An easy guide to a #zerowaste life
Updated: Jul 1, 2021
Welcome to plastic-free July! Today we want to introduce you a little to the #zerowaste movement and invite you to join this month's challenge: #PlasticFreeJuly.
The #zerowaste movement is a lifestyle in which people aim to completely eliminate their production of garbage.
It means there are no plastic containers, wrappings, disposable packaging or any kind of waste. It also means breaking the lineal life cycle: buy, use, discard. This might sound as a crazy goal in today's disposable culture; however, people around the world are showing us how this is possible. Check it out searching #zerowaste on social media.
The zero-waste concept is definitely NOT new. Actually, any ancient civilization would wonder:
Since when wasteful and disposable practices became the norm?
We are pretty sure your grandparents and parents remember returning glass bottles of milk or soda to the store or using reusable bags and glass containers at markets or grocery stores.
However, there are a few differences that have ensured that the zero-waste concept fits our modern levels of consumption.
The 5 R's of the #zerowaste movement
We know that the market is not designed for a zero-waste life, but we can make small changes such as rejecting plastic bags, disposable plates and cups and bottled liquids and choosing products packed in glass or with no packaging at all. We can also shop in small markets and bulk shops instead of big supermarket franchises.
We are so consumed by our disposable" culture that we forget to ask ourselves questions like, do I really need it? How long is it going to last? Can I recycle or reuse it later? By stopping for a second to think about all these questions, we will decrease our impulse purchases and choose durable or sustainable materials.
Related to point number 1, it is all about having reusable items, from cloth bags or glass containers for shopping to refillable water bottles for your day to day activities. Another options are to buy second-hand clothes or furniture (which includes giving away or selling yours) and also to fix the ones you own instead of discarding them.
It is much more than just throwing our waste in the right containers. We might think that is enough, but we still produce the same amount of garbage that way.
Recycling should be our last option, only for what we cannot reject, reuse or avoid.
To reduce the amount of waste we generate, we can return what comes from nature to nature itself, as compost. For example, the biodegradable "peanuts" in our packaging can provide nutrients to plants once dissolved in water and our bamboo products can be part of your compost. Check out this blog post to find out more.
In our hometown Mérida, Mexico, for instance, we have the so called "green spots" to which we can take most of our recyclable waste. You can search for organizations like this or find recycling centers near you.
Also, for what we could not avoid and that is not recyclable, there is the option of making an ecobrick. If you don't know what it is, follow this link and go to the end of the post.
There is more contento about #zerowaste on social media. Find environmental ambassadors from your city or country to learn more about this lifestyle. They will continue to show you how you can incorporate little changes to your life to decrease your waste production.