Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Think Tiny


After our trash audit (results here), I noticed something odd, we were still making quite a bit of trash. Food wrappers, bottles, packaging…how could this happen? Didn’t I say I wanted to waste less?!  Well, turns out that alone is not enough.


Tiny Habits

I don’t know about you, but I typically fail when I try to make a big change. I am quite sure I have taken up running every year for the past five years, which has yielded about ten good runs.  Behavioral researcher, BJ Fogg (great article here) would say this is because I am designing for the outcome (running), rather than the behaviors that lead to the outcome (putting on workout clothes, gym shoes, grabbing my ipod).  Fogg believes that creating many tiny habits that lead towards the desired outcome is the key to lasting behavioral change.

If I only attempt to make as little trash as possible, I will surely fail. However, if I create many tiny habits that can lead me to that goal then I may see a change, and a lasting one at that!

Don’t design for the outcome, design for the behaviors that create the outcome.

Finding an Anchor

Fogg also suggests the importance of when you practice your new tiny habit. For example, after I drink my coffee, I will put on my running shoes, or after I finish the dishes, I will chop food scraps for the compost bin.  By attaching your new tiny habit to an existing chain of habits, you can increase the likelihood of solidifying your new habit.


After you complete your tiny habit, it is important to reward yourself! No, this doesn’t mean cake. More like patting yourself on the back, telling yourself “I did it!”, or doing a little happy dance. Positive reinforcement! ☺

Three New Habits

In an attempt to utilize some of these techniques, I have chosen three new tiny habits to practice this month.

Reusable Mug – If we don’t have it, we don’t get any coffee.

Handkerchief – Keeping a handkerchief on hand and several at work; some for hand drying, some for nose blowing.

Composting – Turning food scraps into soil.

I look forward to practicing my reusable mug habit tomorrow morning! Mug, meet cappuccino!

♥ ali


3 thoughts on “Think Tiny

  1. Handkerchiefs strike that nice balance between vintage cool and eco chic.

  2. Totally! I am hoping to embroider one, love learning new skills like that!

  3. Pingback: They’re Here… | Waste Not

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s