Diving into my one week zero waste pledge – an empowering invitation to recreate my relationship with the stuff in my life has been a surprisingly heartwarming experience. I thought (okay, feared) it would be like going on a diet (eesh), but instead the effects have been a deep and nurturing inner-quieting and alignment that feels truly peaceful and lovely. I thought I was doing it for our beloved earth, and it is turning out to be an incredibly sweet gift to myself. I thought I’d feel stress and deprivation, but instead I feel more fully present throughout my days and grounded in who I really am. And everyday is a new adventure in this new mindset. Fun!

One amazingly gratifying experience was just a day or two into it when I found myself believing I needed a new yoga bolster. I went straight to Amazon and started looking for the perfect one. Suddenly, my zero waste awareness gently arose in my mind, “I wonder if there’s another way to do this?” My first response to that was, “Huh?” But I sat with the question, and quickly my imagination started spinning. What might I already have in my very full home that could work instead of buying something new (and packaged and transported and plastic)? In short order, I realized that I have other bolsters that ‘almost work’, but “Yea, not quite”. Wheels still spinning.

Then the idea of old towels rolled up occurred. “Perfect! – Absolutely Perfect!” I found the towels in a stash in the laundry room. Now, how to keep them rolled up? Rubber bands? Maybe, but a little lumpy. Hmmm. I rolled the towels up a few times, satisfied that they were indeed the perfect size in every way. I let them sit rolled up in a corner of the room overnight, hopeful that the solution of how to bind them together would come. And it did!

I remembered some old cotton tights that have been sitting in a drawer for (well, yes) years. Gleefully and patiently I stuffed the bolster-ish towel-roll into them and took a step back to inspect for viability… Voila! Perfection Made Manifest! And I never had to leave home, and the postman didn’t have to drag a big box here, and Amazon didn’t have to package it, and manufacturers didn’t have to produce anything extra on behalf of my bolster-lust!

Another adventure in living zero waste that I’m embarking on is replacing Kleenex. It’s a real consideration for anyone, but especially so for me since I have a coaching practice, and crying is something that happens regularly in a session with clients. (Them, not me—okay, sometimes me too.) Anyway, the thought of buying a stash of handkerchiefs to offer clients when the tear ducts start flowing at first occurred to me as humorous, maybe even distracting to clients in the midst of their emotional release. (And who in the world uses hankies anymore these days?)

But then I sat with it. And in my discussion with Lydia we agreed that it could be a beautiful way to invite others to consider the possibility of living a lower waste lifestyle. They’d get to take their hankie home with them and it could be a reminder both of the realizations in their session, and also that there are many ways to live lovingly in this world. Plus, I wouldn’t have to empty the trash so often!

So, I’ve ordered 50 cotton handkerchiefs on eBay! They’re not used, but hopefully they will be again and again. I’m very excited about what will come of this and about what unfurls in this tear-jerking adventure.

There are so many ways this experience has calmed and soothed my existence, and I look forward to the twists and turns of this ongoing journey of living more gently on this planet and more wholeheartedly in my life.

– Live Zero Waste One Week Pledge Member

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