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.