Starting N.O.W. (Near-O-Waste): Gradual Steps in a New Direction

A year ago, I had an idea that totally transformed my way of thinking and inspired the blog you’re reading right now.

Staying committed, as we changed many aspects of our life, wasn’t always easy.

I spent a lot of time learning the ropes, trying new ideas, and sometimes failing. I spoke with people who understood my intentions, and people who didn’t. I was gawked at, or even scoffed at, for bringing my own containers. And I worried that my zero-waste choices would inadvertently offend my non-zero-waste loved ones.

But today, I couldn’t be happier with the results of our efforts (and I take the nickname “Pan-handler” as a compliment!)…

We make very little trash, which is good for the earth.

We eat mainly real, unpackaged food, which is good for our health.

We spend less time buying (and dealing with) stuff, which is good for our sanity.

As a result, we have more quality family time, which is good for our hearts.

And we have more money to spend on traveling, which is good for our souls.

In 2016, I hope to inspire others to take gradual steps toward a Near-O Waste lifestyle by posting a new idea every other week.

I’ll start with ideas that are quick, easy, and probably free, and move toward ideas that are more time-consuming and/or challenging (and might require an investment). Near-O Waste ideas will come first, and later; ideas for minimalism and simple living.

As I discovered very early on: *ZERO* waste is improbable, but *near* zero is possible! The first step is wanting to change. Do it for the earth, your health, your sanity, your heart, and your soul. Do it N.O.W.!

Make less trash, minimize, simplify, and be happy. 

I hope you’ll follow my blog and like my Facebook page. If you’re inspired, please invite your friends to like my Facebook page or share this post.

Version 2
Happy, Texas (in *Randall* county, no less!)

10 thoughts on “Starting N.O.W. (Near-O-Waste): Gradual Steps in a New Direction

  1. Annika December 28, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    Nice! I’m looking forward to weekly inspiration. When I started my blog, I tried to post a new idea every week for 2015, and trying it out for myself. It’s actually a great way to ease yourself into a new way of living, rather than being overwhelmed with what you can do. I’m sure this will inspire many people (especially myself) to start with their own baby steps!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste December 28, 2015 / 3:30 pm

      Thank you Annika! I’ve always kind of just *described* what I do, but after a year I think I can make some *suggestions*! I thought it would be fun to alternate the ideas with updates about our progression. Thanks for reading!


  2. Samantha Lea December 28, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Nice idea with the N.O.W. concept. I think it’s great to aim for Zero…but settle for nearly Zero.
    I would love to read about your ideas and suggestions.
    I too do a similar thing but I’m doing it just as and when I encounter a Zero Waste opportunity. If you would like to check it out I’m at “thishappylowlife” on wordpress.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Malu December 28, 2015 / 3:51 pm

    I have been through these kinds of things several times. I really feel bad when people give me “the face” because I asked them to use my containers. Sometimes, I also feel not prepared and just yesterday my mother and I (I am spending the hollidays with my parents in my hometown) went to a place where we have been ordering meals for 20 years. The meals used to come in aluminium containers with paper lid, which is not ideal, but everything there is easily recyclable. However, at some point they changed that to styrofoam. I felt so bad, so bad! But I learned my lesson: next time I’ll bring my own container or have my meal on site. Zero waste is mostly failing while paying attention to the absurdities of consumption and then improving on that!
    Thanks for such great post. These are all truths! The global quality of life (ours and the planet’s) is what is most import. 🙂


    • Near-O Waste December 28, 2015 / 3:57 pm

      It’s nice to know people who can relate 🙂 Styrofoam?! Horrible. It is a good lesson though! I’ve learned so much this way.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. GreenerDaddy December 28, 2015 / 6:42 pm

    step by step approach is the good option and don’t consider zero waste as a litteral expression is the second option.
    Let’s start NOW with you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Inge December 28, 2015 / 7:11 pm

    We seem to be on the exact same schedule 🙂 I started a year ago too and all I wrote about was a description of what I’ve been trying. Just N.O.W. I decided to change it up and help others with recommendations. So funny that it happens at the same time! Good luck for 2016 for you NOW and your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Near-O Waste December 28, 2015 / 11:29 pm

      Inge, that’s awesome! And how funny! Good luck to you too… I’ll be following…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. madgoesgreen January 25, 2016 / 4:15 pm

    It is so wonderful to read about all these inspiring projects and the community around it. At the beginning I felt I was alone, but seeing so much effort on a global level it motivates me to push it even further. Living in Bangkok and going into a nearly zero waste direction is a challenge in itself as everything you can possibly imagine gets wrapped into plastic… However, what is life without a proper challenge and the world needs us. In Bangkok about 10,000 tons of waste are being created and 12% is recycled… everything else is being tossed on the street, rivers, beaches, etc. They estimate that by 2025 it will be about 15,000 tons per day…. We can truly say that Bangkok and Thailand is drowning in their own waste. I have started to blog about it, because friends consider me a role model for their changing behavior, which helps me to write… now also my students want to get involved and I am proud about that… We are taking baby steps together, but I am happy that other people feel inspired to participate in our little movement.


    • Near-O Waste January 25, 2016 / 5:51 pm

      Wow, sad situation, but great job on your efforts on “that side” of the world! You are inspiring others 🙂


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