Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My Trash update - April





April was a bit of a whirlwind of a month. I spent quite a bit of time away on short trips, having adventures on my weekends as well as those ever lighter evenings. I have pushed my limits this month in climbing and tried hard (whatever it is that my ''hard'' is in each moment) and was very lucky to spend the majority of my time doing what I love the most -being outside and having great experiences with friends. I am quite proficient with Zero Waste at home as I have access to my usual shops and recycling/composting facilities and so it was a good challenge to try and apply all of my principles whilst being away a lot. Zero Waste and your life should not be mutually exclusive and it should not stop you from doing things that you want to do. Just live your life to the max and whilst you are it, try and be mindful of how much rubbish you produce. That is exactly what I have done. Less than a small Kilner jar's worth of rubbish is the product of my efforts this month. Sure, there were challenges and lots of learning along the way, but not once have I thought that Zero Waste has restricted me in living the life that I want to live. Talk about sustainable solutions for the environment? I think Zero Waste has ticked all of the boxes for me.

April consisted of plenty of quality time with friends 
Sometimes when you are working on something, you don't see the bigger picture and the big gains as it is too easy to get bogged down when you don't see progress straight away.  But if you keep going and make those small steps, you will suddenly find that you have actually gone a long way. This is what it felt like for me when I looked at the content of my trash for this month. For a long time, I was aiming for this but I learned that lifestyle changes do not happen overnight. It is just about persevering and keeping up those little gains. I know that there will be challenges for me every day to keep producing minimal trash, and who knows what the month of May will look like? But today, I took a moment to reflect as it feels nice to see the fruits of my labor.  Can you give yourself a pat on the back in life or do you need to wait for other people to do it for us? F** yes you can. Too often we tell ourselves off for things and we are disappointed with ourselves for not achieving or generally not being good enough.  But it is all about trying in my opinion anyway. You get points for effort from me, whatever it is that you try and regardless of how well it goes. So try something which challenges you or what you believe in and whether you make it or not, give yourself a pat on the back. Because if everyone did it, the world would probably be a better place. 


                  One of those times when I tried and didn't make it. But that doesn't matter. Because trying is the first step to achieving something. 

For some reason talking about trash is quite an intimate thing. From the trash that I have in my jar, you can see into my life quite clearly. My April's trash jar included some of these items: painkiller wrappers, plastic toothpaste, cello tape, a plastic bit from a second-hand clothes tag, fruit sticker, yoghurt film, butter packaging and some other random bits of plastic.
                     Trash destined for landfill which I have produced during April 

Everything that you see in the jar is something that I couldn't recycle or compost and includes all of my rubbish apart from a little bit of organic waste which I struggled to compost (like a small amount of tea leaves, some leftover food in a restaurant and some other organic waste) as I was away on trips. I guess this is one of the challenges of travelling. I have also been to the dentist as I had some seriously awful toothache. The amount of disposables that health care produces is insane but I am also not about to refuse treatment for the fear of producing trash. Let's be real here. So I even accepted a small plastic toothpaste (I normally make my own) which had higher fluoride in it and was meant to sooth the pain. I stopped there and refused the plastic cup to rinse my mouth though.


                               My usual high fat/low carb snacks

I eat mainly high-fat low carb foods. Yes, I still eat cake and biscuits and things like that but most of the time you will see me eating chunks of butter and cheese and no pasta, rice or oats. All of those things are a lot easier to bring with you travelling, whereas eggs, cheese, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables are not really the usual ultra-light option. So I have really started to work out what works best, how long I can get away with having cheese in my backpack without it going off and just how many nuts I can physically carry up a multi-pitch climbing route. I do this not because I am dieting but because it makes me feel a lot better physically and mentally- read as a lifestyle change as opposed to a restrictive diet. But I am still experimenting so let's see what happens! I do still buy sweets (zero waste) and try and come prepared wherever I go, but sometimes I guess I don't get prepared enough as I don't anticipate needing sugar. If you are not familiar with high-fat low carb way of eating, you may think that I crawl in a hole not being able to do much but actually, the opposite is true and I tend to have fewer sugar highs and lows and just have more constant energy. You don't get that strong rush which makes you feel that you can conquer the world but you also don't have the 2 pm slump. But sometimes, you really need to feel like you CAN conquer the world.

One of those moments when you want to want to muster all of the energy and strength that you are capable off 

 On two occasions when I was climbing, trying my hardest routes to date, that is exactly what I needed. I feel like trad climbing at times is like going into a battle- you experience fear, excitement, calmness, joy, nerves and pretty much every other emotion you can think off in that time that you spend on the route. Emotional eating or not, I knew that my climbing buddy James had sweets in his bags and he kindly knew better than to question my commitment to the environment at that moment. I got up both routes just to let you know :) And learned my lesson on the way, which is, bring sweets when you are climbing! Sometimes you do really need a bit of sugar.


Having one of my usual crag lunches. The unusual thing is climbing in my bra- it is typically a lot colder! 

Adventure Zero Waste is a whole new kettle of fish and although everything that I usually use works, I realized that stainless steel items take up a lot of space and are really heavy. When you carry your trad rack, ropes, harness, shoes, guidebooks as well as a big flask, stainless steel tiffin and a stainless steel water bottle, the walk to the crag ends up being a good workout. So I am looking at different, lighter and more portable options to take with me in the future but I guess for now until I make the change, you will still see me carrying a heavy bag to the crag, sipping tea from my big flask and loving life.







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