So You Are Thinking About Going Zero Waste?
The goal of zero waste is eliminating all waste at its source.
Waste management is one of the biggest economic and environmental issues humanity is currently facing. Governments and individuals around the globe are trying everything in their power to reduce the amount of waste they produce. However, a small but growing group of individuals and organizations are going even further and striving toward going zero waste.
What exactly does it mean to go zero waste? And, if you’re planning on doing it, what do you need to know before you start? Read on to learn the answers, as well as useful tips on going zero waste in today’s waste-ridden world.
Explaining the Concept of Zero Waste
The goal of zero waste is eliminating all waste at its source. Put simply, in a zero waste system, people prevent the creation of waste rather than dealing with it after it’s already there. Such a system requires broad changes in the way materials flow through society as a whole.
In essence, zero waste systems are focused on product design. The aim is to change the way products are made, as well as which materials and processes are used. By doing so, people can prevent the creation of waste by ensuring that every product they make can be reused in the production of something new.
The main goal of zero waste is thus to make a system of production and material flow where virtually nothing goes to waste. However, even the most die-hard supporters of this idea agree that creating absolutely no waste is impossible. So, the goal is to get the amount of waste we create as close to zero as possible.
What Are the Benefits of Going Zero Waste?
- Helping the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Conserving resources
- Minimizing pollution
- Promoting a sense of community and social equity
- Reducing economic losses and supporting local businesses
How Can You Go Zero Waste?
It is clear how manufacturing processes need to change for the world to get closer to creating as little waste as possible. But is there something individuals can do? Though it might not seem so, consumers can help the transition to zero waste quite a lot.
Firstly, by refusing to buy products stored in wasteful packages, you can lessen their demand and lead to the producers making changes to accommodate your needs. The same goes for food stored in plastic. Furthermore, taking your own bags and containers when shopping is another great way to reduce packaging waste.
How you as an individual can make a small change depends on where you live and what resources you have. Those living in urban areas have bigger chances of buying at bulk stores or finding stores that fill personal containers. On the other hand, those from rural areas can produce their own meat and dairy products.
Wherever you live and however you choose to begin, the most important thing is to make the best out of what you have at hand. The most creative ideas are usually the simplest ones.
Tips For Going Zero Waste
You can start reducing the amount of waste you produce by looking at your daily habits and changing them.
Control What You Bring Into Your Home
If you bring less stuff into your home, you’ll have less clutter and, by extension, less waste. This practice goes for everything from the food and clothes you buy to the toys your kids and pets play with. You’ll realize that things you once considered necessities are now things you don’t think about or need at all.
Change the Way You Shop
Shopping at zero waste stores is the best way to go about changing your shopping habits. Unfortunately, these stores aren’t available everywhere. Still, you can reduce waste by using your own containers or shopping at bulk food isles. Carrying your own containers when getting takeout is also a step in the right direction.
Refuse Any Unnecessary Items
Although most people find it challenging to refuse promotional items, most of them are of low quality and will just end up as waste soon. So, saying no to promotions and unnecessary offers is something you need to learn if you want to go zero waste.
Reconsider the Products You Buy
If you can replace some of the products you buy regularly with products that come without a package, you should definitely do so. Many people who have adopted a zero waste lifestyle say that they realized they used to buy much more than they actually needed. The products that can have the most zero waste-friendly package are cosmetics, personal care items, and cleaning products.
Before you get rid of all the stuff you don’t need and go zero waste, make sure you use up everything and dispose of the rest responsibly. Recycle whatever you can, and only make changes that make sense for you and your well-being at a given moment.
A Few Parting Words
The problem of waste is one of the biggest issues the modern world is facing. In order for real change to occur, everyone needs to do their part and make changes to their lifestyles. Going zero waste is perhaps the best way to do so.
The kind of alterations you need to make to adopt a zero waste lifestyle will not be easy. Such transitions are never quick and require a lot of effort. So, take all our advice and ease into it slowly but surely. One thing is certain. Once the change is completed, both you and the planet will be better for it.