Mark Twain said, “The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret to getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming task into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.” It’s likely Twain was referring to his writing process when he said this but the method he shared applies to most—really any—big task you might face.
When you consider that the true goal of zero waste is not just zero waste to landfill, but redesigning our entire cycle of resource extraction, consumption and discard management so no resources are wasted in the process, it can feel nearly insurmountable. How can one person make that much of a difference and how can one person change when stuck inside this take-make-use-waste system that drives our whole economy? We understand. We're in the day to day work of trying to change that overarching economic system. How do we, as a small company, tackle a huge, seemingly insurmountable problem?
We break it down. We take the steps we can. We hold a big vision for change while wrestling with solving the immediate problem that unlocks the next step. What we've learned has helped keep us from getting stuck in a state of overwhelm.
So, if the idea of reducing your annual trash to a quart jar has your head spinning, try reducing your waste in one room or one area of your life. Pick a small habit, let it settle in and take hold and then try another one. Thankfully, you don't have to try this alone. There is power and wisdom in taking on big challenges in community. Here are some great people to learn from and be inspired by:
Books (Kindle versions available)
101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg
The Zero Waste LifeStyle by Amy Korst
Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash by Shia Su
We gave Twain the first word and we'll let his words be the last ones to inspire you today to take one step, together. “Habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”