Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators, or the environment. This means reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as possible.
The Zero Waste movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years as people have become more aware of the damage that waste can do to the environment. In 2017, California became the first state in the US to adopt a statewide Zero Waste goal. And since then, other cities and countries around the world have followed suit.
But what does it really mean to achieve Zero Waste? And is it even possible? Let's take a closer look.
In order to move towards Zero Waste, we must reduce our reliance on disposable and single-use products, reuse the products we do have, and recycle or compost whatever we can't reduce or reuse. This philosophy is often referred to as the "5 Rs": Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.
The first step of waste reduction is to refuse single-use items whenever possible. This means saying no to plastic straws, plastic bags, disposable coffee cups, etc. It also means being mindful of the packaging that our products in (products and packaging is a regular focus of our reviews) and only buying what we need.
Even if we can't refuse all single-use items, we can still reduce our consumption by finding ways to use less. For example, we can carry reusable shopping bags with us so that we don't have to use plastic bags at the store. We can also bring our own coffee mug when we get coffee from a café, find a sustainable water bottle that can last for years, and plan our weekly cooking to reduce food waste.
One of the best methods of reducing waste is to find ways to reuse items instead of throwing them away. For example, we can use an old jar as a vase or container for storing food. We can also donate clothes or other items that we don't need anymore so that someone else can get use out of them.
To get you on the right path, we created 63 tips for creating a zero-waste home.
Recycling is one of the most well-known ways to reduce waste. But it's important to remember that recycling should be our last resort after refusing, reducing, and reusing. That's because recycling uses energy and resources too. So if you can avoid creating waste in the first place, that's always better than recycling it later on.
The final R is rot, which refers to composting organic materials like food scraps and yard waste. Composting is a great way to reduce landfill waste while also creating a more natural lifecycle for your food waste. Turning waste into a valuable resource for your garden or potted plants - what's better than that!
Zero Waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. A truly circular economy is a goal that we should all be striving for. A world will there is little-to-no trash sent to landfills, incinerators, or the environment. This means reducing, reusing, and recycling as much as possible.
Achieving Zero Waste is a challenge, but it's one that we must meet if we want to protect our planet for future generations. By following the 5 Rs—refuse, reduce, reuse recycle, and rot—we can all do our part to achieve Zero Waste.