A side effect of being professional organizers is that we have become much more conscious about household waste. Decluttering is obviously a huge part of organizing most homes, but it typically produces a lot of garbage. We’re proud to use a green hauling company, The Junk Luggers, but not everything can be donated or recycled.
***As always, if you’re interested in decluttering and getting organized, our Love Your Home Again course is still available and is a fantastic tool if you want your home to be the most efficient and functional it can be!***
Seeing so much stuff being thrown away has lead us to try to make better choices in our own homes. And while we may be experts at organizing, we’re still a work in progress when it comes to running eco-friendly homes.
So we were thrilled when we were contacted by the experts. Think Zero is an incredible company whose mission is to help their clients reduce their carbon footprint. We loved the idea and wanted to learn more, so we had the privilege of interviewing a member of the Think Zero team, Ushma Pandya.
The questions below are the ones we thought were most applicable to us and to you, our followers, but we highly recommend reaching out to the Think Zero team. Ushma couldn’t have been kinder or more responsive to our inquiries!
D&D: To someone who is new to the zero waste movement, what are some tips to getting started?
- Do a quick audit of your trash to see what you commonly throw away. That can be a starting point in figuring out what you want to change about what you throw away.
- Start easy – going all in on zero waste might be daunting and a recipe for failure. Identify 1 thing you can do (such as carrying a bag with you to carry your purchases and refusing the plastic bags) and do that one thing well before you move on to a second goal.
- Food waste is 30% of the waste in the US. Start with eliminating food waste – eat what you buy!
D&D: Can you walk us through how your service works?
- We work with individuals and families and have a no judgement, no shame ethos! Once you set up your appointment, we will do a virtual meeting (we hope to be able to come to people’s home soon!) where we will discuss your goals and review what you purchase and why. We will even have you show us your trash can via zoom if possible.
- Once we discuss your goals and your purchases and lifestyle, we will discuss what types of changes you and your family are comfortable making. We have a ton of ideas on how to do things differently and even brands to try (though as zero waste advocates we never push new products).
- Post our call, we will develop a report for you that includes your goals and a practical action plan with some timelines. We will also include some links to product recommendations if we discussed them (i.e. moving to shampoo and conditioner bars).
- We will check in with your periodically to see how you are doing and cheer you on. You can also book a follow up consultation as needed.
D&D: What do you say to people who are reluctant to contact you for fear of being judged or shamed?
- We get it! We come from a place of no shame and no judgement especially because we are not perfect 100% of the time. Our clients tell us that they appreciate our perspective and coaching / cheerleading mentality throughout the process.
D&D: It seems that being green can be expensive, do you have any tips for people on a budget?
- Green does not mean expensive. We laugh because you can run out and buy all new beautiful “zero waste” stuff but that does defeat the purpose of zero waste. Find ways to repurpose or purchase second hand items to be green.
- Easy ways to be green on a budget include: eating all the food you buy (if you throw it out you are throwing out money), going to Goodwill to source reusable coffee mugs/water bottles and Tupperware and even picking up silverware to make a “to go” set that can be used outside the home.
- Also there are many things that once you buy , you never have to buy again, which leads to savings in the long run such as the menstrual cup, period panties, cloth “paper towels”, etc.
- D&D: What brands do you swear by?
- I do love the period panties such as Thinx! What a great product that prevents waste in the long term.
- Lush for its package free products (some may not like its ingredient list).
- Deliver Zero in the NYC area is providing delivery using reusable containers!
- What is amazing is that brands are starting to wake up to the fact that they need to create products with less waste. So there is tremendous innovation in the space and new brands are constantly popping up.
- D&D: If you had to recommend one thing that would have the biggest impact on a home’s footprint, what would it be?
- Food waste! Eat and donate what can be still eaten and compost the rest!
“When You Know Better, Do Better”
The Think Zero team has inspired us so much! They have a ton of information on their website, and we know that slowly, we will do a better job making our homes more eco-friendly. We hope you check them out and contact them if you too want to make positive changes in your own home!