It’s Sunday again. Which means that it is time for episode two of our Zero Waste stories!

We’ve asked a group of zero waste promoters to share with us how they’ve become so passionate about zero waste living. By doing so, we hope to inspire others not to give up on (or to take the first step in) their zero waste journey. Although it can be hard at times, it’s all worth it!

This week, Bianca from Zero Waste Path shares her story with us. And she has taken her dedication even a step further by making and selling her own handcrafted eco-friendly soap bars on her webshop! You can also find her on her blog or check her out on one of her two instagram accounts – blog instagram or webshop instagram.

We hope you’ll enjoy Bianca’s story and may it give you the strength to stick with plasticfreejuly! And if you haven’t yet, be sure to check out last week’s story from Monica, AKA girlforacleanworld! All photography rights belong to Bianca. Without further ado, here’s what Bianca has to share:

Hi everyone! My name is Bianca and I’m a 24 years old Italian sustainability student. I started being interested in sustainability during my Political Science undergraduate, when thanks to an International Law course I started realising that sustainability and human rights (my main area of interest) were very closely connected.

Bianca's and Giulio's 3 months jar
Mine and Giulio’s 3 months jar

I started my zero waste journey in February 2016, and it was a bit random, I was already interested in sustainability from an academic point of view and was trying to use more natural products, but other than that I wasn’t doing much! I was at home sick and I saw an article about Lauren Singer (aka Trash is For Tossers), I had already read about her and her trash jar, but because I had some more time I decided to start doing a bit of research on the Zero Waste Movement! The more I read the more I felt like if it was possible to do things differently and it made me want to give it a try.

When I was better I bought the necessary ingredients and made my own toothpaste and deodorant, I slowly started to do more and more swaps and adjustments and the more I made these changes the more I felt good and empowered, and so I continued! After a few weeks I opened an Instagram account (zerowastepath) as I was still a bit shy to share my steps on my personal one, and I also wanted to find other people that were doing the same

 Bianca's first handmade toothpaste (dentifricio) and deodorant (deodorante)!
My first handmade toothpaste (dentifricio) and deodorant (deodorante)!

After 2 years of trying to reduce my waste and impact, me and my boyfriend Giulio decided to create our small zero waste business, Zero Waste Path Shop, which we opened this February (2018). We wanted to put what we had learned thanks to our personal and university experiences into practice, and we wanted to create a company that didn’t just make natural plastic-free products, but also tried to reduce the waste during production and in the supply chain and was transparent about it.

One thing to note about my zero waste experience is that I am a very lazy person, it has always been hard for me to change habits and I often was obsessed with things for just a few months and then dropped them, but this didn’t happen with the zero waste lifestyle. how come?

Bianca's zero waste toiletries
My zero waste toiletries

In my opinion, it’s for two main reasons:

1) The zero waste lifestyle is not strict, it’s not about never ever producing trash anymore, that would be ideal but it’s not possible in today’s society. And this has helped me not to drop everything whenever I can’t do things as well as I’d like. For example these past two months my budget has been exceptionally tight, which has meant not always being able to buy unpackaged or organic goods, but I haven’t lost motivation and in time I have learned to be positive and focus on the things I can do rather than feeling bad about the ones I can’t do.

2) Also, it just makes me feel so much better! It makes me feel empowered and it has given meaning to small everyday actions, things that used to not have any meaning now are small conquers and happy moments. For example, when I’m washing my teeth, I feel good because I love the products I’m using and I know that I am doing something that is positive, and I think that this positive sensation offsets any obstacle you may encounter in your journey!

How Bianca stores her leftovers
How we store leftovers

So my main tip for people starting their journey is to be positive, to celebrate all the small successes, and don’t be hard on yourself for the things you don’t manage to do, whether it is because you can’t or because it’s something that you don’t feel comfortable in doing! We live in a quite wasteful society, so every little step, every little change is indeed a huge success, and deserves to be recognised!

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