Hi there! My name is Lisa. Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to read this post.
I’ve written on this blog for a few years now but recently I’m inspired to take it in a new direction. Previously, I would write about my journey into minimalism, the trials and tribulations of travelling full-time and a lot about food but it never felt quite right. It’s not that I don’t appreciate this life I’ve created for myself; I’m grateful for every second. And I don’t necessarily dislike my previous posts…I just envisioned this blog as being something more meaningful.
A new beginning
With each year that passes, I learn more about myself and what I value. Becoming vegan and then minimalist allowed me to quit the rat-race for good and start a new life. With a one-way ticket in hand, I left the US with everything I owned in my backpack. I didn’t have a real plan as to where I’d be living or what I’d be doing. I just knew I had to keep moving.
It’s been almost four years since I took that leap and I’m proud of myself for having the courage to do so. I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and took real risks even though part of me was afraid to venture off into the unknown. Because of that, I have gained so much. Every experience along the way helped me figure out who I really am.
where I am today
So now I ask myself: What life do I want to lead? What life should I lead? And what life brings about the most happiness for me and everyone else? In other words, how can I live a purposeful life that reflects what I truly believe in?
These questions all have the same answer. To live in accordance with my values, I need to take responsibility for my actions and care more about the environment. I don’t want to just mindlessly consume and create waste and leave it for future generations to deal with.
While I believe that adhering to veganism and minimalism inevitably leads to a better environment overall, I feel like I’m not doing enough. Documentaries like A Plastic Ocean bring me to tears but I still find myself reaching for plastic-packaged foods in the shops simply because they’re convenient. Then I pat myself on the back because I recycle everything, even though deep down I know plastic recycling is a sham.
We’re drowning in plastic
Plastic is useful in some applications because of its durability but therein lies the problem: plastic doesn’t decompose. Every single piece of plastic created since the start of its mass production in the 1950s is still on this planet.
We estimate that 8300 million metric tons (Mt) as of virgin plastics have been produced to date. As of 2015, approximately 6300 Mt of plastic waste had been generated, around 9% of which had been recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or the natural environment. If current production and waste management trends continue, roughly 12,000 Mt of plastic waste will be in landfills or in the natural environment by 2050.
More than 8 million tons of trash are dumped into the oceans every year.
This is the equivalent to five grocery bags full of plastic trash for every foot of coastline on Earth. The majority of this trash consists of “disposable” items, like cigarette butts, food wrappers, and drink bottles to name a few.
Half of all the plastic created is for single-use, meaning we only use these items for a few minutes before throwing them away. The problem is that our plastic waste never goes away. It might make it to the landfill but most of it eventually finds its way to the ocean.
To me, the most alarming statistic I’ve learned through my deep dive into the plastic crisis is that over 90% of all seabirds have plastic pieces lodged in their stomachs. According to National Geographic, plastic found inside birds includes bags, bottle caps, synthetic fibres from clothing, and tiny rice-sized bits. Some birds eat so much plastic that they’re too full to eat real food. They die from malnutrition or because they bleed to death when sharp plastic pieces puncture their internal organs.
Our throw-away society is driving seabirds to extinction. A 2015 study found a 69.7% decline in the global sea bird population from 1950 to 2010.
This is our reality
And if I’m really being honest with myself, I know I’m not doing the best I can when it comes to my plastic use. I wasn’t being true to myself or my values when I put convenience over the state of the environment. That is changing today.
Inspired by the documentary No Impact Man, I’m committing to impacting the environment as little as possible. My husband Kuba is also on board with it since living more sustainably is one of the reasons why we wanted to build our tiny house in the first place. We moved in almost two weeks ago and decided that now is the time to make a solid effort. Ultimately, our goals are to be off-grid and as close to zero waste as possible.
On this blog, I will discuss the changes we make to our lives (forgoing plastic packaging, for example) and how we’ll transform our tiny house and this little plot of land into a self-sustainable homestead. I’ll share our successes as well as all of the mistakes we make along the way. I want this to be a learning experience for anyone who wants to be a part of our journey. We will have to give up certain habits and comforts but our lives will be enriched with so much more.
We all have a responsibility to take care of this planet. It’s the only home we have.