The imperfect reality of low-waste living

If you’ve ever tried to reduce the amount of plastic or food waste going in to your bin, if you’ve ever tried to cut back on packaging or unnecessary products in your shopping trolley, or if you’ve ever tried your hand at Plastic Free July and found yourself overwhelmed and frustrated at the lack of realistic low-waste options in your home town – this episode is for you.

Today we meet Amy, who lives in rural northern Maine, where recycling and low-waste resources are limited. Amy has been making progress in lots of different areas of slow living, but now finds herself at somewhat of a frustrating point where the lack of local services is making further progress tough.

She and I talk about the frustrations of living in a system that’s not set up for our success, and the importance of acknowledging when we’re doing the best we can given the situation we’re in. We also chat about the progress Amy has made already and I prove myself somewhat-useful (but mostly wrong) in offering compost advice.

Amy then asks me about another area of slow living that she’s working through at the moment: how to manage working from home/parenting/making low-waste choices while maintaining a semblance of balance. We have a really good chat about viewing life as seasonal, with some seasons offering us time to create new systems, while other seasons will be fuller, only giving us space to live with the systems that are already in place.

I’m then joined by Tammy Logan of Gippsland Unwrapped – an online community and activism platform that offers community-based and creative solutions to living a lower-waste life in rural areas. Tammy has some fantastic practical suggestions for how Amy could reduce the amount she needs to compost, as well as some solutions for those who might not have a typical compost set-up available. She also offers some hard-earned insight in to the pros and cons of making green changes in a small town, which are super helpful not only to Amy but also to me as I start to think more about the changes I’d like to help facilitate in our new home town.

This is an episode for anyone looking for realistic low-waste options, as well as inspiration to rethink what low-waste means. In a word, it’s encouraging!

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