First lets talk about what does it mean to be zero waste?
The definition of zero waste varies depending on who you ask. According to the Zero Waste International Alliance , Zero Waste means that you design and make products so they don't have any waste. You also use all the resources in the products. Zero Waste will not discharge anything to land, water, or air that could hurt people, animals, or plants.
I started my zero waste journey with some pretty basic steps like switching from disposable cotton rounds to washable ones, purchasing produce without packaging (if possible), bringing glass jars or mesh bags for bulk items instead of using plastic bags, etc. I was surprised by how easy it was to adapt to this lifestyle. Before we dive into the details on "how", let's talk about why.
Why go zero waste?
People ask me, "Why should I be Zero Waste?" and it can be challenging to explain the benefits in a short conversation. To me, the biggest benefit is a sense of empowerment. I am in complete control of my choices and how they affect the environment. When you make a conscious effort to live a more sustainable lifestyle, you become more aware of your surroundings and ultimately help others do the same.
Knowledge - What goes into your trash can, eventually ends up in our oceans. Imagine whole islands full of plastic waste that have formed due to the ocean currents, called gyres . Have you seen Albatross babies being fed plastics ? Or what happens when marine animals ingest these plastics?
Health - A study on cancer-causing chemicals in household items showed that some items contained more than 100 cancer-causing chemicals! That is terrifying! Our skin absorbs 60% of the products we use , so I think it's safe to say that some dangerous chemicals might be seeping into our bodies. Let's not forget about the impact on air quality and respiratory health, too.
What's In It For You?
The Zero Waste Journey is just that, a journey! A journey that will continue to move you forward towards a better way of living. It doesn't mean you have to shower once a week or give up your favorite things! This guide will empower you with the knowledge to allow you to make conscious purchasing decisions to make this journey your own!
Let's get Started
The great thing about Zero Waste is that you will quickly discover things in your everyday routine that need tweaking. Be easy on yourself! If you slip up, don't give up! That is what this journey is all about, continuously making small changes that will lead to a resilient lifestyle.
DAY ONE: COMMITTING TO YOUR DECISION
Today you are ready to commit to your zero waste decision! This journey has the potential to change your life positively, so make sure to do it for yourself and no one else. Stop and think about what will push you forward, and what may hold you back. Start a journal and write down your why, why is going zero waste important to you?
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the thought of committing to a zero-waste life, don't be. Many small changes can lead up to big impacts and it all starts with your mindset.
Come back tomorrow with a mindset ready to embark on this journey!
We encourage you to share your why in the comments below!