We live in a LINEAR production model that assumes that there are infinite resources.
We take, make, and dispose.
In other words, we take materials from the earth, we create products, and we tossed them into a giant hole in the ground.
Instead of taking responsibility for our waste, we use valuable resources to create products that are thrown away.
Even worse, manufacturers actively participate in creating this disposable culture. The quicker the product breaks, the quicker they can make a new sale. This is called Planned Obsolescence, and basically, it is a product design with an artificially limited useful life, so it becomes obsolete and no longer functional.
Keeping this way of living makes no sense at all. The reality is that our earth don’t have infinite resources, and this unrestricted growth cannot be supported by our planet.
The answer is on a Circular Economy, which is a regenerative system that has a closed loop, where materials, nutrients, and data are continuously repurposed.
A good example of a Circular Economy is reflected in Nature. In Nature there is no trash or waste, even the excrements from animals are vital to the system, they provide nutrients back to the earth.
It’s in our hands to RETHINK and REDESIGN the way we use our resources and to make sure that all products are repurposed
ZERO WASTE is precisely that, a Philosophy that encourages us to rewrite the story of our consumption, to put value back into our belongings and to focus on living simply and valuing experiences.
Zero waste is a pursuit to decrease the amount of garbage and recycling we make, through rethinking our approach to what we buy and use, choosing reusable products over single-use disposables, choosing to buy fewer packaged products and composting.
How to start a Zero waste lifestyle?
The first step is to evaluate, consider your biggest sources of trash and recycling.
- How much garbage are you currently producing? and what types?
- Are you drowning in clothes and junk you don’t need?
- How much and what do you really need to be happy?
The second step is to Rethink and Simplify:
With simplicity, we become less overwhelmed by stuff, which makes this lifestyle easier to approach. Let go of items you no longer use or need. Start to learn your true wants and needs. Here are a few questions to help us edit what we don’t need and to help us from unnecessary purchases:
- Why do I need this?
- How will I use this?
- Can I do without it?
- Is this item repairable?
- Will it last?
- Is it beautiful? Is it inspiring?
- Does this item provide real value to me?
The third step is to Reduce: start by reducing your trash in the areas where you make the most.
Here some other ideas:
- Decluttering your home and workspaces
- Making or purchasing some cotton produce bags to cut down on grocery waste
- Working on bringing your own water bottle, cloth napkin, and utensils along with you.
The fourth step is to Reuse and Repair: Use it again!
There are lots of ways that you can reuse things around the home. Here are a few ideas:
- Reuse empty glass jars for jams and sauces.
- Take a basket or cloth bag with you when shopping.
- Hire, share or borrow items you do not use very often.
- If you have too much junk around the house, arrange a garage sale and allow others to reuse your junk.
- Before discarding old tools, camera equipment, or other goods, ask friends, relatives, neighbors, or community groups if they can use them.
The fifth step is to Recycle: The most well known of the waste hierarchy, but it takes a lot of energy and money to collect recyclable materials and then melt them down and make new things from them. However, it does help to reduce the amount of virgin resources that need to be harvested and processed for the manufacture of new products.
Every time we make a decision we have the power to support a practice that is either sustainable or one that is not.
Zero Waste has taught me to evaluate my options and make choices based on my values. For the first time in my life, my values guide my decisions. On a smaller scale, Zero Waste has given me an appreciation for the simpler things and to focus on what matters most…my family, friends and contributing more.
Are you ready to be Zero Waste?