My daughter recently asked me if I knew anything about “zero waste living”. I had to admit that I’d heard of it, but really didn’t know what it entailed. So, I decided to look into it and relay my findings to all of you.
Zero waste is living without any waste at all. So, this means that you don’t buy your toothpaste, you make it. When you get coffee out you bring a mug with you and have that filled instead of a coffee cup. You need to think about bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, buying loose vegetables instead of ones in plastic bags. Another great thing that is easy to do is to by your own steel straw and keep it with you just in case you end up going out for a drink, that way you can limit the amount of plastic straws you use. By the way, you can also do this by bringing your own silverware with you if you end up in a fast-food restaurant.
The list of things that you have to think about is fairly long, and from what information I’ve found, it can take a while to get to zero waste. There is a steep hill of learning to climb, to say the least. A lot of it seems to be pretty time-consuming, and as an aside, the loophole of using “recyclable” plastic, can be more than confusing, since as I’ve come to know, much of what we “recycle”, doesn’t actually get recycled. (The cost of recycling is going up all the time, and many of the countries that took recycling are not taking it anymore.)
So, in my case, I could not go to zero waste, since many of the products at my local grocery store are packaged in non-recyclable plastic, from bread to vegetables, and many products in between. I don’t have the option of buying those items loose, since I’ve never even seen loose mushrooms, they are always packaged in the stores that I’ve been in.
That being said, there are a lot of other things that we can do to bring our waste down. I almost always bring a bag with me when I shop, so I don’t have plastic bags. If I do end up with them, I reuse them for as long as I can. If I’ve forgotten a bag, I will often just put whatever is was that I’ve bought into my purse if it fits. I also have quite a few net bags that I put my loose produce in – fruit and the vegetables that are sold loose.
While trying to live by creating zero waste is an admirable goal, I’ve found that the way we package food products, along with most of the other things that we buy, it seems to be a difficult task. However, I absolutely advocate doing what you can in your daily life to create as little waste as you can. After all, we have turned much of this world into a garbage dump, and What do you think about going zero waste? I’ve left a few links below for you to check out if you’re interested.