• The accidental environmentalist

    October 8, 2020 • LIFE, STORIES

    Anita Vandyke didn’t grow up with a hippie mother or a passion for the environment; she was just a person trying to find happiness in all the usual places – money, power, and status. But this idea of success didn’t provide her with the happiness that she expected.

    At age twenty-six Anita was a qualified rocket scientist and a manager in a large engineering firm, earning more money than her Chinese migrant parents ever had. On paper, her life was the epitome of success. “I was the one my parents didn’t have to worry about; the daughter who graduated high school with a near perfect UAI, had a well-paying corporate job and the latest Givenchy boots in my closet,” she said. It was a supposedly a picture-perfect life for Anita, but it all changed in an instant when in 2015 Anita has an epiphany.

    “I remember sitting in a board meeting on Level 6, looking at my boss, my boss’s boss and the big boss, thinking is this it? Is this who I will become in five, ten, fifteen years’ time,” she recalls.

    Anita realised then that if she kept going down this path, all her hopes of living a life that was truly hers, one that wasn’t bound by golden handcuffs, would be lost forever. These questions haunted Anita, and the doubt started to make her miserable. “My husband looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You have to quit your job – it’s killing you,'” she recalls. Anita knew then that if she didn’t do something about her everyday misery, she risked losing him. Anita quit her job the next day and since then has transformed her life.

    By embracing a zero-waste life, Anita has been able to go back to university to study full-time to become a doctor, move out of her in-law’s house into a 59-square meter apartment, and has dedicated her life to something greater.

    “Working in corporate Australia didn’t reflect who I was, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right for everyone, you certainly don’t have to quit your corporate job to live a more eco-friendly life. But you do have to find what works for you,” Anita said.

    The zero waste living movement is centered on reducing the waste you send to landfill and reducing the amount of plastic used in your life. But Anita wants to show people that living a truly zero waste life also means not wasting your life away. “Quite simply, plastic is Mother Nature’s non-renewable resource, and time is ours. We shouldn’t waste either one,” she says.

    In her book, A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days, Anita provides simple ways to live an eco-luxe life, one in which everyone can be zero waste activists without depriving themselves of the modern luxuries of life.

    “In living a truly zero waste life, you actually gain more – more time, more money and more life. Isn’t that what we all want in the end: a life of happiness, a life of luxury, a life that isn’t wasted?”

    Shop A Zero Waste Life in Thirty Days book here >

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *