By definition, the ultimate goal is that no residue is sent to landfills or incinerators. While going 100 % Zero waste is a journey, and will you take you some time and adjustments, there are several principles to apply.
These principles generate an attitude that encourages a change in the lifecycle of materials and resources. Consequently, it reduces your carbon footprint.
In addition to environmental benefits, it is also a way to improve human health as the ingredients used for home-made products are more natural than their industry-made alternatives.
How to start?
The ‘R’ words are the baseline of the Zero Waste community. We encourage you to have a look at one the pillars of its functioning, i.e., Bea Johnson’s book.
Some parts of the community also use the concept of Rot, i.e., composting. In addition to buying food in bulk (with your containers), this will drastically reduce your kitchen waste, Lastly, Repair and Recover are also important concepts to remember when going Zero Waste.
Why is it important?
According to the folks over at Puratium, these are some of the reasons why Zero Waste matters:
- It helps protect the environment: Zero waste helps us preserve the planet as it contributes to the reduction of the significant pressure we are putting on the earth. Namely, a waste approach helps us to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on climate change. A staggering proportion of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States is linked with energy consumption associated with food and goods.
- It helps with local economies: Zero waste has the potential to be a massive boost to any local economy. Rather than destroying solid waste, we can use “waste” as an asset.
- It is beneficial for your health and pocket: everyone who shops via second hand will be saving money. Simply because most recycled or reused goods are less expensive than buying them brand new. It is an affordable lifestyle and the right step in reducing expenses. Moreover, the Zero Waste movement encourages you to make DIY products, to clean the house, or skincare products, for example. The fact that you use simple, natural ingredients have proven beneficial for your overall health over conventional products (often containing controversial ingredients such as phthalates and parabens).
The primary goal of the Zero Waste movement is to avoid sending waste to incinerators or landfills, and consequently, polluting our oceans.
To do so, we mainly rely on ‘R’ choices, such as reduce, repair, and recycle.
This means to go for products that can be given multiple uses. This also means that your behavior at the supermarket is crucial: buy goods in bulk and bring your containers as often as possible.
All in all, food items, sustainable skin care, green fashion, and eco-friendly home products are just as relevant to strive for a Zero Waste, or at least low waste lifestyle.