Hello dear European Mothers,
I am happy to get back here today with an inspiring interview from Ireland after explaining why I felt Danish lately. As you may know, I am reducing my waste (in French). That’s how I came across the experience of Timi Konya, in Dublin.
Sandra, MamansdEurope : Hello Timi, could you introduce yourself?
How did it all started?
Our Zero Waste Journey started not long after my son was born. We were astonished by the amount of nappies one baby uses, so decided to try out cloth nappies and reduce our waste that way. I have heard that there was a zero waste group on Facebook in another cloth nappy related group and got really curious.
I spend January 2016 with reading the Zero Waste Home book and several blogs and websites and started making changes. We did not want to go hard core, we thought we would change a few things and it will be fine. However the more we got into it, the more we wanted to change.
Along the way we have discovered that we owned far too much stuff. After of rounds of decluttering we still own more than we need, but we are on the way to living with less.
What does it bring you to choose that alternative lifestyle?
Living a zero waste lifestyle makes us a lot more conscious of our actions. We get to understand that anything we do has its consequences on a broader scale, not just on our lives. This knowledge can be overwhelming sometimes, but we need to acknowledge that there is so much we can do and we can only inspire others to make changes in their lives too.
We are stepping away from our present model of consumerism where materialistic gains are the focus of life. We would like to have a financially secure but simple life where we place emphasis on experiences over stuff. Of course we are not going to stop consuming goods and we are not going to deprive ourselves, instead we prefer mindful consumption.
On a practical level, our life is simpler than it was before. In the beginning we had to learn new ways and ow to appreciate things that we just ignored before. After a while we got better at this lifestyle: like avoiding plastic or refusing what we don’t need for example.
I chat a lot about this lifestyle with my Mum and she resonates with many things that we started doing, saying: “this is how it used to be, simple, but good”
What are your sources of inspiration?
Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home was my first book to read. It was an instant eye opener and so inspiring that every time I go back to it I feel like want to change and simplify more.
I really enjoyed reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and try to keep my parenting on this route when it comes to buying toys etc…
Nowadays I am busy exploring more about minimalism and a minimalist lifestyle and the book called Stuffocation by James Wallman gave me a good push in this. I cannot say that my whole family is on board with minimalism, but I am ok with that.
Do you have any other minimalist resources?
What is the most satisfying with your lifestyle?
The most satisfying part of this lifestyle is the knowledge that we make a difference, maybe it is only a drop in the ocean, but it is a difference.
Inspiring others is another. I love seeing people coming back to me saying: Look, we did this or changed that. It is fantastic to be able to share a common set of values with others.
On the opposite, what is the most frustrating?
The most frustrating is when people don’t get it. I don’t ask anyone to change their life, but it is difficult when your choice is not respected. We are still learning to let this go.
Are there one or two tips you would like to share with us?
A practical tip I would share is to ditch the disposables: paper towel, baby wipes, take away coffee cup, plastic bags, plastic straws, water in plastic bottles…anything that is only used once, sometimes only for minutes. Instead choose a reusable alternative and see how you feel about the instant drop of the amount of waste you produce and the money you saved.
Some people believe that living an “eco-friendly” means that you have to change everything to an “eco-friendly” alternative. I think it is more about reducing consumption and with that avoiding waste on the first place.
Don’t be afraid to ask or to be different. That is how change happens.
For more tips, you can follow me on Instagram: simple.nowaste.life
Why did you invite Bea Johnson in Dublin?
Our aim with inviting Bea Johnson, the founder of the Zero Waste Movement, to Dublin was to raise awareness about an alternative way of living and to inspire others to choose this lifestyle. We also hope that her talk provided an inspiration to prospective business developments. We do not have Zero Waste or unpackaged shop here in Dublin and that would fantastic to be able to buy for example dried goods without packaging.
All pictures from Timi. The group picture is from Greennews.ie
Thank so much Timi for sharing your experience and resources with us!
What about you dear European Mothers, do you try to reduce your waste? Are you influenced by minimalism? Let me know by commenting !