What’s zero waste?
The simple answer: We aim to ship nothing to a landfill. We reduce what we want, reuse as much as we could, send small to be recycled, and compost what we can’t.
The simpler answer: It is really about redefining the machine. We currently reside in a linear market where we take funds from the ground and then ditch them in a giant hole in the floor. The objective of zero waste is to move to a round market where we write trash from existence. The circular market mimics nature in that there’s absolutely no trash in nature.
Rather than shedding tools, we create a system where all sources could be resumed fully back to the system.
What is wrong with landfills?
The typical American sends 4.4pounds of trash to the landfill daily. We live in a disposable society where we do not value our possessions, and we are consuming way too many resources.
Each year we’ve Earth Overshoot Day to indicate when we have consumed all the resources the earth can sustainably produce for the next year. Earth Overshoot day was August 2nd of 2017. We are essentially consuming 1.5 earths.
Beyond our overconsumption problem, landfills are poisonous. They are responsible for 20 percent of the methane emissions in the usa, and they are not aerated for appropriate decomposition of organic materials. Toxins from batteries, cleaners, small electronics (and other things which shouldn’t be landfilled) leach in the soil and can run off to the sea and ground water when it rains.
A great deal of trash does not even make it into the landfill. Rather it clutters the sides of streets and swirls in the sea. Plastic is particularly dangerous to the sea, marine life, and our health. It does not biodegrade it photodegrades so it only gets smaller and smaller.
Each micro-plankton from the sea has 36 micro-plastic bits to match. Vinyl breaks down so small that it is in drinking 90% of drinking water both bottled and tap world wide.
Can not we recycle our way out of this?
There is just too much to process, and we are just consuming way too much. Recycling is not a perfect solution. Once it plays into the solution, we must lessen our dependence. Did you know, just 9 percent of plastic is truly recycled?
There is a reason recycle is LAST. “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”
Recycle should not be the first line of defense, it ought to be a last resort. The majority of our recycling is not even processed in the usa. It is processed in China, and China has set a ban on plastic and paper bales over 1 percent contamination. To place this in perspective, the ideal recycling facilities in the united states are currently operating at 4 percent contamination level.
I am not telling you this to prevent you from recycling. I am telling you this so that you can recycle better and rely on it less. Instead concentrate your efforts on reducing and reusing.
What is reducing and reusing?
You do not need all you feel you” need.” So many products are offered to us for a particular use. Nevertheless, you do not need another cleaner to the floor, the windows, and the toilet. You do not need eight blue sweaters. By reducing what we want, we are reducing what we will eventually throw out.
Prior to making any purchase, wait. Spend some time, consider whether you really need it.
When you need to buy something, check the second-hand market. Reuse something which already exists, and rather than using disposables concentrate on reusables (i.e. hankies rather than tissues.) That will intern also reduce what you require.
Can one person really make a difference?
YES! Each day you have the choice to positively affect Earth. How can you get to work? How do you purchase your groceries? What are you eating? What are you really buying? Everything is interconnected. Every purchase you make is a vote for the type of world you want to stay in.
You do not vote just at the ballot box. You vote daily.
With only one little step at a time, you can greatly reduce your footprint. However, going zero waste is not just great for the environment, you will see an improvement in your quality of life. Side effects include eating better, feeling better, saving money, rather than having to take out the garbage!