A ‘Zero waste’ lifestyle should go hand in hand with a ‘sharing is caring’ mentality, right?
And what can get more sharing than being part of such a big online community? It is impressive how the community is enlarging, even thanks to the instagrams facebooks and twitters of today’s modern society...
So it comes automatic that when you are new to the zero waste lifestyle joining a Facebook group seems like the ideal way to start. In these groups you assume you can easily ask a question to kickstart changes which will lead you to waste reduction, or at least decrease your plastic waste.
Unfortunately, ‘sharing’ it’s not always ‘caring’ in the online community.
What happens in the comment section, and what I want to focus on here, is indeed not only a ‘zero-waste’ isolated phenomenon, rather a social media effect. But sadly, this happens in our world too.
So - here we go. You are ready to try this new zero waste trend, found a group, you agreed to the rules, been approved by an admin and became part of such group. You gather courage and ask your first question.
And the comments start floating in, notification after notification...
But what happens in the comment section is a showing off of who does it better than the other, maybe a snarky comment at your post (maybe in the question you posted a picture of their current trash, maybe you were even proud to have reduced something already) followed by many snarky comments at other commenters saying how they should do it instead. Which usually leads to comments battle..
And so it made me wonder...
If you are an environmentalist surely you want a better planet, and that’s why you are going through all the efforts of bringing your own mug around, bags at the groceries. Sometimes you even risk seeming mad when asking for something not wrapped, or presenting yourself at the counter with your own container etc.. why else do we do it? Certainly not to feel better than others . I must admit, it does feel good at times to refuse that extra packaging, or choosing to buy something in paper carton rather than plastic. But I feel good for myself, not better than the other person at the check out buying so many plastic wrapped item. Okay, it’s true, there are times when I would like to say something, but just to inform and help , not to judge. The way I see it, a better planet is also including better human relationships and living more in harmony. So if you are not nice to others, there is no point in being zero waste... or less of one!
And I am sure, many of you will feel the same. Yet, while in real life helpfulness and being nice will come automatically on social media the switch to snarky will turn on. So next time you post or comment, think: will I say this to these people face to face ? Answer yes : go ahead and post. No? Delete, nothing to add to this thread. Keep scrolling.
On the other hand, if you are the new person: welcome, and well done on taking your first step. Please ignore the negativity, try filter through to the many useful answers.
Of course, I think it would be much better to also have real groups, with interactions happening face to face, and advice, demo. How about a zero-waste get together clean up with your friends? Learning from one another? Or a neighbourhood clothes swap. Or idea swap. Zero waste pic nic, zero waste concerts, plastic attacks at the supermarket, or just go together and see how many alternatives you can find. Make it fun, make it a game, and never ever judge...
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