From the not-so-elite

I’ve written three different drafts of this post.  It all started when I stumbled into a hole filled with blogs about the elite nature of of #zerowaste lifestyles. Comments about guilt and privilege were popping up everywhere.

Bloggers were apologizing for saying that it was “easy” when they were living an urban able-bodied white person life.

Students were feeling guilty for not having time to transit to the only bulk store on the other side of town.

Parents were feeling guilty that they couldn’t take their reusable kids diapers to the laundry mat.

Physical accessibility to zero waste stores and farmers markets were next to impossible for some.

Trying to live sustainably is a fight at every turn because society is set up for literally the EXACT OPPOSITE.

So stop feeling guilty!

Living to the best of your ability in a world that is totally against you is an amazing feat and you should be so so proud of yourself and so so grateful for your fellow beautiful humans who are also trying to make a difference.

We can all try a little harder than we currently do but we need to be gentle and realistic with ourselves at the same time. Its a hard line to walk because its easy to go too far one way or the other.


My struggle is the discount produce rack at the superstore. The food isn’t organic and its on a foam plate wrapped in copious amounts of plastic wrap. It is also 50% off and going to go in the garbage otherwise.

I always end up purchasing it anyway and I always feel guilty. I still don’t know what the right answer is.


I cater platters to events every so often and I have been using plastic wrap to cover and transport them, because it was a quick fix to my problem. This is wrong  and I know it. I’m going to buy reusable containers this week to transport the food in and set it up on site.

Be honest about what opportunities and challenges you have in your life and living situation. What are areas you can push yourself further and when do you need to work on forgiving yourself?

Here are a few ways you can reduce your waste without any drastic life changes.

  1. Save old t-shirts for rags and stop buying paper towel.
  2. Say no to plastic straws.
  3. Take shorter showers.
  4. Save milk bags but cutting the tops open, washing them out and use them instead of zip locks for your lunch. Save your old jars as well.
  5. Stop buying cleaning products. White vinegar is good for salads and cleaning. Baking soda is good for baking and cleaning. Clean the house and reward yourself with pancakes!
  6. If you can carry it to the till you can carry it to the car. So what if you forgot your bags!

Reading that the zero waste movement was a movement for the elite made me so upset because I truly believe its roots and wisdom come from those who have very little wealth and stores of passed down wisdom. I understand the criticisms but, it shouldn’t be about holding ourselves to unreasonable standards, it should be about changing the demand and “norms” of society. Lets demand real food, and less waste with accessibility for all.









3 Replies to “From the not-so-elite”

  1. On the money bud…great writing…:)

    On Jan 31, 2018 5:08 PM, “Practically Empty Pantry” wrote:

    > ppostmae posted: “I’ve written three different drafts of this post. It > all started when I stumbled into a hole filled with blogs about the elite > nature of of #zerowaste lifestyles. Comments about guilt and privilege were > popping up everywhere. Bloggers were apologizing fo” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I very much struggle with the exact thoughts expressed here. I agree that the key is definitely to go slow and not get discouraged – not getting discouraged over things like this is an accomplishment in itself! It takes time to change mindsets, which is a hard thing to accept and get used to in a world where everything seems instant. Love the post, Paige! ❤


    1. Ugh, that last bit is so true. Slow food isn’t the only thing we need to relearn, its slow everything! Thanks for the comment. Miss you ❤


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