Nowadays, the words “environment” and “waste reduction” are part of our daily vocabulary. This has given rise to new lifestyles and among these is the zero-waste lifestyle. Not sure what that means exactly? Find out the basics of this lifestyle as well as some tips on how you can gradually move towards this new philosophy.
Where does the zero-waste lifestyle come from?
Bea Johnson could be credited with the origin of the zero-waste lifestyle. It was following the economic crisis that this Frenchwoman, who lives in California, decided to reconsider her lifestyle and her way of consuming. First through her blog, then with her Zero Waste book, this passionate defender of the environment based her lifestyle on five principles: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and compost. Although this philosophy seems simple to apply, there are many challenges for anyone who really wants to get started.
What is zero waste?
Based on the five principles mentioned above, the zero-waste lifestyle consists of eliminating—or at least reducing as much as possible—the waste produced by one’s household. First of all, you will have to learn to say “no”. “No” to plastic shopping bags, promotional items and any other useless objects that could end up in the garbage or in your recycling bin. With reduction in mind, this forces us to question ourselves before making a purchase. In this way, let’s reduce the contents of our wardrobe and furnish our home with only the bare necessities. Which brings us to the next point: the reuse of objects. To do this, all your unused goods may be donated so that they can have a second life. Consult the page of accepted items at Entraide diabétique du Québec to find out about all the items that can be donated to us. You can also visit shops offering pre-owned goods and browse the classified ads sites. There you will surely discover items that are just waiting to be used again. Next comes recycling. Now well established among our habits, recycling has become an integral part of our daily lives, but sometimes we are all a bit lazy and don’t sort our garbage properly. And lastly, when it comes to composting, many municipalities now offer an organic waste collection service, which makes it much easier to include this practice in our daily lives.
How can we adopt this way of life?
If you would like to gradually make the zero-waste lifestyle part of your daily life, here are a few habits that you can easily adopt. Find grocery stores that sell bulk food and bring your own containers to get them filled. Also bring a reusable water bottle and a coffee mug that you can easily refill at the office or on the road. At home, consider cloth make-up remover wipes, recyclable lunch containers, reusable paper towels such as those made by Kliin and beeswax plastic wrap, to name just a few alternatives. Visit thrift stores and consider buying used goods before consuming new ones. Regularly go through the clothes in your closet to eliminate any unused items, and donate anything you don’t need. Also make sure you actively take part in recycling and composting your household waste and you will soon see a reduction in the contents of your garbage bin.
You will find that over time, these habits will become an integral part of your daily life. You will quickly develop a taste for them and will probably want to encourage your family and friends to adopt this lifestyle as well. Contact Entraide diabétique du Québec without delay to plan a home collection or locate one of our donation boxes.