If you’ve been closely following the latest news around the world, you have probably heard the term “zero waste.” It is a common phrase that is frequently used alongside global warming and climate change.
So, what exactly is a zero-waste lifestyle, and how does it work? Well, this post gives every detail about the zero-waste lifestyle, from its meaning to what you need to do to get started.
What is zero waste?
Zero waste is a movement that is aimed at reducing the amount of what people consume and throw away. Basically, this is the most sustainable way of living.
Choices in this type of lifestyle affect all environmental areas by reducing resource extraction, minimizing materials that are thrown away or sent to the incinerator, and pollution from transporting, producing and disposing of materials.
While the zero in this term suggests that the movement should reduce the wastes completely and send nothing to landfills, the proponents of the movement concur that it is absolutely impossible to generate no waste at all.
Zero waste movement works on very simple reasoning. They include;
- If you refuse to accept or buy products that are carried on wasteful packaging, the demand for them reduces.
- By refusing to buy products packed in single-use plastic, you help address the world’s increasing plastic menace. Also, you will remove a lot of toxic materials around your place.
- If you streamline what you shop for and what gets in your home, you will also be able to streamline most aspects of your life. You will realize you have enough time to attend to serious issues that matter to you.
This kind of lifestyle may look different based on where you stay, but everybody can participate at various levels. Urban dwellers have more options for bulk products and may live close to businesses willing to fill their personal containers.
On the other hand, rural people may have more and better food production options. The target is to allow people to do their best with the available resources.
Principles behind the zero-waste movement.
According to activist and zero waste home writer Bea Johnson, there are five major principles that guide the zero waste movement. These principles have evolved into becoming the topic zero wasters use to convince people to join the movement across the world.
These principles include;
- Refuse what you don’t require; doing this prevents unneeded things from getting into your compound. The principle applies to all the promotional products you are offered, plastic straws, and junk mails.
- Reduce what you use; this equals having less waste.
- Reuse anything you can; reusing a product means considering a lot of factors like, can you extend its services by repairing? Reusing also means changing disposable products for reusable ones that can be mended to make them more presentable than throwing them away.
- Recycle; recycling is one of the streams of saving waste from resources that are common among people. However, it is essential to note that some products will not recycle entirely and most likely will end up in landfills. Such items are what zero wasters avoid at all costs.
- Rot whatever is left; making composts of food leftovers, paper pieces, or things like bamboo or wooden toothbrush is an ideal way to get fibers or nutrients back to the earth.
Tips on how to get started on a zero-waste lifestyle.
A zero-waste lifestyle begins by assessing your surroundings and overall habits and trying to reduce or change those producing waste.
The following are steps to follow for those who are considering to employ this approach for the first time.
- Streamline what you bring into your compound.
- Carry a personal container for takeout.
- Shop at significant stores having reusable containers.
- Refuse promotional and unnecessary items.
- Use up what you have.
- Reconsider most of your favorite products.
A zero-waste lifestyle is absolutely one of the best ways you can improve your environment on a daily basis. With this movement, you don’t have to do things differently; you can still do major shopping, eat at the restaurant, or drink at your favorite coffee outlet.
You only need to make a few adjustments to avoid things that will generate too much waste. Basically, you need to refuse, reuse, recycle and rot what is left.