I want to begin by apologizing for not having a Thursday post; I was in the hospital. Everything is well and there is nothing to worry about, so here I have the usual weekly post.
After a couple of months of living according to the Zero Waste Movement I have learned somethings that I want to share with all of you. Before I begin giving my opinion on the Zero Waste Movement, let me explain a little bit about it.
What is the Zero Waste Movement?
According to Kathryn Kellogg form “Going Zero Waste,” the Zero Waste Movement is “about redefining the system. We currently live in a linear economy where we take resources from the earth and then dump them in a giant hole in the ground. The goal of zero waste is to move to a circular economy where we write trash out of existence. The circular economy mimics nature in that there is no trash in nature. Instead of discarding resources, we create a system where all resources can be resumed fully back into the system.”
It does not mean that we stop using things that produce waste, but rather to repurpose our wast to give it a new life.
What do I think about the Zero Waste Movement?
There is nothing wrong with the Zero Waste Movement in itself, especially not the way in which Kathryn Kellogg explains it. However, I think that this movement is missunderstood by a lot of people. For example, there is nothing wrong with using a plastic straw, the problem is not properly reciclying that straw and allowing it to end up in the ocean.
Last year, when I began to follow the Zero Waste Movement, I thought that meant I couldn’t buy any product that contained plastic as a wrapper/container, as well as not being “allowed” to buy or use single use plastic. The truth is that the Zero Waste Movement is not about that!
The problem is not the use of plastic but rather the high amount of plastic that gets thrown away without being recycled or reused. Lets say you buy your regular shampoo which comes on a plastic bottle, what are ways in which you can reduce your plastic waste? The easiest way is to buy a bigger bottle. Most shampoos have a bigger version that you can buy to use one bottle instead of two.
Then what you do with the empty bottle? First of all, repurpose. My favorite way to repurpose plastic containers is to transform them into planters. Plastic bags can then be used as storage bags or even garbage bags (instead of buying new bags for trash). BJ has a Pepsi bottle with holes on the lid that he uses to water our plants. Some plastic containers can be reused for homemade sauces, jams or leftovers. This might sound crazy, but I even wash and reuse Ziploc bags.
If you have ran out of ideas on how to reuse your plastic or simply have too many, don’t forget the importance of recycling. Make sure to follow your local regulations to ensure that your plastic will be recycled and separate your garbage accordingly. If all else fails, remember you can always save it for later.
Is plastic the only waste?
No, plastic is definitely not the only waste. However, it is not biodegradable and therefore it is our biggest worry. But the same rules apply for cardboard, paper, fabric and glass; reuse and repurpose, then recycle. Being zero waste doesn’t mean you never again approach a product that will leave waste but rather being able to transform that waste into a useful–new–object that prevents waste from ending up on a pile at a landfill or floating on the ocean.
Are you zero waste?
If you have ideas of how to reuse, reduce and recycle, please let me know in the comments below. Have you ever tried being zero waste? What are somethings you have learned in your efforts to save our beautiful planet?
Until next time, be awesome, be happy and be kind!