#FocusOnMoments: how to find your ‘WHY’ for zero waste living

Disclosure: Please note that this blog post is sponsored in paid partnership with Fracture.

Our trash tells a story.

I’ve heard that trash sorters at municipal waste management facilities say that they can learn a lot about people from their trash. Our trash can tell stories about what we eat, the hobbies we enjoy, the medications we take, and the goals we give up on. From the packaging of each of these items, or the items themselves, our trash can’t hide who we are.

On top of that, we are creating so much of it!

We can use this knowledge to reframe of mindset, and to change our focus. If we know we are motivated to reduce our trash and move towards zero waste, then let’s change the narrative. We can change the story, and focus on moments instead.


Ask yourself: “What is my motivation to reduce my trash? What’s my ‘why’?”

I learned my ‘why’ long before I knew what the zero waste lifestyle was all about. I truly had an epiphany moment while snorkelling in Bali, Indonesia, about 5 years ago. Bali is a beautiful island, with a reputation of tranquility and peace. But all that disappears when you’re snorkelling with trash. While snorkelling in what should have been the pristine waters of Bali, I instead discovered garbage intermixed with fish and mediocre coral reefs (they didn’t look very healthy).

While swimming with the sun shining down and salt in my eyes, I felt devastated. I wondered: “How had we created such damage and destruction of such a vital resource and what should have been a stunning reef full of sea life?”

During that same trip, my husband and I also made our way to Thailand. Again, I was naïve and didn’t expect the amount of trash that we stumbled upon. It was quite noticeable on one small island we visited for a few days. This island was quite small, so we could walk from one end to the other in thirty minutes. We walked to the other side of the island to check out the other resort (it was fancier than ours so we wanted to snoop around!!).

What we discovered on this little walk between resorts was the village where all the staff lived. We also discovered that the ditches were filled with trash. Our trash. All I could think about was the fact that our hotel trash can was just being emptied into these ditches. One good storm and all this trash would head to the ocean!

After this trip, it was critical for me to create change and to regularly inspire myself and others to reduce their impact on the natural environment. Although, I must admit, it took a lot longer to get there then I expected, because I wasn’t sure how I was going to spark that motivation beyond my family and friends. I’m not a marine biologist, so who would listen to me?

What many people don’t realize is that, even when we’re far away from tropical islands living our daily lives, our trash can still end up in the ocean. If our litter ends up on the street, it can wash away into nearby rivers and eventually travel to the ocean.

My travels are a reminder to #FocusOnMoments that motivate me to reduce my trash.

We don’t need to be marine biologists to reduce our impact on aquatic ecosystems and to share that knowledge with others. Instead, we can Focus on Moments to motivate ourselves and others to reduce our trash. Moments that matter to us.

What are your moments?

In order to motivate yourself to reduce your trash, ask yourself, what’s your ‘why’? What moments in your life have you experienced that get you so fired up that you can’t stop thinking about it? Write them down.

Focus on these moments. And, if you can, surround yourself with them! Print and hang your photos from these special moments in life as a daily reminder of your ‘why’. This will help you to #FocusOnMoments.

I keep these photos from my favourite travels as a reminder that I don’t want to leave behind so much trash when I visit each place. It’s a reminder and motivation to have a positive impact on the natural environment. Having them printed and hanging in my home allows me to have the daily motivation to keep reducing my waste. This is great when it gets a bit tough.

What photos would you put up to help you #FocusOnMoments?


Fracture helps us to #FocusOnMoments by printing our most treasured moments on glass. They are hand-assembled with care in Florida, and shipped with sustainability in mind. Fracture is committed to sustainability.

Fracture offsets their carbon footprint by planting trees (making them carbon-neutral) and they ship with minimal packaging, which is quite a feat given that they are shipping glass! You would think a company selling glass prints would use mostly Styrofoam, but it's predominantly recycled cardboard that you'll be receiving your glass prints in.

This month, until October 27th, Fracture (@fractureme on Instagram) is challenging us to take action for the environment. Use the #FocusOnMoments hashtag on Instagram showing how you're taking action for the environment (like picking up trash or planting a tree). The winner will receive $135 towards their own Fracture glass prints! Good luck! This contest is not affiliated with Instagram.

Head over to their website and get your prints ready to help you #FocusOnMoments and remind you of your ‘why’. If our trash is going to tell a story about us, it should be that we are doing everything we can to make less of it! #zerowaste

Discount Code for Fracture: ZEROWASTECOLLECTIVE10

About the Founder

Hi! I'm Tara McKenna, Founder of The Zero Waste Collective. Based in Canada, I have created this community as a hub for all things zero waste! Take a look around, and join this global conversation. You can also follow my zero waste journey on Instagram at @mindfully.tara. Thanks for stopping by!


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