Zero Waste 101
ZWIA defines Zero Waste as the conservation of all resources utilizing responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air (2018).
Generally speaking, Zero Waste is an ethical, economical, efficient, and visionary system that helps people maintain a sustainable lifestyle and mitigate the threats to the environment and human health. This system strives to guide the production and consumption practices within a sustainable boundary and design the discarded materials as a resource for others to use.
Zero Waste focuses on managing the products and processes in a way that eliminates the volume and toxicity of waste and materials and conserves and recovers all resources. Furthermore, this system aims to lessen the environmentally harmful activities such as burning and burying the waste.
Considering the needs of the twenty-first-century, the factors favoring zero waste are as follows:
- As we depend upon a limited amount of natural resources, the rapid increase in the population over the last decades is a crucial factor that highlights the necessity of zero waste practices.
- Climate change refers to a changing climate that influences the life of every species and resources including our water and food supplies, our health, and beyond. In the US, the products and foods produced, consumed, and disposed of account for more than 40% of the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
- Resource wars are one of the hot topics in today’s world. Since the resources such as petroleum, minerals, and freshwater dwindle, nations strive to grab the control of remaining resources.
Zero Waste reorganizes the use of resources and the systems from product development to disposal stages. Basically, the main purpose of reorganizing is to prevent wasteful and polluting operations. As is well known, Zero Waste is among the most efficient solutions that utilize the discarded materials in place of natural resources to produce new products.
The 5 R’s of Zero Waste explains the mission of this ideology. Fundamentally, that refers to refusing what you don’t need, reducing what you do need, reusing by repurposing items, recycling only that which can’t be eliminated by the previous three methods, and finally roting what’s left.
Zero Waste has a goal of minimizing waste and maximizing recycling. Aside from that, this practice aims to boost the purchase of sustainable products and reduce consumption. The most important perspective shown in Zero Waste philosophy is providing products made to be reused, repaired, and recycled. Thus, your Zero Waste choice matters for the environment.
Zero Waste Products
As the annual waste generated has been increasing, the notion of “Zero Waste Lifestyle” is rapidly being prominent in the present society. Simultaneously, Zero Waste Products has become more popular day by day. Those who care about sustainability and eco-friendly practices are solicitous about Zero Waste products.
If you like to adopt a Zero Waste lifestyle, you can start with easily usable products that generate non-waste. For instance, reusable water bottles, glass jars, cloth napkins, or cotton handkerchiefs can be a beginning to consume less. After initiating your zero waste practices, you can find a great number of zero-waste products that will help to save our environment and resources.
Beyond the individual, more suppliers focus on producing zero-waste items to satisfy changing customer demands. That is a remarkable improvement for a systemic change. At zero waste stores and digital platforms, it is possible to access a wide variety of zero waste alternatives of several products including bamboo makeup remover pads, utensils, toothbrushes, kitchen towels, etc.
A zero-waste lifestyle can be deployed in all areas in your life, specifically in your “home sweet home”. Imagine the kitchen where we generate and try to handle most of the waste. Wouldn’t be great if you redesign what you bring to your kitchen instead of dealing with the waste emanating trash-causing disposables and single-use plastics after the consumption. You can take a revolutionary step now to avoid the majority of kitchen garbage. Here’s how.
Start with eliminating single-use and non-compostable products from your kitchen. You can use compostable cloths instead of paper towels or a metal baking dish with a lid rather than aluminum foil. Next, the bathroom includes personal care products likely to come in a wide array of plastics. Removing these from your bathroom and purchasing wooden (or bamboo) toothbrushes, solid shampoo, conditioning bars, and package-free deodorant will help you sustain a zero-waste lifestyle and save money.
While redesigning your zero-waste home, it’s crucial to change items in your bedroom as well. Here, you can opt for natural materials such as wool, cotton, and bamboo for the purpose of increasing their lifespan. Speaking of the items in the bedroom, do not forget to create a capsule wardrobe and limit shopping which corresponds to a reduction in consumption.
Zero Waste Stores
When starting a zero-waste lifestyle, zero-waste stores will be a flagship for you. These stores operate within the scope of reducing packaging, supporting bulk-buying, and promoting ethical consumption. They produce less carbon footprint than a normal store during all manufacturing, production, and retailing activities.
Thanks to zero-waste stores, we utilize fewer packaging rather than the supermarkets suffocating in plastic. However, not only zero-waste stores support the idea of not using packaging. Nowadays, many small and large retailers try to decrease their carbon footprint by adopting techniques such as carbon-positive packaging.
The British cosmetics retailer Lush sells its hand-made products without packaging. Throughout shopping from Lush, customers can purchase a reusable bag there or bring their own bag and fill it.
Besides, the popular fashion label H&M carries out a textile-recycling operation and plans to sustainably source all of its fabrics.
As Evreka Crew, we support zero-waste practices in every sphere of life.