Less is More: How to Go Zero Waste
Each week, our trash gets conveniently carried away and placed out of sight in far-off landfills. We don’t have to stop and think about the amount of garbage we’re personally producing – it’s all taken care of, right? However, experts say the average American creates around 4.4 pounds of trash every single day. That may not seem like much trash, but it’s causing our landfills to expand at an alarming, unsustainable rate.
In an effort to combat this, people are joining the zero-waste movement, which aims to stop landfill contribution entirely by reducing, reusing, and recycling everything possible. Here’s everything you need to know about the zero-waste movement – how it can benefit you, and how you can get started on reducing the amount of waste you create.
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What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste is the philosophy that everything should be reused or recycled, with nothing wasted. It’s meant to mimic nature. The main goals of zero waste are to reduce our consumption of resources and to avoid creating non-recyclable waste that needs to be incinerated or placed in a landfill.
Waste that can be recycled or composted like glass, aluminum, and biodegradable items are okay, but the aim of the zero-waste movement is to reduce and reuse as much as possible and recycle only when necessary. This is because recycling uses up resources like water and energy.
This means completely eliminating everything from food and product packaging to plastic bags and tissues by using your own containers, shopping bags, buying food at markets and bulk stores, and generally buying less as a whole. It takes planning and effort to go zero waste, but it comes with many benefits for the environment and you.
You’ll Reduce Your Ecological Footprint
The biggest plus to going zero waste is it greatly shrinks your environmental footprint. Landfills are currently overflowing with trash that’s leaching chemicals into the ecosystem, which in turn affects our air, water, and plant and animal life. Yet despite this, we continue to produce trash at an unsustainable rate. With zero waste, you’re helping make sure the earth is a little cleaner for future generations.
The zero-waste lifestyle can also help combat climate change. Experts estimate that around 42 percent of greenhouse gas emissions are caused by the production of goods. By cutting back on our consumption of goods, we can help reduce carbon emissions and start fighting back against climate change.
You’ll Save Money
One of the best things about eliminating waste is that you also naturally eliminate wasteful spending. Not only will you save money by shopping at bulk stores, but you’ll also find it easier to say no to impulse buys like new gadgets, clothing, junk food, and takeout meals, all of which come in wasteful packaging. By reducing your overall consumption of goods and reusing whatever you can, you’re guaranteed to save the environment and your money.