a six month gap in writing about living waste free is evident of a period of time focused intently on transition, but the blog taking a backseat has been the result of what can only be referred to as issues with commitment, and specifically, commitment to the values of simple and sustainable living.
seven months into living in the city, and I am still car free (aside from the occasional Zipcar rental) and am managing to make things work in a three hundred square foot studio. but, I have struggled to stay centered on values of sustainability due to the demands of my work life. for one, the studio apartment I occupy is one of five in an older Victorian home, and I have little control over anything that would make my waste-free life easier to live. for example. the recycling bins are shared by all of the tenants, and while I have tried to urge my neighbors to only throw recyclable items into the designated bins, I am regularly confronted with the reality of having nowhere else to discard recyclable items than in bins that are littered with food scraps and other non-recyclables. to make matters worse, my composting system is regularly disrupted by the tenants or those hired to tend to the aesthetics of our shared backyard.
consumption of commercial goods is still a thing of the past. when you live in three hundred square feet, it is easy to say no when there is no place to put things. purchasing food products without packaging has been a harder habit to sustain, as has recycling or reusing every single thing that can be recycled or reused. some of this is the result of a lack of time. living this way requires that you make living waste free somewhat of a hobby, and you have to have time to devote to keeping that hobby a regular part of life.
so what have I learned in the past six months? that living a simple sustainable life requires patience, because similar to yoga, it is a practice. it requires a commitment to values and living a life congruent with those values. easier said than done, as I’ve discovered.
sincerely, sara kathleen