What it is and how to switch to Zero Waste

Fortunately, awareness of the environmental footprint we are leaving on the planet is growing.

Recently, it has become popular to zero waste philosophy which aims to provide consumption options to be more respectful of the environment.

If you are considering changing your habits to improve your impact on the environment, you may be feeling overwhelmed with all that you are doing "wrong".

But as this philosophy promotes, the most important thing is to get started and take small actions that add up. positively.

As with most things in this life, it's not a matter of all or nothing, I'm either environmentally friendly or I don't care, but of constant learning.

This way of life has a motto "we don't need a few people making it perfect, we need a lot of people doing a little bit of it".

What is zero waste?

The meaning of zero waste is "zero waste", the goal is to do not generate waste.

Perhaps the words zero waste do not define the 100% philosophy, since it is practically impossible not to generate waste, but it is clear that the objective is to minimize the amount of waste we generate.

My interest in the zero waste grew when I started looking for non-toxic products with my health in mind.I have found alternatives for household cleaning and for my personal hygiene.

This subject had not aroused my interest in my early days. paleountil I stayed pregnant. I learned that what surrounds us also affects our health, and in this attempt to improve my exposure to toxics I discovered zero waste.

And the truth is that although they are two different lines, they tend to converge. If you are interested in buying organic products, they are usually companies that are concerned about both the environmental impact and their packaging is minimal and made of compostable materials.

The 5 R's of zero waste

In Bea Johnson's book, Zero Waste HomeThe writer describes 5 principles that have become the foundations of this movement.

1.(refuse) Refuse what you don't need

This way you avoid having useless objects. In addition, even if it seems that your gesture has no consequences, saying no to something helps to make it happen less.

For exampleSay no to the headphones you get on the plane. If you don't need them, you will avoid the production of one more unit. It's free for you, but it's not free for the planet because those headphones end up in the trash.

(reduce) Reduce consumption of what you need.

Increase awareness of what you buy, thus reducing the likelihood of generating waste.

For exampleAsk yourself twice if you really need another pair of pants. Fashions pass quickly, we throw away "old" clothes and buy new ones at very affordable prices.

3. (reuse) Reuse as much as possible.

Can you give an object a second life before it ends up in the trash? Give it to them.

For exampleYou have plastic clothespins and today you would have bought new ones. It is better to use a resource you already have (plastic clothespins) than to buy a new one made of a more "ecofriendly" material.

4. (recycle) Recycle

Recycle everything you cannot reject, reduce or reuse.

This option is the last one, as there are products that cannot be recycled in an unlimited way and will end up in the landfill.

(rot) Decompose the remainder

You can decompose organic products at home or you can take them to the special container for that purpose.

For exampleFood scraps, paper, wood, bamboo brushes return nutrients to the soil.

What is linear economics?

Linear economics is the most common pattern of consumption: use natural resources, manufacture and throw away.

what does linear economics mean

The value is focused on the transformation phase of these natural materials into a processed end product that will ultimately end up as waste.

What is the circular economy?

The circular economy aims to imitate nature trying to close in a circle the process of production and consumption to avoid the creation of waste.

How circular economy works

This change in the approach to the economy gives value to the way in which a raw material is created and preserved.

Unfortunately, we are beginning to see the negative results of our actions on the planet and even though we are in time to change the direction we are going, we cannot wait much longer to take a more respectful action with the place where we live..

How to get started in the zero waste philosophy?

Join this movement for sustainability with the sum of small changes that make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly.

Don't let all the information overwhelm you and remember "let not the perfect be the enemy of the good".

Using what we already have

When you become aware of products that are more environmentally friendly, you will see that you have a lot of things to change at home.

Don't panic! You don't have to throw everything away and start from scratch.

The most important point to reduce waste starts by not consuming. So it's best to finish what you already have at home before buying a more zero waste option.

Some examples of products that you can find in your home that are not zero waste:

  • plastic freezer bags: use them and reuse them as much as you can. When you have finished them, switch to glass tupperware.
  • plastic straws: do not throw them away, throw them away and the next time you buy reusable bamboo, glass, metal...
  • tea in bags: enjoy the infusions you already have at home and choose in bulk for your next purchase to avoid plastic.

Buy with a conscience

The next step is to try to ensure that the products do not have packaging that you have to throw away, even if it is recyclable.

Although it is not easy in all cases, the kitchenfor example, is a good place to start.

If you buy in bulk, if you bring your own containers, use your own reusable cloth shopping bags... you will be greatly reducing the volume of garbage generated at home.

Do it yourself

There are products that are difficult to obtain without wrapping, for example vegetable milk. But what if you do it yourself? In addition to reducing waste, you will save money!

Make your own vegetable milk is very easy. At this video I show it to you.

I encourage you to review these posts dedicated to different topics more specifically about changes you can make at home to be more zero waste.

And don't stop learning

There are always super dedicated people out there who make things easy for us. If you don't know where to start or how to progress on your path to zero waste, check out the resources available.

You can learn a variety of useful things like making your own household cleaning products that will be natural, respectful and cheaper.

Living without plastic: Tips,...
  • Reina Toresano, Patricia...

And you know, if it's kindle version the books are cheaper and the choice is more sustainable 🙂