snowcapped mountain

Going zero waste could transform your life in ways you’ve only dreamed of. Here’s why

Last July, JC moved to the South of France with five books and a 20kg suitcase. Since then he sold his house in England, and gave away everything in it. Here JC explains his zero waste journey so far – and outlines the next stage of his plan.

Perhaps it’s lockdown, but my story seems to have struck a chord with many people I know – and even some I don’t. 

The responses I’ve had have been uplifting, and often very moving. 

Lots of folk tell me that I’m brave for making such a seemingly big move. 

That it must have been a tough decision. 

As I explain to them gently, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now, I’m not saying changing your entire life is easy.

(Zero Waste Generation’s founder Petra will tell you the same. She emigrated to London from Budapest, and it wasn’t all plain sailing at first.)

It was undeniably hard to leave my family, my pals, and my close village community.

But it would have been far harder not to.

The fact is, my old life in Worcestershire – wonderful as it was – just wasn’t sustainable for me anymore.

Having spent lots of time living and running in the South of France over the last few years, I knew my heart belonged to the Pyrenees. 

And I’d made some great friends there as well. 

Men and women who share my love of bright sunshine, long mountain runs, and swimming in clear rivers and lakes. 

Fierce competitors with a wicked sense of humour, and an unswerving devotion to excellent coffee and home-baked goods. 

My tribe, if you like.

Back in Worcestershire, the call of the wild was so loud at night I could barely sleep.

When I did, I’d dream of being with my pals up on the plateau. Of our adventure runs at sunrise and sunset, where we’d meet wild horses and fleet-footed deer. 

At work, my mind would start to wander. 

I’d think of the billion-starred Pyrenean night sky, and how the fresh morning snow crunches beneath your feet as you race down from the peaks. 

An enjoyable distraction? 

Of course. 

But not much use when you’re trying to write creative campaigns for famous brands with high hopes and tight deadlines. 

Over time, it became obvious how much I’d changed. 

My home in England – and the stuff in it – just didn’t feel like mine anymore.

So instead of spending my life talking about change, I decided to make some. 

And the simplest, most elegant solution I could think of was to go to France and stay there for as long as I could.  

As the summer went on, it seemed logical to buy a small sunny apartment here.

The next step was to sell my house in Worcestershire, and donate all of my possessions to anyone who needed or wanted them. 

Which is what I did, with the help of my sister Jane and some fab friends in England. (Thanks Kim, Elaine, and Nicola. And to Georgie, for so many reasons I wouldn’t know where to begin.)

Lots of the inspiration for my move came from working with Petra and Mark here at Zero Waste Generations. 

Our zero waste motto, which you may have seen, is “simple, sustainable, and sexy”. 

But as I learned last year, zero waste isn’t just useful for improving your home and reducing your environmental impact.

Zero waste is a philosophy that can transform your whole life. 

So from now on, I’ll be going all in on this approach. 

I’m taking a zero waste approach to the time, talent, and opportunities I have. 

And I’d be delighted if you joined me on this journey. 

Of course, I’m not saying you should do something similar to me. 

But if you have any hopes or dreams of your own, I’d strongly recommend you get cracking on them right away.

Believe me, you’ll never look back.


Thanks for reading.

If you haven’t already, please meet the incredible Petra and Georgie

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