Real Imperfections Are OK

2015 - 1

Our baby recently had her first birthday and we celebrated by having a barbecue with friends and family, and of course tried to do so while creating as little waste as possible by doing the following:

Sent out SMS invitations rather than cards

Asked people not to bring gifts, or if they insisted, a small donation towards a car seat

Collected sausages, bread and produce from our local suppliers in our own containers

Used real plates, cups, cutlery and cloth napkins

Made what we could from scratch including the cake and all the condiments for lunch

Chose not to have party bags

However, there were a few items, such as cheese, that due to logistics we could not get without packaging, as much we had tried, and as proud as we were, the small amount of landfill rubbish we had at the end took the shine off our effort. We lamented this fact and that we are still producing a small bag of landfill rubbish each week and haven’t yet managed a complete transition to zero waste.

As many people who have embraced this lifestyle will know it can be something of an obsession, especially in the beginning, and it can be hard to accept that for a variety of reasons, achieving complete zero waste is sometimes not possible.

As we reflected, I was reminded of a pertinent saying, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good”, we had been so focused on the changes we had yet to make, we had lost sight of all the changes we had already made, and in a very short space of time too. With that in mind we agreed to make an effort to be proud of and enjoy each achievement we make on the journey towards our end goal, rather focus on the fact we haven’t arrived there yet.


5 thoughts on “Real Imperfections Are OK”

  1. Well done, Candace. It took us almost 12 months to achieve very close to zero waste to landfill and we no longer need to put our bin out for collection. Not so easy to get rid of the recycling bin but we have managed to only put that one out 4 times a year instead of fortnightly. Just keep going, you’ll get there eventually. There is no such thing as ‘perfect’.


    1. Hi! Thank you for your kind comment, it’s great to get feedback. I enjoy your blog with all the local food and beautiful gardens – really inspiring!
      I belong to community garden and have been getting into my garden at home more – it’s so rewarding! my community group had a stall at the local market over the weekend and had a produce share and swap -among other things waste related – I shared your produce share post to some members to be inspired for the day – it worked, it was a great day! Thanks again – I can’t wait to read your blog in detail when the kiddies are sown for the night. Candace


      1. Great to hear from you, Candace. There is a lot of sharing & swapping happening in Australia and it’s good to hear that the same thing is happening in new Zealand. Stephen and I lived and worked in Rotorua for a year in the late nineties and we loved the country and people. We also grew a large vegetable garden while living there.


  2. Happy birthday to your baby and well done 🙂 That cake looks scrumptious. My boss likes to say “Perfection is the enemy of progress.” Right now, I think my Achilles heel with zero-waste is sabotage by family members and loved ones who aren’t nearly as OCD as I am (not that I’m perfect). But overall, they are very supportive. They just don’t think of every little detail like I do. I warned my older daughter, coming home for reading week this month, that she CANNOT bring contraband into our home! She agreed she wouldn’t.


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