Reducing the amount of waste you produce doesn’t have to be difficult! According to zero-waste minimalist, Kennedy, practicing sustainable living doesn’t mean depriving yourself. It just requires a little creativity! In this episode of In The Know: Extreme Minimalists, Kennedy shares how she became an eco-minimalist who produces almost zero waste.
Kennedy was inspired to become a zero-waste minimalist while traveling the globe in 2018. “I ended up in a couple different underdeveloped countries, and literally moments after getting off the plane you cannot breathe, and you just see heaps and heaps of trash,” she tells In The Know. “And this was not just any trash. This trash looked very familiar to me. Brands that I’ve used in my own life. When I saw that, I had this wake-up moment.”
Kennedy immediately began thinking about ways to reduce the amount of waste she produced. “Basically, I just came up with, ‘Well if I don’t buy anything, I don’t have to throw anything away,’” she recalls.
Nowadays, Kennedy practices her zero-waste lifestyle by being careful about what she purchases. “So my goal when I go to the grocery store is to bring home a very minimal amount of packaging,” she explains. “So I head straight to the bulk section to get all my dried pantry goods.”
Before purchasing anything, Kennedy thinks about whether it is something she truly needs, and whether it can be reused or recycled. “I do not buy anything new ever unless it’s absolutely necessary,” she explains. “And then when I do need to buy something that’s new, I always make sure it’s biodegradable or compostable and it won’t end up in a trash can.”
Kennedy also runs a shop from her home, selling a variety of eco-friendly products, including toothbrushes and soaps. “If you were to order something from my shop, it always comes in a compostable box,” she says. “Our packing peanuts, unlike other companies, are not made from plastic, they’re actually made from corn starch, so they’re 100% edible. It reminds me of a Cheeto puff without the cheese.”
Kennedy has a few simple tips for anyone considering a zero-waste lifestyle. “What I encourage people to do is, of course, one, no impulse buy,” she says. “Two, when you do need to buy something, look for the sustainable alternative and you’ll find them. They exist. No product, no corporation, no company has any sort of hold on my happiness.”
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