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Awareness: Zero Waste

My name is Joy, I'm 35 years old, I have 3 children who love life, a husband who is always ready for new adventures and a very nice dog. We met more than 10 years ago at L'Oréal, the beauty world is a real family story! We left in 3 weeks to Seoul then to Jakart.

I have always been sensitive to the respect of the environment but the trigger was made, almost a year ago, while walking my dog in the street. I must have passed by dozens of times... I read on a manhole in front of our house " no dumping go directly into the ocean " with this adorable little dolphin that looked so happy. I looked up and saw our house, and it clicked!

But where did the water go when we did our laundry? In the ocean too? and our garbage? I was always skeptical of recycling in Los Angeles, everything went into that blue garbage can - paper, plastic, glass and aluminum. So I started researching on the internet. Goal number 1 was to find a recipe for homemade laundry detergent. I was obsessed with this water that was pouring out only a few kilometers from our home, where our children used to swim and surf on weekends, right where we saw this dolphin swimming on the beach among the sea lions. I soon had in my hands the bible of any beginner who wants to reduce his waste, the Zero Waste House. The story of a French woman, Bea Johnson who lives in California, she had this ecological awareness in 2008! Their annual waste for a family of 4 was a jam jar! I was blown away. I thought that recycling was THE solution but I was wrong. 

My first step was to empty our 2 garbage cans in our garden and to assess the situation. The conclusion was without appeal. Plastic, plastic and more plastic. Everywhere! I was appalled. I thought I was doing the right thing by putting my vegetables in reusable cloth bags but that was not really enough. We had to change our habits. Consume less but better, in a conscious way. 

The next day I tackled the kitchen. Everything went in. I took stock of the glass containers we already had, added cloth bags and the adventure began. 

The easiest change was the home cleaning products. A simple base of white vinegar, baking soda and Marseille soap. That was it. No more big cans of detergent, no more chemicals, no more bleach to disinfect everything. Back to natural products and homemade recipes. After a bit of trial and error, volcanic experiments - there were a few spills to the delight of the children! I have my 2 or 3 magic recipes. Now, I spend much less time in the supermarket buying my liters of detergent and dishwashing liquid. I prepare in 10 minutes 2 big cans of detergent, in less than 5 minutes my spray to clean the house and the liquid to do the dishes has been replaced by a bar of Marseille soap which is also used to wash the hands. The house smells just as good as with synthetic perfumes thanks to the essential oils of sweet orange, lavender or lemongrass.

Fast, efficient, natural and economical. 

Tested and validated recipes, which are becoming more and more popular. Talk about it around you, I'm sure you know at least one person around you who does laundry!

The 2nd step was more chaotic, the world of bulk... At the beginning I was always buying too much or not enough. I was putting it everywhere by decanting in my jars, there was as much in the jar as on the floor, I forgot to make the tare. The real beginner. I felt like I was spending my time in bulk stores, sometimes going there 3 or 4 times a week. I was desperate, discouraged by all these trips. I wondered what was the point of it all. It's true, our entourage kept telling me that it was a drop in the ocean! In the end, the children were just as happy with their pack of industrial cookies, but I held on, the routine set in. I wanted to be that drop in the ocean and make things happen. I've settled in, I only buy what we need for the week. We have limited our organic waste, there is almost no more packaging in our kitchen, only glass jars and from time to time a small deviation of a pleasure purchase! We consume in a much more conscious way. This little drop has inspired some of our friends who have also decided to start this awareness. It is this snowball effect that will make things move forward!

At present, we never leave the house without our "survival kit" 1 gourd, bamboo cutlery and a box as "doggy bag". We apply to the maximum the precious rule of the 5 R (reuse, refuse, rot, repair, recycle). Refuse a bag at the checkout, try to repair the toaster before rushing to Amazon to order a new one, reuse the containers to store food, compost when possible, recycle that old toaster with the appropriate organization.

Our children have become real plastic hunters! They spontaneously refuse straws or single-use cups. They never leave home without their water bottle. To have made them aware of this is my greatest pride.

We can't break our bad habits, but we can replace them. You don't have to go that far right away. I wanted to change everything at once, but it's not possible. You have to adapt and see what is feasible to change in your life. For us, it was the food. It coincided with my career change. I had just returned to school to become a nutrition coach. All the planets were aligning to accompany our life change. The shift was underway.

You remember, beauty was a true love affair and as a result our bathroom closets are the hardest to "revolutionize". They are filled with products brought home by my husband. I've always been lucky enough to get all the new products before anyone else. I realized that the most important thing is to have few products but quality products, in line with my new philosophy of life.

The objective for the moment is to use up our stock worthy of a drugstore. It is not a question of throwing everything in the garbage but of finishing what we have in our possession or of giving it away and not keeping it "just in case" - I am sure you know this sentence by heart. This is the first step to a fair and sustainable awareness. 

I tried to make my own creams but I was never satisfied. I did not find the greediness of the not always very natural perfumes or the unctuousness of a cream stuffed with oil... One becomes quickly "addicted" to this comfort.

The zero waste bathroom stage is the most frustrating. I am always looking for THE brand that will combine the generosity and comfort of the formulas, the effectiveness of natural ingredients, the transparency of the manufacturing process and most importantly its commitment to the planet.

More than a way of life, it is a true philosophy of life, which often has an ultra positive impact on who we are. Awareness of our planet cannot take place without awareness of ourselves. We are what we eat, what we put on our skin and especially what we want to do with our sweet blue planet. Being conscious is a whole. You will see that to try it is to adopt it!

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