Being “zero-waste” means different things to different people. Many see it as the best, healthiest, most sustainable and ethical way to live if you want to be environmentally friendly and not add to the consistently growing landfills.
Having a zero waste home is a new and growing trend, but it can also sound quite frightening and unappealing to some, because it means to change what you’re used to – which most people hate the thought of. Change can be scary, for sure. That’s why we will go into a little deeper with what it actually means, if it’s achievable, why it is controversial, and the overall benefits.
Hang in there with me on this one, and let’s get started.
What the term “Zero-Waste” means
Some see it simply as sending nothing to the landfill (which in essence, is what it means).
In a stricter definition, many see it (mainly minimalists – or ones who aspire to be one) as sending nothing to the landfill, sending minimal to be recycled, and composting what they cannot or should not recycle.
Overall, zero-waste was first created for industries to reduce their waste impact and make a model that supports being environmentally friendly and sending nothing to landfills. This is where the circular economy comes in and has a huge impact and influences the world of sustainability as a whole.
Consumers or us regular, non huge business operated civilians then got a hold of this concept and wanted to implement it ourselves… and by ourselves I mean a few die hard individuals made it an actual achievable thing with their actions and the way they use and consume products, foods, purchases, etc. (Pretty cool what humans can do, am I right?)
Anyways, these people wanted to share with the world how to reduce our carbon footprint and wastefulness nature that we have been given, so they created blogs to teach you how to adapt the lifestyle and life a plastic free, zero-waste lifestyle. I’m all for the passion and commitment about making the world a better place and reducing plastic which is continuously entering our oceans and endangering marine life, as well as all other forms of life that coexist with us.
Is it achievable?
From the countless days and nights I have looked into this popular and growing trend of living, yes it is definitely achievable. It is a worthy cause to be aware of, especially when you learn about how detrimental certain industries are to our environment as well as the massive and growing landfills.
I used to stress out about the way I was living and think I was doing it all “wrong” after learning from all the gurus on how toxic plastic and certain textiles and things re. However, I came to realize that many are unaware of many products’ toxicity and what we expose ourselves to in our every day lives and living conditions.
Why it is such a controversial, yet great, topic
When I realized that we can never be perfect (or in a better way of looking at things – we all are already perfect) then I just simply stopped stressing and worrying about “doing it right” and am just doing the best I can, every day.
If you are aware of the implementations of plastic toxicity, the growing landfills, and many other wasteful practices, then by all means, take a look at this zero-waste movement and implement it the best you can, but please don’t stress if you are doing it “properly“. 🙂 As there is no one size fits all solution here.
Something also worthy of knowing is it is incredibly difficult to change people’s lifestyle or beliefs, which is not very useful. The only way you can make or persuade someone to do something is if they genuinely want to, and have a desire and the willingness to do so.
8 benefits of being “Zero-Waste”
Now that we have covered many of the aspects of zero-waste (and you fully are aware of how I feel about it) let’s go into the numerous benefits of living a zero-waste or minimal waste lifestyle.
- Not contributing to landfills
- one of the biggest most attractive benefits of the zero-waste lifestyle is by not adding on to the already insanely large landfills.
- Keeping plastic out of a growing plastic ocean
- Being zero-waste and reducing if not fully discontinuing your plastic consumption will help minimize the effect of plastic entering the oceans which creates pacific garbage patches and has a huge effect on climate change.
- Reducing carbon admissions
- Landfills produce methane with all items and food particles that take centuries to biodegrade – if they even can – which is contributing to global warming and can be very detrimental to our species and the environment as a whole.
- Save money
- You could essentially safe money by not purchasing items you don’t need, and invest more time into those you love and experiences you cherish, rather than items and products.
- Save animals
- Hundreds of thousand of animals are continuously consuming, joking and dying because of our pollution and waste.
- Growing to be a conscious consumer
- You start being more conscious of what you purchase comes from, how it was made, who it was made from, etc.
- Becoming aware
- It makes you think about how much you are consuming and throwing away on a regular basis.
- Reduce stress / clutter
- when it’s all said and done, purchasing / using less things really does have a drastic impact on your stress levels/overall mood, from my experience.
Don’t let it scare you.
I wanna end this article by saying that with many days and nights researching this concept and the implications of zero-waste and sustainable living, there is no one size fits all answer. And if you are wanting to purchase something that you aren’t 100% sure is “sustainable” or “zero-waste” but it makes you happy for whatever reason, then I’m not here to tell you shouldn’t purchase it. Flippin do it. Live your short life. Be happy. Love people. Use and love fun items until you’re done with them. Listen to music. Blow bubbles. All that could stuff.
As you can see I’m not a professional writer, blogger, thinker, etc. But what I’m trying to get at here is don’t let anyone control your life or make decisions for you. Make decisions for yourself. I’m just here to give you the best facts and truth that I have come across. Which are the overall impacts of what type of products are out there, and the impacts and what you may or may not be supporting when you purchase said product.
As Maya Angelou famously quotes, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”