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What is a Zero Waste Lifestyle?

Updated: Feb 11

Zero-waste living has become increasingly popular due to the growing interest in sustainable solutions. A high rate of waste is generated globally, including food waste, wastewater like sewage, and general garbage from our homes and businesses. 


Zero waste lifestyle


Organizations and government entities require assistance developing and executing effective waste management strategies. We must take immediate and decisive action to reduce the amount of waste we generate in our households and local communities to reduce our environmental footprint significantly.



What is Zero Waste Lifestyle?


As the name suggests, zero-waste living entails reducing one's production of waste to reduce landfill pileups. While this may sound daunting initially, doing small daily tasks can ease feeling overwhelmed with planning. 





No matter how much trash your household currently produces, you can use some of the basic principles of a zero-waste lifestyle to reduce it. Make it a collective and fun effort, and get your family and friends involved!


The 5 R's of Zero Waste Living


  • Reduce the number of daily items – use just enough tissue paper, paper towels, and fabric softener. 

  • Replace plastic with biodegradable paper, glass, stainless steel, aluminum, and silicone products. Use reusable beeswax food wraps instead of saran wraps.  

  • Reuse what you have, like emptied glass and aluminum old food storage containers, and find new reusable alternatives for single-use products such as bamboo and stainless steel straws. 

  • Recycle your waste correctly and learn what belongs in which bin in your local waste management facility. 

  • Rot your food scraps in compost to give them the optimum conditions to decompose. You can use your compost to create a garden, no matter the size of your dwelling, or donate it to your local community garden.




4 Reasons Why a Zero-Waste Life is Important


When we understand the 5 R's, incorporating zero-waste living becomes easily attainable and feasible for all lifestyles. Embracing a zero-waste lifestyle has many benefits worth considering.


Below are 4 key advantages that come with adopting the Zero-waste lifestyle.  


Read next: 7 Houseplants That Purify Your Home's Air

1. Minimizes climate change impact


A zero-waste management strategy is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Zero waste has great potential for reducing carbon footprint.



2. Reduces pollution


Dumping trash in our homes and communities leads to significant environmental pollution. Reusing and recycling waste saves energy and reduces pollution associated with processing these materials.


Recycling also reduces production and pollution associated with the extraction and processing of raw materials.


3. Is cost-effective


The concept of zero waste suggests that opting for durable or recyclable products can be a cost-effective measure in the long term.


By reducing shopping and buying fewer disposable products, you can reap the economic benefits of zero waste.


Zero waste lifestyle
Michelle Henderson x Unsplash

4. Drives innovation


Preserving Mother Earth is everyone's responsibility. Effective strategies are needed to preserve this planet, which is abundant in natural resources. Sustainable innovation champions the greater good by improving production processes and prioritizing people and the planet.


Many factories are designing eco-friendly packaging services, product designing, and more efficient recycling procedures.


8 Tips on How to Start a Zero Waste Lifestyle




1. Reduce single-use items


Reducing single-use items is the first thing you employ to achieve a zero-waste lifestyle. For example, plastic bags, diapers, and mirrors are some of those items you must run away from.


Achieving a Zero Waste Lifestyle is effective if you change your mindset and the products you use at home. As you make your shopping list, always ensure that the products you will buy are reusable and recyclable. 


2. Make compost piles


Composting is a resourceful way to make use of waste. Food waste is put to use. If you have a home garden, composting will help you use organic fertilizers as a costly, effective way to achieve a sustainable garden.


Once you have a composting bin, add finely chopped materials or waste. It is crucial to ensure a balanced combination of brown and green materials. Additionally, make it a point to cover your pile adequately, as this will help preserve heat and moisture.


Zero waste lifestyle
Lenka Dzurendova x Unsplash

3. Make use of DIY (Do it yourself)


A zero-waste lifestyle calls for creativity and finding ways to make your products. The Do it yourself practice refrains you from buying other products because you can create the same products with the available old products or natural ingredients.


For instance, you could repurpose unused fabrics at home by transforming them into valuable items such as cloth napkins, handkerchiefs, quilts, beeswax wraps, reusable menstrual pads, and more.


4. Learn to buy in bulk.


Buying items in bulk saves money and helps reduce packaging waste at home. As you embark on a zero-waste lifestyle, minimizing food waste is crucial and saves time on shopping trips.



5. Give away unused items.


Giving is caring. Instead of throwing away your items, you can opt to donate them. Several donation centers and shelters in your community can benefit from your donated clothing, furniture, and other household goods.


6. Embrace digital print


Nowadays, most activities and transactions can be conducted online. Opt for digital copies such as e-receipts and eBooks to promote a zero-waste lifestyle.


7. Normalize using bar soap


To reduce plastic waste, you can use natural bar soap instead of liquid soaps in plastic bottles. 


zero waste lifestyle
Aurelia Dubois x Unsplash

8. Buy second-hand items


Buy used goods instead of new ones to reduce waste. You can find great second-hand items, from clothes to furniture and electronics, and even trade with your neighbor!



Recap


The tips for achieving a zero-waste lifestyle are simple to implement at home or work. As individuals, amidst all our other responsibilities, it is of utmost importance that we take up the responsibility of zero-waste living.



Our duty towards Mother Earth is to ensure a sustainable future for future generations to live in an environment limited in pollution and minimize the progression of climatic changes that we are witnessing today.


Therefore, approach each day with a positive mindset and actively work towards eliminating landfill waste from our homes.




 

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