Accepting the Silence in a yoga practice

I already touched on how beneficial your Savasana is in practice, but what about those awkward silences during practice as well? You know, the ones you get when you hold a pose or when you begin to wind down the practice? Once the teacher has given all cues, maybe a couple jokes and has successfully guided the students into the pose that now needs to be held for a few breaths, even up to a minute. Now you’re sitting in your runners lunge, maybe even all the way down in lizard pose and your teacher has stopped giving any cues and has seemed to have completely forgotten about you. While you should only do what is comfortable in your body-and moving out of discomfort is definitely a good thing-your yoga instructor has most certainly not forgotten about you. And while the silence seems super awkward to you and you really don’t want to sit there for 3-6 breathes stretching out your hips in runners lunge, there is a purpose and it’s not just to make you sit there.

And I 100% guarantee you that your yoga instructor feels a teensy but awkward during the silence as well. Especially when it starts getting to those quiet down poses at the end of practice. We have spent the whole practice talking and guiding, making sure that we give the perfect amount of time for each posture and making sure each side is even. Suddenly we are supposed to sit quietly for seconds, even minutes as the class winds down and begins Savasana. We sit there helping people wind down, just waiting for them to be done. Often times for me I feel like something needs to be said, or it’s just too long of a time to be in a pose or maybe I wasn’t even enough with each side. But the silence is a key part of yoga, and often times it’s too rushed.

Silence, especially at the end of practice, is a wonderful way to wind down. Sure, guide the pose maybe add some flowing movement in but do so gently and once you say what needs said let the silence flow in. Once we begin to embrace the silence and learn to bring the silence into our own minds we can really begin to cool down and find some peace. Often times our minds are going a mile a minute during practice, but if we can embrace the silence and clear our minds we can begin to come to a more intense and profound practice.

I see so many people thinking that yoga is just the postures. Sure breathing is involved, but a lot of people just see those two aspects of yoga. They fail to see how much more yoga is.

For me yoga is a space I can go to on my mat, a space to clear my head and get into the zone and forget every other worry on in my life. This is how I am able to teach even as a social recluse. Once I start I am in the zone and I forget everything else. This is why instructors will sometimes encourage the sighs and long releases of breath. Yoga is the release and when you really get into it you begin to sigh out everything bothering you with life. This is also why teachers being with a simple pose, asking students to focus on breathing or clearing their mind.

When we tie in the silence with our breathing and holding of  posture we begin to come to this place on our mats where we feel safe and in control. We feel free, at peace and wonderful all at the same time. And once we come to the silence we can clear our minds and just enjoy the clear minded freedom, preparing ourselves for the rest of the day off of our mats.

So next time your holding your pigeon pose, or a supine twist, and you feel your mind wandering to the “is the DONE yet??” mindset take a deep breath and clear your mind and let everything fade away. Welcome in the silence and just take the time to sit with yourself, because when else are we going to take the time to sit in silence during our day? We need this time for ourselves and welcoming in the silence is one of the best things that you can do for you and your practice.

The importance of breathing in yoga

Honestly, I get this question a lot, way more often then you’d think. And even from people who have been doing yoga for ages. “Why is the breath important?” Or some variation of this question. Like, “you give a lot of breath cues, it takes away from the flow.” Or “Do you need to say every inhale and exhale?” Which I mean, no I really don’t need to say to inhale to table top or exhale to sit. But the breath cues play a huge role in the practice and yes I really do need those inhales and exhales for twists and other postures that you don’t just dump yourself into.

So why is it that the breathing is such an important role in your yoga practice? And while I was taught in a very active from of yoga that requires breathing cues the entire time, it’s still a key element to every practice. Look up any well loved, and respectable, yoga instructor on youtube. They take a few minutes at least to chill out before practice and come to your breath and honestly its for good reason too.

Okay so let’s break this down then. First off the very definition of yoga is literally postures to breath. A form of active meditation, and honestly the postures are just a tiny bit of the yoga. A huge part of yoga is actually the breath work, meditation and all in all a good mind set and solid focus. It’s main goal is to bring in relaxation and meditation, maybe calming someone after a stressful day or bringing the focus that they need.

yo·ga
ˈyōɡə
noun
  1. a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practiced for health and relaxation.

I mean, the google definition of yoga is literally just that. Breath control, its a discipline for specific purposes. The thing is, breath is the LEAST talked about in a yoga practice. Like sure, we do little breath warm ups before we start, take some time coming to a good solid (deep) breath that will guide through the postures. But we don’t talk about it. And honestly that’s something that should be talked about, but when people come for a class that is 45, 55 or even 60 minutes long they don’t want time wasted talking about the breath. Because all in all, it’s not what matters to them and it’s not why they came. But it’s something that is huge, major, so important so we should at least mention why we do the breath and not just guide people through it hoping for the best or hoping that it somehow sticks.

Okay, so we know the definition, we know that technically it’s super important and huge, but why is it that way? Why is our breath the key?

First off, it does help your practice. Like a lot. Focusing on the breath can bring in a sense of peace and calm and really bring a person to that meditation mindset. Which sounds so cheesy, but honestly the best practices that I have had are the ones where I focus on my breathing and get into that mind set and just let everything else go. It’s empowering, and just really ties a practice together.

Second, it takes the focus off what you’re doing vs what you need. So instead of focusing on the posture that you need to hold for a frustratingly long time, you breathe. And while it’s still not a simple task to chill out in side plank you can at least breathe through it and in turn strengthen yourself in the long run.

Third, strength. You could hold your breath during your side plank, but then your muscles are kind of just chilling out super tight. But if you add in the breath work, it’s just that. Work. Your muscles end up doing even more work, and while it doesn’t actually seem like it you can see results. I have had so many great side planks when I just remember to breathe it out.

Fourth, it actually makes postures easier. GASP! I know that this kind of ties in with the second point, but have you ever done crow pose and just couldn’t do it? Yeah, same. I struggled with it so much. Or a headstand? Yeah those too. But once I learned to breath my way through it (also ENGAGE those abdominal muscles) then I found my balance to be much better and more steady. I am a pro at crow now, and while it took a ton of work to get there my breath work certainly helped me a lot.

Fifth, it literally matches flowing or vinyasa yoga perfectly. Each breath you take you do a pose. Inhale rise, exhale fold etc. It makes the practice flow quite beautifully, and while the constant reminder to breath during your practice seems tedious and quite annoying there is a point to it. Trust me, yoga teachers aren’t just saying it for kicks. If you’re into vinyasa style yoga then you need to have the breath, otherwise your just moving around on a mat.

All in all, breath plays a huge role in yoga. If you’re simply just looking for a workout that is fine, yoga can provide that as well. Breathing can help make it more intense for you though. But if you’re looking to expand in your yoga practice then work on the breath. Explore the different options that are out there and find the best one for your practice. It will make all the difference.

Is zero waste always possible?

This is kind of a huge thing for people trying to cut down their waste, especially when there are items that we actually need in our lives. Medicines, feminine products, medical items etc. So are these items truly necessary or have we just been conditioned to think that they are.

In short, yes. But it is really more complicated than that. It seems that sometimes people are shamed for needing these items, and while it is good to reduce our waste we really need to realize that sometimes people actually do need these things in their lives, they may be trying very hard to be less wasteful and we don’t need to shame them.

Reasons someone might need waste in their life:

-Medical needs. Try as we might we really can’t fix all issues with oils

-Medical products- change those gloves, change needles, STOP the spread of disease. Zero waste won’t do any good if we all contract weird viruses.

-Someone may not have time, or the ability, to prep every single meal. We don’t know their life so don’t tell someone they need to buy all zero waste food.

-Some people may not be able to use a menstrual cup, it might be easier for them to use disposable products, we don’t know. So again, no need to judge. Peoples needs are important.

-Maybe it’s just not in their area. I know that it’s really hard for us to get stuff zero waste, save money and not starve.

This is a lifestyle that comes with many privileges. Take a look at this awesome buzzfeed video to see more on it. Zero waste for 30 days.

If you aren’t able to be 100% zero waste don’t feel bad. I used to beat myself up all the time over this. How as I going to buy laundry items that would get clothes clean when we live with 3 cats? In my area I can’t. How can we take care of 3 living creatures without waste? We can’t. I made myself miserable trying to be perfect, when I finally stopped and just did what I could I lived a much happier life.

So try to do what you can, still use what you need. While it is good to question our need of some items we also don’t want to just trash everything just cause of waste.

 

Finding a job you love

I know that this is kind of cliché, because honestly who has a job that they love? It seems like something that should be so simple, and yet it’s so hard to actually find a job that you love. And in todays day and age it’s required to have a job so you need to go out and pick something that you are able to support yourself on. So we end up picking a job, even if we hate it, just so we can survive. Yay, real world. It sucks.

I know the harsh truth of this all too much, having spent my entire life doing things that I didn’t not actually enjoy. I dreaded going to work, I was miserable and unhappy and hated what I was doing with every fiber of my being. I’d been doing the same thing since I was 16, and it wasn’t good. I know that jobs aren’t meant to be fun, and they aren’t meant to be enjoyed. But why not? And why is the first response to someone hating their job to tell that person they need to try harder or do better because the reason they hate their job is all their fault.

My mom would always tell me this, it was on the list of lectures that I got. Everything was what I would make it, even if I didn’t have the “best” job I could still make it better. Something happened at work? She would respond that she has always had it worse. This only added to the feeling of unhappiness to be quite honest. I was in a dead end job that I hated, and at the same time I was being made to feel like it was all my fault and I needed to make a change.

My job, childcare. Don’t get me wrong, I liked working with kids. I did not like the other aspects. So much crap went down, workers filtered out faster than a toilet flushed. For a long time I was doing so much over time I would arrive at 630 in the morning and wouldn’t leave until well after 4 or 5 in the afternoon. This was everyday for a while actually. I would get an hour lunch break (we get a paid 30 minute one so I would essential get a half hour off my work time to be able to stay longer) and it was called good. When they finally realized how long I was working they were shocked. I remember my boss saying to me “I didn’t realize how much you had been working” like it was a shock to them even though I was there all day everyday. Somedays I didn’t even get that extra break, which royally sucked.

The cherry on top was being asked the day of to stay late, or when I was “on call” unofficially they would call hours before they needed me. Each time when I was not able to I was told that I was required to do this and saying no wasn’t an option. Or I would be sighed at. There was the one time that I had missed a meeting because they way they told employees about a meeting was solely verbal. When I was cornered and asked why I had missed it I simply said (while extremely busy taking kids to the bathroom mind you, I was literally doing my job) that I honest to goodness didn’t know about it. I was accused of having an attitude and was told, kid you not, this is why people complain about me all the time because I have such a bad attitude.

Now I am a pretty emotionally aware person. I can get worked up, I get crazy, but I fully realize when I am being unreasonable and when I am not doing anything at all. That time, I didn’t do anything. I answered a question in a rather bland non emotional tone. So maybe I just have resting bitch face or something because I don’t know how I was chewed out that much and made to feel as though everyone hated me. At that point why was I even hired there?

Eventually I moved from that center though, thankfully I had moved towns I was in and was able to say that I found another center closer to where I now was living. However it was then that I realized I just didn’t enjoy childcare, and the things that came with it. I was good at my job, I did everything I was asked plus some. But that’s the problem in a job like that. You have the people that try so hard and they get the brunt of it all because they actually work and then you have the people that just sit on their butts doing nothing still getting paid because they think childcare means just being in the room with the kids.

And I am not trying to complain about how crappy my work situation was, or place blame or anything like that. I’m telling the facts so that people can get an idea of what working in childcare is like. As much as I loved working with kids, there is just too much other stuff that goes on that burns you out. And while the new center was better by far it came with it’s whole slew of issues as well.

People would get hired then sit, literally sit all day doing absolutely nothing. The boss wouldn’t fire anyone and they new it. The one time the boss stepped up and told some employees that they needed to step up with their job, they stopped coming to work. We had a girl that was hired who sat. Nothing but sitting, and gossiping. Talking smack, and literally hating anyone who actually did their job. It was a fight working with her, asking her to do something made her mad. Then she would talk crap about you to everyone, also not realizing that if she was in the other room that was attached to the one I worked in YOU COULD HEAR EVERY WORD. Classy. Also classy, her talking about her entire personal life, like every extreme detail of every personal thing she did. In front of the kids. I mean I know they’re like 1-2 years old but still, not appropriate. But despite employees acting like that, and causing so much drama, they were never fired. Either because the boss was too nice or just too afraid of losing people because hiring new ones is so much harder.

I have since quit childcare altogether and moved on to yoga. Last I heard that one girl is still working, I remember on my second to last day I could hear her talking smack about me. Mocking me because I had quit so I could instead teach yoga. Like of all the things to mock someone about, you’re really going to mock me for finding a more flexible job, better hours and better pay? I simply made it known that I could hear her, didn’t say a word and just walked off. My look, I’m assuming, was something resembling “I am so done with you but you aren’t even worth a fight or a response.” And I have not a single regret that I ever quit because as much as I loved that center the people (okay one person in particular) there were enough to make me never want to return.

The process to yoga was long and difficult, the training was long. The hunt for job was even longer. And the disappointment was a bitter, harsh truth of my reality. I spent months not working, desperately trying to find anything. And while I was extremely blessed that my husband made enough to cover everything it was not without hardship.

And now, I have a great job. For about a month now I have been doing the training, going to classes and teaching! I don’t want to be that person who is jumping for joy because I have moved on in life, not really seeing the bigger picture. But you can generally tell pretty quickly what kind of job it’s going to be. My first month at both childcare jobs were pretty telling, and I soon learned what they would be like. But my first month teaching yoga was literal gold. Okay not literally, but I haven’t enjoyed working this much like ever. After I teach I have a little bounce. I’m happy, and excited to be doing it. I love to see people love what I am teaching, and I love everything about my job. While I have set classes I can also add in some subbing as well, essential working as much or as little as I want.

But to get to this point was a lot of work. I worked so hard, trained hard and got myself to where I am today. And while those lectures from my mom essential at the time didn’t make much sense I realized that yes I need to make the change. So I changed careers, and while that is probably not what my mom meant it has certainly worked for me.

So, hang in there. We can make our own futures. It might take time, but I believe that if we don’t like something in life we have the ability to change it. And if you have a really sucky job, I understand. I have been there. I am 23, turning 24 and I have just now figured out what I want to do with my life. There is no age limit as to when you need to figure this out. There is no deadline, and there is nothing saying that you can’t go after your dreams after the age of 21. And yes, sometimes we need to work crappy jobs, but that doesn’t mean that we need to be stuck in them forever. An opportunity will come along, and eventually you will be able to follow a dream and find a job that you can truly enjoy.

It happened for a reason

A while ago I had posted a blog post about disappointment, after having not got the yoga job that I had my eyes on I was a little more than disappointed. You can read more about it here. Even though I had told myself that it was happening for a reason, I had still had my heart set on that one particular job. At the time I thought that was where I needed to be, the job that I needed to do. It was my end all be all. The road to recovery was a long process, but I managed to get through a rather dark time in my life. And as of late, I am beginning to see why having my heart set on one thing is not always the best way to look at things. You see, recently I did manage to find a yoga job. Months later, after my first initial searches and after my bitter period of rejection, I found something that is going to be even better. This is a story, a journey, of realization of one human who thought one job was the end all be all of life.

Months after the audition and my inevitable heart break, my sister and messaged me telling me that our local YMCA was looking for substitute yoga teachers. I was a little hesitant at first, and upon my recent searching had not found any job postings for yoga positions at the Y. I had already sent out several emails, with no response, and applied to the yoga jobs that I could find- again with no response. I had mentioned in my post about disappointment that I was interested in teaching yoga for athletes. I contacted my old alma mater but to no avail. No response, not even an acknowledgement that anyone had even received my emails. At this point I was not going to take anything personal, if they were not interested in the offer than that was on them and not a testament about me. So when my sister told me that she got the Mind and Body Coordinators card from the YMCA I emailed that same week. Immediately I got a response, and a link to the newly posted job. I filled out the job posting application as fast as anyone possibly can with an online app. With the job application filled out, a meeting set up later in the week I was feeling really good about everything. But I held that thought in the back of my mind, refusing to let myself be too hopeful incase of impending disappointment.

After the meeting, a date was set for me to demo teach a class for them. After discussing the options of how I could demo my teaching skills a full class was settled on, after admitting that I can still get a little nervous it was mutually decided that maybe I should just try for a full on class. So that is what I did.

I was nervous as all get out, I spent the whole night before I had to go an audition with my heart pounding so fast it felt like I had just run a sprint. I couldn’t sleep. I had to keep reminding myself all the way up until the audition to breathe. Just breathe, breathe, breathe. I forgot to do my demo, I was too nervous to do any assists, and I felt like I had modeled some poses way too much.

But none of that mattered to the YMCA. They want teachers to be themselves, to bring their own things to class and make each class they teach their own. I was so new this type of thinking. Having taking my training at a power yoga studio, everything was set in stone. There is a technique that you have to follow, and you can not stray from it. I was used to being told exactly what to do. So when it was made clear that I have this whole new freedom, I began to blossom.

I was offered a class to teach, as I stood in shock being told this I was trying to wrap my mind around anyone wanting me to actually lead a class. I went in expecting to be a sub, which in my mind was a wonderful place to start. I could gain the experience that I needed. They told me that they could not believe that was my first class I ever taught. To be fair, I couldn’t really believe it either. I had actually made it through the whole class, I was not all shaky and I felt as if it flowed very smoothly. I got a lot of thanks after I was done teaching. Practicing in your training is so different from leading an entire class, and I was honestly nervous to mess up in front of so many people. I did pretty well though. And the class I taught was well received. That is the difference in the YMCA staff. They gave me feedback as soon as I was done, they encouraged me and told me how much they enjoyed what I taught. They didn’t act like they were better than me, they thanked me and they told me exactly what they thought and how excited they were for me to be teaching.

Long story short, I have this amazing job at the Y now, and I feel like this is really the best place for me. It’s non-profit, which in my opinion is the best. I want my focus to be on helping people, on bringing yoga to people. I feel as though at the YMCA, I will have every opportunity to do just that. I am so blessed to be able to have this opportunity, and so excited to be starting on a brand new journey with yoga. I am doing training now but will be transitioning into teaching as soon as I finish my training.

Maybe in the spring I will go back and re-try to audition at the same studio. I will have more experience at least. But right now, I am going to be able to enjoy this opportunity of just being there for people and for the community. I don’t have to worry about teaching “well” enough anymore, or wonder what it was that I had done wrong. Maybe I just wasn’t right for that place, maybe I didn’t fit the strict standards of teaching, or maybe I was just destined to be here at the YMCA, where I can really learn to care for and help others. Either way, I can be happy and fully content with where I am at.

Back into blogging

Hey guys this will be super short. Sorry for not posting often and like not at all, I needed some mental health days like desperately bad. Which ended up with me playing lots of Minecraft and falling in love with survival mode. I also became addicted to streaming on Twitch because if I’m going to waste the day playing I might as well share right? Gaming therapy! Weird, but I do love me some good games. So now that I am back to my fully peppy self I am planning lots of blog posts to come with some super tasty recipes! I have a homemade vegan pasta, homemade vegan cinnamon rolls AND homemade vegan chocolate cake all coming up as well as some zero more zero waste tips including how to deal with being zero waste when you’re just not feeling it, what to do about books and paper and more.

I also have some exciting yoga news as well coming soon, and I am making up flows like MAD and will soon be sharing those as well that you can totally feel free to take, use and modify for your own use.

Comment below if you would like it if I started doing some yoga flows on youtube plus some other things like baking and shopping.

Okay so I have already run the limit on this short post, that’s all I have for now. If there are any topics that you want me to cover please comment down below. I thrive on feedback so please feel free to pester me 🙂

Thank you for all your understanding and I promise to be back on schedule very soon. Also kitten picture because they are so cute! I love my kitties.

Should I recycle?

When I decided to become a zero waster I figured it would be a snap. I thought I could just Recycle as much as possible and still live the same lifestyle. It made me feel better to know that I would be putting something in the bin with the promise of reuse rather then sending it straight to the landfill. Honestly, I didn’t know much about recycling or what any of the numbers even meant. I was assured and confident that if it had the triangle symbol of it then I was doing the world some good.

But are we doing any good if we still continue to buy into this plastic packaging industry? If we want to stop something the quickest way is to stop the demand for it. If we still continue to indulge in the plastic world then we still create the demand for those products and they still continue to be produced. I hadn’t even considered this, nor did I consider the plastic things that I bought and consumed at alarming rates would never be reused as the same product.

Also, I had no clue what the numbers on the bottom even met, nor did I feel it was useful when I started to look up what they meant. So what do those little guys mean?

1: Polyethylene terephthalate; recycled into tote bags, furniture, carpet, paneling, fiber, and polar fleece

2: High Density Polyethylene; recycled into pens, recycling containers, picnic tables, lumber, benches, fencing, and detergent bottles

3: Vinyl; recycled into paneling, flooring, speed bumps, decks, and roadway gutters.

4: Low density Polyethylene; recycled into compost bins, paneling, trash can liners and cans, floor tiles, and shipping envelopes

5: Polypropylene; recycled into brooms, auto battery cases, bins, pallets, signal lights, ice scrapers, and bycycle racks.

6: Polystyrene; recycled into egg cartons, vents, foam packing, and insulation.

7: Other, Misc; recycled into plastic lumber and other custom-made products.

See article on plastic recycling for more information on recycling and the numbers.

These numbers are actually quite alarming, A little research goes to show that at best these plastics are used twice. While that may be better than sending them to a landfill that still isn’t a long life for something that sits on the earth and clogs the lands with disgusting single use items. The absolute best thing on this list is number 1 because those things at least are used for a longer amount of time but then again that is one of the least safe plastics according to various sites. In reality it’s a no win situation, and recycling can seem very daunting and altogether pointless.

Recycling can also have a negative impact as well, causing more gases to be released in the process or creating toxins through oil refinement. (See list of negative impacts here for more info) As well as not being as effective as proclaimed, and false hope to those who think recycling is the best option. A lot of plastics can’t be recycled anyways, and contamination still gets around with this method. Recycling, in truth is not the end all be all that people (and society) has made it out to be.

So then is recycling pointless and worthless as a zero waster? Not necessarily, but in reality we need to be smart about what goes in the bin. Plastic is not an infinite recyclable, aluminum and metal however are labeled as infinite. Glass is also infinite.Paper is recyclable up to 5-7 times, but it is also biodegradable so it can be composted. For more information on recycling lifetime see article here.

Okay, so that’s a lot of info. Not going to lie my head is spinning a little bit. What does this mean? How should we go about recycling and what does this mean with a zero waste lifestyle. Before you go ahead and toss out your recycle bin just think about what is in your bin. Is it mostly plastic? Find some alternative options.

Some alternatives to plastic everyday items are:

Shampoo/conditioner- buy bulk or shampoo/conditioner bar

Razors- safety razor or not shaving at all are the best options. Homemade sugar waxing is also a more and more common option.

Bubble bath- reusable bubble bar or bulk liquid soap

Soap-unpackaged bar soap or naturally biodegradable packaged bar soap

Floss- biodegradable floss, or refillable biodegradable floss

toothbrush- unpackaged or biodegradable packaged bamboo tooth brush

Toilet brush- bamboo brush

Dish/bottle/straw scrubber- knitted scrubby or bamboo scrubber

Straws-bamboo or metal (silicone is an option but still not recyclable or biodegradable)

Menstrual cycles-reusable pads, diva cup, free bleeding or period panties

Medicines/band aides- alternative practices like essential oils or natural remedies, cloth bandages made from old shirts or clothing (100% cotton is best.) Please note that I am not a doctor and you should inquire before you change anything with your medical lifestyle. If you need something do not give it up, your health is ultimately very important and don’t feel as though you can not accept any medicine if you do need to do so.

You can find a lot of these products here at package free shop by trash is for tossers, as well as many zero waste ideas on her blog.

Packaged food: Buy bulk with your own containers and unpackaged fruits/veggies. If you are a meat eater you can try bringing your own containers to the meat counter-but don’t act like you are unsure in this practice. Be confident when asking, simply say “blank pounds of that meat in this container please” if you are confident your are more likely to be accepted and unquestioned. Also for meat eaters buy eggs in cardboard not styrofoam.

Opt for glass packaging where ever possible if needed, glass is an infinite recyclable.

Once the plastic side of life is cut out of our lifestyles as best as we can, we are able to focus on the other recycling uses. Obviously it is still not the greatest, but still better than sending our cans to a landfill. If you are a person who is busy and do not have time for massive meal prep canned food is the best option sometimes. We buy canned beans still and canned tomatoes/sauce simply because these are the items that take the longest to cook and we eat them on a daily basis. We do not have the means at this time to cook massive amounts of beans and canned works best with our life. We rinse the cans according and recycle them. Along the lines of things like this are sparkling water cans, metal straws and metal cutlery. Straws and cutlery are harder to know what to do with so research those items before tossing them in the bin.

Okay, so paper items. It is best to just compost these items if you compost. If not recycle them accordingly. Boxes can be reused by putting donations in them or using them to ship back for charity-see link here. Otherwise recycle cardboard boxes accordingly. Otherwise another great option to is try and go paperless, in a technology world this is more and more popular. Recycle/reuse or donate old electronics accordingly.

So, then recycling? Is it good? Bad? After all this research and information I can conclude it’s a neutral topic. Should we recycle more? No, we should cut out plastic from our lives. We should compost (if possible) everything that we can, cut out the packaging that is not necessary and then we should evaluate what is left and recycle accordingly. The end result should be no trash and very little if possible in our recycling bin.

Zero waste may seem daunting or impossible, especially depending on the region. But as someone who has no bulk stores or zero waste stores in their area we have somehow managed to make it work. Mostly thanks to metal, glass, bulk sections of our local grocery and lush cosmetics (which recycle everything, offer naked packaging and have compostable paper packaging.) we have managed to fulfill a minimal waste lifestyle. Now we are focused on using up the plastics that we have before we went to this lifestyle.

Recycling can be a wonderful tool, but we still need to be wary of the impact that it has and how many of the items are actually going to be reused/recycled. If you are serious about this life, research everything you can and evaluate what items in your life can be replaced by other more environmentally friendly products.

Happy Zero Wasting!