When a Zero Waste Facebook Group comes to life!

Zero Waste Heroes is a great Facebook group (join it here) full of people passionate about the zero waste lifestyle and set up in response to Rachelle Strauss’ highly successful Zero Waste Week . When a meetup was recently suggested in the group I jumped at the chance to join in and to meet some of these people.

So on Saturday I got on the train up to London after explaining to my 7 year old in great detail about why it was ok for grownups to meet up with strangers they meet on the internet but not kids :).

I was excited about the opportunity to speak to people in real life who like me have tried (or at least thought about) living without shampoo, toilet paper and toothpaste. I also had another reason for wanting to go to, I wanted a bit more encouragement. After trying to go plastic free for Plastic Free July and various attempts to go Zero Waste, some rubbish has crept back into my life. There are changes that I have made which have become permanent, but there are some things which I have remained unsure about and others which are a constant challenge. I thought it would great to go and find out in person how other people took on some of these challenges.

When I got up to London, it was great to meet (from left to right in the pic at the top) Emma, Vicky and Pip. I have chatted to Pip quite a lot online and love her blog A Refuge for Daffodils – go check it out! We were there for around 3 and a half hours and did not stop talking about going zero waste and related subjects.

I felt a bit under pressure from myself – not from anyone else (most zero waste enthusiasts seem like really lovely people) to show my zero waste credentials and to try and do the right thing. However, the cafe we chose to meet at had a policy of automatically putting hot drinks into disposable cups unless you ask for a normal cup. The first time I went up I made a point of asking for a normal cup, but the second time I forgot and they started putting it in a disposable cup and this had happened to one of my other zero waste friends too. Instead of beating myself up about it, I asked to speak to the manager and had what seemed like a very positive chat about changing their policy. She explained that they choose a disposable cup straight away as most of their customers come from the offices in the building wanting disposable cups, there is often a queue and everyone is in a rush, so it speeds things up. I suggested that it wouldn’t take long to ask people first what type of cup they want and also that they could offer a 5p discount to anyone bringing their own mug, saving them on washing up/ paying out for disposable cups. The manager seemed to like the idea and I have sent her an email asking her to tell me how it goes, so if I hear anything back I will let you know!

On the train on the way home my mind was filled with ideas about toilet paper alternatives (still not sure I am ready to go there again) and going back to bicarbonate of soda for cleaning my teeth – mainly encouraged by Emma who I will be writing some more about in my next blog post!

The meetup was organised by Meg from the group, but unfortunately she couldn’t make it in the end which was such a shame, but big thanks to Meg for organising it!

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