Okay guys so, I have recently come across the topic of Zero Waste – it really seems to be a thing nowadays – and I must admit, I’m a little hooked! I mean picture it: What if we wouldn’t produce hardly any waste anymore? What dream of a sustainable system would this be? Of course, it’s not the only one of our issues regarding our handling with the world we live in – but it would have a huge impact I believe.
One of the most famous advocates for this lifestyle I found, is Lauren Singer, living a Zero Waste lifestyle in New York. Her definition of Zero Waste:
“To me, Zero Waste means that I do not produce any garbage. No sending anything to landfill, no throwing anything in a trash can, nothing. However, I do recycle and I do compost.“
And what really resonated with me about this definition is: It’s attainable. And this makes the game-changing difference between her approach (and similar ones) and some alternative ideas I’ve read about. I really like it when people re-invent their lifestyle in a realistic and applicable way. Because in my opinion, this shows a certain amount of cleverness and sense for reality. I’m not saying her way is the only right one to opt for – but the key ideas would make a very good foundation to start from and build up in your own individual way. And also, to your own individual extent. Another very important factor for me – I don’t want to feel pushed into any direction or box. I like doing things my way. And I also like feeling inspired by some smart basic ideas. So, there we go – perfect match!
At the moment, I probably produce only a little bit less waste than the average person in our Western world. So little, it doesn’t really make a difference I guess. BUT: This is also the point on which I intend to change things from now on. Because the first few small adjustments really don’t pose an insurmountable barrier – but will already make a difference! There are endless possibilities to do better, small adjustments actually everybody can do! In my case – so, you know what I’m talking about – I’ve made this small collection of improvements I’d like to tackle first:
- Using a reusable cloth bag for grocery shopping
- Not using any plastic bags for vegetables and fruit if possible (when shopping)
- Packing leftovers in reusable containers
- Bringing my own cutlery set with me (no need to reach for plastic forks, knives, etc.)
- Trying out ‘bring your own jar’ shopping (where you don’t purchase any bag or container from the store to transport your food)
- Compost biological material
- Trying to reduce food waste to a minimum
- Keep using my refill water bottle
By now, I’m not opting for the ‘I collect all my rubbish of the year in a jar’ kind of approach. It’s an awesome challenge, don’t get me wrong. But since I’m a complete newbie and at the very beginning of this Zero Waste journey, I first need to learn the basics and figure things out a little more. And this will be very exciting, I think! Because not only are you doing something good for the environment – it also takes some research, creativity, probably some discipline and a lot of experimenting – sound like fun, doesn’t it?
If you’d like to read more about my journey and see what works and what doesn’t, let me know in the comments or via e-mail and I’ll make sure to keep you updated! Thanks for reading and see you next time!
Photos by Lars Karlsson