Here is my answer:
Tons of exceptions. I think it’s nearly impossible to live completely zero waste. The only one way of being zero waste is probably to not exist – to die.
Zero waste seems more like a goal. The goal that we try to get close to it as possible in all aspects of our lives. I, myself, have been trying to live as low waste as I can, still I make much waste on a daily basis. However, I make sure that my exceptions of not being zero waste make the most sense. These are a few examples:
- Almond milk in carton I buy from a store. I need milk to put into my rolled oats every morning. I switched from dairy milk to plant-based milk which I am happy about it. I tried to make hemp seed milk myself but I live in a tiny apartment where everybody in the building will just wake up if I use my blender in my room. Also, hemp seeds are expensive even though I buy them in bulk.
- Toilet paper : This is one big exception that most people can’t live without. I try my best to use only what I need, and use it in a combination of water, which helps a lot. I choose the brand that aligns with my mission of making less waste. Who Gives a Crap is the brand I choose (no affiliate). Even each roll wrapped individually but they are all paper packaging. The toilet paper itself made of 100% post-consumer paper. I’m willing to pay a little more to the brand that cares rather than the cheaper ones that feed even more plastic trash to the planet.
I think what matters most of living this lifestyle is being more aware of your decisions. If that thing is what you need, choose the one that makes the least impact. But never try to be perfectly zero waste all the time because you won’t be able to sustain that. It will be too much stress not just for yourself but the people around you. Just make sure you try your best and try better.