I met Chris on my Facebook Group. Clearly passionate and committed to the Zero Waste movement, I was struck by how few men there seem to be speaking openly about ‘environment issues’. Don’t they care? Are they oblivious? Or do they just not have a platform to speak up?
My curiosity led me to invite Chris to write for you and throughout the week I’ll be shining the spotlight on men who are living a Zero Waste lifestyle in the hope that more will come forward, speak up about what they are doing and inspire others. Welcome to Dudes against Destruction!
In a zero waste world full of Zero Waste Queens it might be easy to sense that men are not as concerned by the mountains of waste plastic our race produces or the emotional drain that is daily footage of Sea faring birds and animals killed by new continents of plastic waste in our oceans.
But you’d be wrong.
As a guy, doing battle with the daily tide of plastic and unwanted packaging that comes into our household from so many directions, I like to hope I am not alone – I call on my gender to shout/comment/ ask questions below (… cue the awkward silence?!… ).
A bit about myself. After 20 years of running my own busy gardening company and sensing what was happening in the worlds Climate first hand, I had a deep need to get out and for my kids sake, ‘Be that change I wanted to see in the world’. I had a profound concern my two beautiful children along with their generation, stand to inherit all that we leave behind us – and it’s not great. Climate, pollution, population etc etc. I’d wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night worrying ‘for’ them – how will their adult world look or provide for them?
Being a Guy, I’ve had challenges too. I’m not going to say they’re unique to my gender but perhaps a little different in slant. Guys like gadgets – well many of us do anyway – I’m an addict to techno wizardry. I’ve an office filled with dead PC towers, old phones, e-cameras, Hive and Ring gizmos for capturing pesky intruders – much of it bought over the years with lifespans of sometimes up to a dizzy 6 months use… I find the temptation to resist opening the amazon app difficult. But we just don’t need it! Want yes. Need? No.
So, slowly I’m weaning myself away. The first step is admitting it right?
I’m also now the ‘Home-Daddy’, as my daughter describes me, and as such, I’ve been able to effect changes around the house –I’d encourage everyone to do these – they’re the easy ones!
- – our milk to glass bottles,
- – we got re-usable hot drinks cups that work (– personally I’ve found the metal Costa cups the best), and importantly, remember to use them!
- – re-use plastic water bottles that enter the household via visitors, school lunches etc, until they’re leaking or broken – that can take a long time. We decorate them with permanent markers!
- – No more squeezy honey or tomato ketchup, glass all the way.
- – converted us all to dental tabs instead of those pesky toothpaste tubes, we have found the bamboo toothbrushes get smelly if not scrubbed regularly but I’ve funny gums so I use the electric type anyway.
- – switched, where possible, to refillable cleaning products (Ecover mainly),
- – switched to loose teas and buy as little food in plastic packaging as I can.
My own toiletries now consist of shampoo soap bar, shaving soap (having a beard I find no need for a soap brush – and it’s easier to shave in the shower), deodorant bar & we’re trying various natural soaps instead of bottled soaps/shower gels.
I’m working on reducing the collection of lotions and potions the Missus has populating the bathroom window but we’re moving in the right direction.
Can we do more – certainly. But it’s an evolving change and we’re learning all the time.
I’ve even re-acquainted myself with a (borrowed) sewing machine (#newgadget) to fix things we’d have thrown away previously.
So, Guys, get involved. It saves money, it’ll be better for our planet, and you’ll genuinely feel better for doing your bit.
Retired Gardener, Climate change campaigner, Zombie movie lover, Husband, father of 2, Singer, Photographer, Artist.
Chris Young has been reducing waste and single use plastic in the home for about 6 months, having wound up his busy Gardening career of 25 years to ‘save the planet’. He is passionate about reducing single use plastic, climate awareness, growth in renewables and trying to ensure the planet is properly stewarded by our generation. A small task really!