What is Zero Waste? Why implement solutions to reduce trash and pollution? We touch on topics important for the future of our planet! Find out how to be more eco-friendly and practice the tenets of Zero Waste.
What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste is an initiative aimed at forming good habits and implementing measures to reduce the amount of waste produced by society.In broader terms, the idea involves complex processes that contribute not only to reducing trash, but also assume its recovery and reuse. These are conscious consumer and life choices in every area.
Zero Waste was first heard of as early as in the 1970sbut it wasn’t until the beginning of the new century that the idea gained more publicity. Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about the ongoing fashion of Zero Waste living and the public is eager to follow the message, which is increasingly appearing in the media.
Sporadic action, however, is only a substitute for what the popular movement really is.Zero Waste is a lifestyle, eliminating the occurring problem at the source and following the most important principles that will contribute to extending the existence of the entire ecosystem of our planet.
Major tenets of Zero Waste style
Zero Waste – what does it actually mean and how to live to produce less waste? Sometimes the public misinterprets the main tenets and goal of the green movement. It is not about stopping the production of garbage altogether because this is almost impossible, but rather about implementing measures that aim to oppose waste.Zero Waste in Polish means “zero waste”, as the literal translation states – and this is exactly the ideology worth sticking to in your life.
Bea Johnson, an American environmental activist, in her book published in 2008 Love Your Home has laid out the basic tenets of Zero Waste style. Each of them requires only a willingness and getting used to new habits, without additional time commitment compared to daily activities.
The Zero Waste practice presented by the activist is known as the 5R principle and consists of five activities arranged in chronological order that contribute to living in harmony with the environment:
- Refuse, or deny. This is the first part of the process that talks about refusing to purchase second-need goods. Purchasing decisions should be only for essential products that will not generate fallout in the future.
- Reduce that is, reduce. It urges you to make rational purchases, without duplicating the number of products you already have and buying to stock up. It is important to make sure of your actual need to purchase a particular assortment.
- Reuse that is, reuse. It talks about using reusable products and not getting rid of things that have the potential to be reused.
- Recyclethat is, recycle, segregate. It encourages proper waste selection and the use of recyclable products.
- Root that is, compost. The last step to use plant waste and kitchen scraps to produce natural fertilizer.
Rational management of raw materials is not difficult when you start making small changes by following the principles mentioned. Willingness and habit will determine the success of the whole process, although even a small contribution can contribute to a better quality of life without the precipitation that today has become a global problem.
The trash problem in the 21st century
The global fight against the number of trash in the 21st century is gaining momentum.On the basis of numerous studies and data published by, among others, the Central Statistical Office, we can conclude that globalized society is producing more and more waste every year which is heavily influenced, for example, by constantly growing consumerism. Cheap production translates into more assortments, which due to – often intentional – poor build quality wear out faster, making it necessary to buy a new model.
In this way the vicious cycle of garbage production loops around and the waste increases. The effects of this process are felt most acutely by the environment, as evidenced by the occurring contamination of air, soils, groundwater, as well as seas and oceans.The latter are the hardest hit by the effect of human activity. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is steadily expanding, with its area taking on an area almost five times the size of Poland.
Today’s waste management is the result of unconsidered choices that could bring environmental annihilation in the not so distant future.Creating good habits and implementing Zero Waste can change the fate of the planet and guarantee a clean place to live for future generations.
Zero Waste vs. Recycling and Less Waste
If you want to change your lifestyle to a more environmentally friendly one, and practicing all the tenets of the Zero Waste idea is coming up lousy for you, read the rationale of Less Waste.This is a movement that involves less radical measures, but focuses on increasing awareness and changing basic habits. Like Zero Waste, it aims to reduce the production of waste, but in practice it narrows the circle of action and motivates people to make rational choices when buying, betting on good quality products that will last a long time.
Recycling is one of the tenets of the Zero Waste idea, which aims to reuse waste in the production process and, according to the main idea effectively contributes to the reduction of garbage.This, however, is still only a half-measure that accompanies the road to achieving the main provisions of the Zero Waste movement and will not eliminate the source of the problem. It is consumer choices that have the greatest impact on optimizing the manufacturing process of products and their subsequent fate.
How to start practicing Zero Waste style?
Zero Waste is actually nothing complicated, but it’s best to start with small, daily activities and developing good habits. In making informed decisions, especially shopping decisions, it helps to plan.Make grocery lists that you will use to prepare meals, so you can avoid buying items that will expire or not be used. Pack purchased items in reusable bags instead of using disposable commercial bags.
Also take care of segregation of waste using separate trash containers. Bet on high-quality clothes that will serve you for several seasons, and if you decide that an item no longer serves you,give it to the needy, sell it or recycle it.You can create useful household cleaning accessories yourself, and by doing so you will give unused items a second life.
Zero Wasteis not a fad, but promoting actions that have a major impact on the environment and the health of society.Only rational choices by people on a large scale can save them from annihilation at their own hands. Are you following the principles of Zero Waste? Do you have your habits that make you live in harmony with nature? Share with us in the comments!