My name is Eva, and welcome to Kind Planet! I have created this site to share my Circular Living experiences, as well as to provide you with some steps to do so yourself if you choose.
Why I Changed My Trash Habits
I considered myself a lover of the planet. I grew up eating local organic food, working on an organic farm, and volunteering to clean up the environment. From pre-school through high school I attended Waldorf, an alternative path of education where learning through the will is approached in a three fold manner, through head, heart and hands. My time at Waldorf taught me practical life skills such as gardening, cooking, sewing, knitting, critical thinking, self expression and empathy. Because I had learned to be self-reliant, the transition to a Circular Lifestyle felt like a natural next step. Due to my upbringing, which cultivated a loving relationship with nature, I thought I was environmentally conscious and that I was doing my part and not significantly contributing to pollution. In March of 2015, I woke up and realized that I was NOT living my environmental values. I was in fact polluting my body and our planet every single day by making trash and not being a sensible consumer. I was using non-organic beauty products, cleaning products, and other harmful agents, which were all packaged in plastic and contained chemicals. I realized that these products were directly damaging myself and the earth and were ending up in the landfill and ocean. Yikes! Just because I grew up in a wholesome environment, I still had to form my own relationship with my actions around harmful consumerism, and Circular Living was not a part of my consciousness. When I came around full circle and began questioning my behavior, then I saw how much waste I was generating and began to take responsibility for my actions.
I was fortunate to have had a network and support for healthy living, but culturally Circular Living is still a developing form of consciousness. Very few things in my life took this into account, as American society and culture are extremely capitalistic and geared toward single use disposable commodities, which perpetuate a sickness in materialism. I now see through a Circular lens, a new view of the world that living low impact completes the cycle; it was the part that I was missing.
The path to the discovery of and transition to Circular Living is a path of self-development. I realized that our planet is rich in the opportunity (overflowing at the landfills) to ask ourselves questions regarding our behavior around waste. I had to make a serious self-inquiry into my relationship to my own waste (trash, recycling, misuse of resources, etc.) that I produced on a daily basis. All my life I failed to see how my behavior around waste was my responsibility. I was not being mindful of the planet that we all share. Making the decision to quit sending waste to the landfill was easy; following through was much more difficult, as making waste was a lifelong habit.
Habits are formed when we repeat a behavior and it becomes part of us. We can form habits unconsciously, and some habits as we all know do not benefit us or those around us-- just as the habit of making trash does not help us or the planet. In order to change our unhealthy habits we have to recognize them and begin working toward cultivating new and healthy ones to take their place. For me making the change to trash and plastic-free living was daunting, as I am a full time college student and work full time. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to do it, and that as one person my actions wouldn't make a difference. Then I thought about how rivers are formed....They are fed by many streams. If each stream thought that it did not make a difference and stopped flowing, there would be no river. In the same way, if we each stop making harmful waste, the planet will be less polluted and we can work towards healing it.
I began researching how to transition to a low impact life and was inspired to see a handful of others already successfully living this way. I can tell you since changing my consumer behavior, I have never felt better! I'm happier, healthier, living my values, voting with my dollar, saving money, and being kind to this incredible planet we all share. This way of being in the world has re-kindled my sense of wonderment and awe that I felt as a child. I am liberated and intrigued with the phenomena and beauty of this kind planet!