Generally, “Zero Waste” is a philosophy of eliminating the generation of materials that have no viable or economic option for end-of-use management. In reality, there are varying interpretations for when (and if) it is achieved. Does zero waste really mean zero waste? Does it consider the waste that’s produced in the production of materials upstream? Is a small amount of waste acceptable at the end of a material’s end of life? What about Waste-to-Energy? The definition of zero waste varies widely, with various organizations defining zero waste differently, each with their own interpretation as to what it takes to get to “zero.”
The generation of waste can be lowered through a variety of options, including reducing, reusing, recycling, or taking appropriate action to prevent waste through design and engineering solutions. Many individuals, companies and municipalities continue to strive to achieve zero waste goals.
But Is Zero waste possible at home??
No one is perfectly zero waste. We’re all just doing the best we can, and I am so happy you’re here! A whole bunch of people making small changes adds up to a massive impact!
Here are some tips for beginners;
- BUY LESS
Buying less is the number one thing you can do to produce less trash.
Before buying anything make sure you really truly need it. I always ask myself a series of questions.
- Do you really need it?
- Is it really necessary?
- Can something else make do?
- Do you need to own it?
Zero waste is not just about your bin at home. It’s not solely about the landfill. Trash is a physical representation of misallocated resources. Earth Overshoot Day illustrates this best. Earth Overshoot Day came in the beginning of August last year. It’s the day that illustrates how many resources the earth can sustainably produce for the year.
- BUY WELL
We’re using almost two earth’s worth of resources. It’s completely unsustainable. So, the best thing we can do for the planet is to buy less.
However, there are still purchases we need to make. If you don’t live completely off grid/are self-sustaining, you’ll need to make some purchases.
So when you do purchase something, really think about its full life-cycle. Think about where it came from and where it’s going after you’re through with it.
Here are a series of questions I like to ask myself when making a new purchase.
- Ask a friend.
- Can you find it second hand?
- Can you find it local?
- Who made it?
- Is it made to last/ can it be repaired?
- What happens when you’re done with it?
Always check the secondhand market first and if you’re going to buy something new make sure you’re taking everything into consideration.
And, whatever you do don’t settle.
If I’ve learned anything in two years of zero waste living, it’s that settling for something your not 100% happy with inevitably means you will be unhappy with it. Then you’ll look for something else which is a waste of money and time.
So whatever you buy, you better love it.
- FEEL THE CONTENT
We live in a world full of constant advertisements. Advertisers tell us in order to be happy or in order to get the girl or boy we have to have this product. This product will make us happy or loved.
One of the most rebellious things you can do is find contentment with what you already have.
Things don’t define you. They don’t give you worth. Instead of buying things to make you look better or cooler, try spending time bettering yourself. Take a class, learn a new skill, truly focus on self-improvement.
- CREATE A BALANCE
It’s not about perfection it’s about making better choices.
Personal sustainability is super important.
We live in a society where things are meant to be thrown away. We don’t live in a perfect world where zero waste is normal.
Instead, we just do the best we can where we are. Things are going to happen that don’t 100% align with your values and that’s alright.
Each decision you make is a vote for the future you want. So, buying package free goods and purchasing products from responsible companies is a vote for a move to a circular economy, where waste is resumed back into the system like nature.
So get out there, and do the best you can!
Even if it’s one change. Even if it’s only buying a banana. Every single step in the right direction is just that, a step in the right direction.
What would be some of your tips for someone starting a zero waste life?
Team Earth Rhythm
A Zero waste Skincare Initiative by Soapworks India
Blog post courtesy – Goingzerowaste.com