easy again.
After one day I figured out that I needed to set a border for myself of how far I wanted to go, because otherwise I wasn't going to live very long! Indirectly almost everything you consume creates waste and since I didn't expect myself to be able to become self sufficient within a day I decided to take it step by step. First stop my direct waste. Then reduce indirect waste.
Yeah or no?
No garbage meant no plastic, no paper, no metal, no glass, etc... Many people asked me in the beginning why I wouldn't accept glass and paper, since you can recycle it. But I thought that would be a little easy. :-) Second, some materials (for instance paper) lose their strength after having been recycled a lot, so they need to add fresh paper every now and then to keep the quality high. It's a form of downcycling, which is especially the case with plastics. Btw, recycling is great! But still it's good to think about the amounts we produce, because I realized it best if we start with reducing, then reusing and as last, recycling…
// more about food and which products I did or didn't use in the video.
Good or bad?
I noticed that often I think very black and white. This is good, that is bad. Glass is good, plastic is bad. And in a sense that is true, because the one is indeed better then the other. But thinking like this constantly I experience as exhausting and even sometimes contra-productive. Because I can't all the time live up to my own ideals and judgment, I make mistakes and fail every now and then. Sometimes I decide not to do what is 'good', because I'm tired, hungry or just generally feel down. And when that happens I feel guilty, because I know I did something 'bad', something I shouldn't. Funny thing is that that can make it even worse, since I don't want to feel bad I try to avoid being aware of the fact that it's bad. I simply try to ignore it completely…
And then the other day I finally found a way out of my own guilt loop. I realized that it helps to simply see things for what they are. Plastic isn't bad, plastic is a great material which can be shaped in any form and has many uses, it's a flexible material to use and reuse. When you throw it away it sometimes gets recycled, more often it gets burned which puts toxins in the air. Plastic degrades very slowly which can confuse ecosystems. So is plastic bad? No. Plastic is a great material which can be shaped in... :-) Knowing this, I would prefer to use glass, or use and reuse it as long as possible. But it isn't bad, neither good. It's just plastic.
I know this is a very tiny tiny difference, and maybe it only works in my head. But for me it makes it possible to make choices based on knowledge, not based on guilt and judgment. And I find it kind of liberating! Yes, I prefer one above the other, glass above plastic, reusing something above throwing it away. But it's not good or bad, it's a preference, because I prefer to have more nature then less, because I prefer kids to live on soil and not on my trash.
Thanks a lot to Davide for helping with the video and lots of other technical stuff. And thanks to all the people around me for their support this month and accepting my sometimes odd behavior. I did like all the food, tea, cookies, bread, candy you guys offered me, but this month I couldn't accept!!! unless you were going to throw it away :-)