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What is a Zero Waste lifestyle?

As I have explored the many subjects relating to eco-friendly alternatives to common household items, including plastic-free, compostable and biodegradable products, I have noticed a return to the amazing philosophy and revolution around living a Zero Waste lifestyle, first made popular as a theory in the early 2000s.  Now we see these efforts backed by campaigns, social movements and government incentives, with many large companies coming on board.

Zero Waste
Can I Live a Zero Waste Lifestyle?

 

The main aim of living a Zero Waste lifestyle is to dramatically reduce the about of trash and household waste that becomes another pile in the landfill, sent to the incinerator or even ending up polluting our beaches or oceans.

Today we see many fantastic efforts to reuse or recycle things, cut down on the use of plastic bags and other single-use plastics in packaging and near-heroic efforts to clear up our environment, beaches and oceans of the mammoth amounts of plastic pollutants assaulting nature in our consumer-driven, grab-and-go wasteful generation.

The Zero Waste revolution seeks to go further than that, to deal with the problem at source.  It looks to change the design methodology at production, to ensure products and packaging is considered throughout the product lifecycle; how they can be reduced, reused and recycled.

Zero Waste does not mean recycling.

Recycling can be a component of zero waste, but apart from the well know areas of the plastic bottle, glass and can recycling, some recycling schemes only deal with part of the problem.  For example, in the area of computer ‘recycling’, we see that many schemes only offload them to third world countries where most can then end up in a landfill, sometimes after only a few commodity or resaleable parts have been removed.

The Zero Waste approach would be to repair and fix, refurbish or repurpose the computers, therefore removing the need to dispose of them.  To prolong their useful life and or perhaps donate them to schools or others in need causes.

Durable and repairable

We live in a consumer-led culture where companies actively seek return custom.  Products are rarely easily repairable and many in today’s society will resort to replacing a broken item, rather looking to have it repaired.  We need to incentivise companies to produce durable, hardwearing products that don’t need to be replaced so often.

This is especially difficult in the age of rapid technological advancement.  We commonly see the desire to have the latest and greatest phone, TV or gadget, even while the current version is perfectly useable.

Thankfully there are many pop-up repair shops, community efforts and training to help people fix common household items, including online blogs, tutorials and youtube videos helping you return your beloved gadget or home essential to a usable state.

So much packaging!

An important part of Zero Waste is to deal with the huge amount of unneeded packaging from the products we buy.  The challenge is to encourage companies to remove this packaging at the source, incentivising the use of reusable, recyclable or at worst, compostable packaging.

We see increased pressure on supermarkets, manufacturers and producers to remove the ridiculously unnecessary packaging from items like fruit and veg, or the multi-layered ‘protection’ packaging that is not only a pain to open, but hits the bin within seconds of opening and offers questionable protection to the product in the first place.

The Circular Economy

ZERO waste is a daunting and challenging target, it can be overly restrictive and downright tough.  This is why many proponents of Zero Waste are huge supporters of the circular economy, an achievable and complimentary philosophy. 

‘Make, use and dispose of’ – Today we live in a linear economy, resources are consumed and discarded, usually never to be used again and dumped as waste or pollution.

The circular economy is restorative and regenerative by design. “Reuse, repair, refurbish, remake, redesign, recondition and recycle” maximising the lifecycle of the product’s usefulness within the economy, thus removing some of the challenges of Zero Waste.

How do I start living a Zero Waste lifestyle?

This could be a challenging process for many.  You may need to change from a culture of instant gratification and grab-and-go.  It will take patience and perseverance but you can do it, or at least make many strides in the right direction and there is plenty of help out there!

The first step is to look at the amount of waste in your daily life, once you start, you will be amazed of the amount of waste in your everyday life and how simple a few changes can be that will make a big difference.

 

Where can I find more information and help?

Here are some amazing books available about Zero Waste and the Circular Economy: –

 

Zero Waste:-

Zero Waste
The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less
Zero Waste Home
Zero Waste Home: The ultimate guide to simplifying your life
Go Zero Waste
101 Ways to Go Zero Waste
Zero Waste Life Hack
Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce your Trash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circular Economy: –

Circular Economy, plastic production, waste, carbon emissions, pressure on resources
The Circular Economy: A Wealth of Flows
Repair, Remake, Redesign, Rethink, Circular Economy
A Circular Economy Handbook for Business and Supply Chains: Repair, Remake, Redesign, Rethink
Circular Economy, repair, reconditioning, recycling, recycle, refurbushment
The circular economy  a world of reuse through repair, reconditioning and refurbishment
Circular Economy, Sustainable, Sustainable Development, reuse, recycle, refurbish
Circular Economy and Sustainable Development Enterprises

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Zero Waste products: –


 

There is also a great article called “Could you live the Zero Waste Lifestyle” by Kezia Farnham on ArtefactMagazine,com

Eco Friendly Christmas - Is it possible to have an Eco Friendly House this Christmas?Is it possible to have an Eco Friendly Christmas?

The ‘crazy’ season is on it’s way and even though it is only September I’m already thinking about that special but stressful time – Christmas and also how best to balance the amount we buy/use/throw away with having a holly jolly Christmas time that the kids will enjoy! I’m sure it’s possible to have both so over the next few weeks I’m going to have a hunt around for some of the best Eco Friendly Christmas gift ideas, Eco Friendly Products for Christmas and Sustainable Gifts for Christmas. Here we go…

 

Christmas Wonderland Eco Friendly Recycled Wrapping Paper – ideal for an Eco Friendly Christmas

Let’s start the proceedings off with wrapping paper – in our household we use tons of the stuff and usually most of it ends up in the recycling bin. Not ideal I know but at least I felt good about recycling what we’d use. However until this year I hadn’t realised that any wrapping paper/cards with foil or glitter on cant be recycled so most of our efforts were in vain 🙁

So I’ve found this wrapping paper which is printed on already recycled uncoated paper and printed using environmentally friendly vegetable inks. It is made with post consumer waste with pulp that has not been bleached. Even the packaging it is in is bio-degradable as it is packed in corn based poly bags. So what’s not to love?

or if this one is not your style then have a look at these robins – just gorgeous :

 

Eco Friendly Card Holder – Hold up all your lovely Christmas wishes with this rustic card holder for an Eco Friendly Christmas

This card holder set comes with a roll of natural brown jute twine with 50 mini wooden pegs to hold up the cards for a rustic traditional Christmas look. It’s ideal for hanging up gift tags, cards or even to decorate presents, glasses and wine bottles.

 

The all important Eco Friendly Christmas tree – elegant, stylish and environmentally friendly!

It is possible to have a eco friendly, sustainable but stylish tree this Christmas time. Check out this wooden stand and star spruce which comes with 28 wooden branches made of top quality Slovenian steamed beech wood. It has a simple and elegant design and is easy to assemble.

Eco Friendly Christmas Crackers – fun for all the family and made from recycled card

These crackers are made from recycled card and the crackers and tray they come in are recyclable – perfect for a plastic free Christmas celebration! They are also made in Dorset in the UK so are great if you are looking Christmas products that haven’t travelled the globe before getting to you. The gifts inside are also super cute and are of a traditional nature – they are made from wood and glass and include crayons, dice, marbles and golf tees.

 

 

and if you fancy something a little more crafty this Christmas then why not try this recycled make your own cracker kit – the kids are sure to love it 🙂

 

Decorate your Eco Friendly Christmas tree with style with these cute wooden ornaments

These cute wooden snowflake decorations come in a pack of 10, are cut from high quality wood and are perfect for hangers, tags or Christmas crafting!

 

Papier Mache Eco Friendly Christmas Tree – Ideal desk decoration for the office!

I love this paper mache Christmas tree frame which is made from 100% FSC recycled material. It would make a cute Christmas table centre piece or a table-top decoration!

Recycled Glass Coasters – add an elegant and Eco Friendly Christmas touch to your Christmas table

These are just stunning and are made from an original watercolour by Sarah Boddy. They are made from recycled glass in the UK and would make amazing eco friendly gifts or stocking fillers or would look fab on a Christmas dinner table!

A fun Eco Friendly Christmas gift for your little ones – fire up their imaginations!

This build your own trash robot kit is would make ideal educational science gift. Your little one can turn everyday trash into their very own enviro project and make their own free wheel robot cars.

Make Drinks more fun and environmentally friendly with these biodegradable high-quality paper straws – perfect for an Eco Friendly Christmas celebration!

These straws come in such cute colours and are made from durable natural paper material which means they are 100% biodegradable and compostable – an ideal natural alternative to plastic straws if you are looking for a plastic free Christmas celebration!

 

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