Purging my life of wasteful materials was not a pretty process. Through trial and error, I learned that buying shampoo in bulk was better than trying to make shampoo out of apple cider vinegar, resulting in a residual stench that haunted my pillows and hair-ties for weeks. By choosing to not put produce in a plastic bag at Harris Teeter I received a fair amount of strange looks, and even the occasional “you better wash this before you eat it” speil. Or perhaps the time I nearly ruined a load of laundry from incorrectly making my own detergent. The vigorous effort I have put into having a waste-free lifestyle has helped me be more aware and controlled with what I do that could have any sort of negative impact on the environment. I want to continue moving my energy for this topic forward in a direction that helps people learn and get involved in a reduced waste lifestyle. The adjustments that I have made to my lifestyle are small, but are just the beginning steps in a lifelong process.
Lillian Lovingood is the Clean Communities Coordinator and AmeriCorps Project Conserve member at Asheville GreenWorks. For questions or comments feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org