Zero Waste Lifestyle - Reduce your footprint now
Zero waste living has become a passion for many people, leading them to live fully waste-free. Others, on the other hand, may feel intimidated by the thought of producing no waste at all. Thankfully, the zero waste lifestyle is not an ‘all or nothing’ kind of deal – you don’t have to go fully zero waste to make a positive impact. As The Zero Waste Chef said: we do not need a few people doing zero waste perfectly – we need a lot of people doing it imperfectly.
We can all learn from the zero waste principles and lead a more sustainable lifestyle thanks to them. At this level, zero waste is accessible to everyone. Let’s go through the basics of living zero waste and then discuss why it is important that we all adopt at least some of them.
The principles of a zero waste homeIn her book Zero Waste Home, the French zero waste guru Bea Johnson sets out the 5 Rs of zero waste. These present the different options you have for getting rid of a range of different sources of waste. When making your home more sustainable, go down the list of these to find the best solution for a source of waste.
- Refuse that which you don’t have use for. This goes for unwanted gifts, goody bags, leaflets… All of these would eventually become waste, if you have no use for them, so tackle it before they enter your home.
- Reduce the number of things you find essential. This gives you an opportunity to rethink what you actually need. One of the best and most universal examples of this is fabric softener – it comes in unnecessary plastic packaging, has a minimal effect and, as it turns out, it’s quite bad for you.
- Reuse or find reusable alternatives. Skip water bottled in plastic and invest in a reusable water bottle. Re-wear clothes that are already in your closet instead of buying new. Or use that old spray bottle that’s already in your home for your homemade cleaner. There’s no need for single-use!
- Recycle, especially glass and metal which can go through the recycling process indefinitely! Careful about paper and, above all, plastic – both of these can only be recycled a few times before they’re unrecyclable.
- Rot your food scraps. If you’re not recycling yet, give it a try. You don’t have to own a garden to do this, there are plenty of apartment-friendly composters available now!
Why we should all adopt them?How can we all benefit from adopting as many of these principles as we can? The waste crisis we are facing is becoming more and more severe. The world currently produces more than 2 billion tons of municipal solid waste per year! The worst kind of waste we produce is that from single-use items and packaging – this is also one of the first waste sources people tackle upon switching to a zero waste lifestyle. In other words, those first few steps make a much bigger difference in the world and let you live a much more sustainable lifestyle than the last few steps towards zero waste. So why don’t we all take the first few steps today?
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