Zero waste living. A practice that’s been around for generations out of necessity and has recently made a resurgence amongst the environmentally concerned. Zero waste is simply defined as sending no waste to landfill. But is that possible? Due to our “cradle-to-grave” society absolute zero is not possible. However, zero waste isn’t necessarily about zero but about changing the way we see the world around us, how we consume, and how we think about waste. It’s about making better choices when you can and working to reduce your overall impact by reducing the amount of packaging and single-use plastics you bring into your life.
Many scrutinize the concept of zero waste since it is impossible to avoid impact while living in a modern society. That part is true. Even if we don’t directly create waste, we will indirectly create it. There’s just no way of getting around avoiding waste entirely. If you use any sort of transportation, go to the doctor, or eat anything that wasn’t grown from your own two hands, you will indirectly create waste. But that’s not the point. The point isn’t measuring the amount of physical trash one produces into a tiny vessel. It’s about changing a mentality – a perspective. How do we make better choices, how do we tread a little lighter on this Earth?
The biggest change is reprograming ourselves on how we consume. Our wasteful tendencies are a direct correlation to consumption. But overall, zero waste living isn’t about consuming nothing, it’s about buying with purpose. Choosing the items, we bring into our lives very carefully and ensuring that each item has value. We always need to be environmentally aware of how our everyday actions impact our health, other people, and the planet.
There are several ways to minimize that impact. Ways like using reusable items rather than the disposable counterparts, buying in bulk to avoid unnecessary packaging, and supporting local. Just by simply being more mindful of the waste we produce can collectively have a large positive impact on nearly ever facet of our lives.