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Making A Cleaner Earth with Zero Waste Living

Zero waste living is not an aesthetic need; it is an urgent need.

Source: Karolina Grabowska [5]


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Today is trash day: you pick up the trash bag and empty all the trash cans in your house. It’s been years since you have been doing this routine and suddenly you're already in front of the smelly garbage bin. It's time to say your final goodbye to all those packaging from groceries, takeaways, and other stuff you ordered online, but their journey is far from the word final.


Every trash that once was in your house needs to undergo a long process before it can degrade, and this process is even longer for plastic items. One of the simplest ways to solve this is by going zero waste!


Zero waste living is a way of thinking

Source: Crema Joe [6]


A pretty self-explanatory phrase, zero-waste is the concept of living without disposing of anything that may contribute to pollute earth. It persuades us to be conscious of our waste on a daily basis whether in our house or office.


We all know the infamous 3 R’s, reduce, reuse, and recycle slogan, but in zero waste living, zero waste is mostly known for its 5 R’s: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot.


The verbs are simple enough to understand, but an organization named zerowasteXchange elaborates it further [1]. Refuse what you don’t need, reduce what you do need, reuse by using reusables, recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce, or reuse, and rot the rest. In other words, maximize every item until it cannot be used anymore.


Another sustainable agency called The Good Tribe, even introduced 12 R’s through their Love Zero Waste podcast. The list consists of remember, respect, refuse, reduce, reuse, return, refill, rot, restore, repurpose, repair, recycle [2].


Many versions of “R’s” are available online, from the fundamental 3 to the more thorough 12 can be applied depending on how you live. Do not feel pressured to do everything at once, it is fine to take small steps and be creative to make it all the way to zero!

Read also: The Cost of Our Throwaway Culture

If there's demand, there's supply....

Source: Lucien Wanda [c]


From refusing to use plastic bags when grocery shopping to reducing the use of daily napkins, one more problem has been taken care of. You don’t have to deal with the garbage piling up in the corner of your room anymore, but most importantly we are fighting the plastic that is part of the 10 percent of our ocean [3].


If there is demand, then there is supply. Waste management is one of the biggest problems in every part of the world and it lies heavily in the industrial sectors. From the very beginning, the whole process of making a product contributes 42% for greenhouse gas emissions [4]. A number that can be decreased if we are conscious of our buying habits. Then, all of those packaging we used only once will exist even after hundreds of years, not to mention any other form of chemical waste that is toxic for our natural environment.


For personal gain, some people may find it rather troublesome to put effort on a daily basis, but even the two R’s alone can be a solution for a common issue in life: finance. Imagine how much money you can save when you practice all of the R’s!


Zero waste community is all around you

Source: ready made [7]


Whether it be using a metal straw to sip your vanilla latte at Starbucks or buying outfits from an aesthetically pleasing thrift store, you are already on the right track. Many sustainable trends are on the rise; as long as it lessens the potential threats to our environment, then go for it!


If you are looking for a friend in this humble journey for a better environment, zero waste community is easy to spot nowadays. One of them is Zerowaste.id, the first platform for zero waste lifestyle 101.

Visit our Green Living Project page to begin your zero-waste journey, or post your questions on our forum!

Sources:

[1] https://zerowastexchange.org/551/the-5-rs-of-zero-waste-a-practical-guide

[2] https://www.thegoodtribe.com/blog/2019/1/the-12-rs-of-zero-waste

[3] https://www.theworldcounts.com/challenges/planet-earth/waste/plastic-bags-used-per-year

[4] https://www.torontoenvironment.org/zerowaste_benefits


Photos:

[5] https://www.pexels.com/photo/set-of-natural-nonpolluting-toiletries-on-marble-table-4202926/

[6] https://unsplash.com/photos/n5qirFAe6rQ

[7] https://www.pexels.com/photo/smartphone-with-recycling-sign-on-screen-placed-on-white-mesh-bag-on-marble-table-3850495/

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