Zero Waste - taking action to reduce the amount of waste
Nobody likes to waste food and things, and yet a lot of food and clothes and other items end up in the rubbish bin. The idea of zero waste teaches us how to avoid waste.
The idea of zero waste originated from the need to protect the environment. Taking action to reduce the amount of waste produced is supposed to bring long-term benefits in terms of improving air and water quality and protecting our health and the lives of endangered plant and animal species. This idea in its pure form is a far-reaching utopia because it is impossible to resign from the waste altogether, but we can strive to reduce it.
Living according to the idea of zero waste comes down to applying certain principles, the so-called 5Rs. These are: rethink, refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rot.
The first two encourage restraint in consumption; the other three change the approach to waste management. The long-term effect of our actions will be an empty rubbish bin and a richer wallet, less wasted food, and a smarter wardrobe.
Rethink - verify your needs
The rich marketplace arouses our consumer needs, while marketing and advertising make us lose control over them. The rethink principle is nothing more than conscious management of our own shopping needs.
Do we need everything that catches our eye in a shop window? Let's see if we can't repair old things or borrow from someone. It's a good idea to share sports equipment for the kids with other families - if the families don't go skiing at the same time, you can use at least some of the equipment together.
Reduce - avoid unnecessary buying
It is the result of the process of verifying both everyday and long-term needs. It consists in reducing the number of food products that we think are necessary for the preparation of meals, while in reality, their unused part ends up in the waste bin.
If your kitchen is based on complex recipes, verify them - usually, the same dishes can be prepared with fewer additives. Buy clothes in small sets for specific seasons to avoid mismatches, which result in clothes piling up in the wardrobe. Reduce the number of everyday items to only those which are really necessary for functioning.
Refuse to accept unnecessary things
Do not accept what you do not need, even if it is for free. Flyers, samples of cosmetics, all kinds of freebies are of absolutely no use to us - we will probably throw them in the trash immediately.
By adopting a zero waste attitude, we do not accept unnecessary pollution. When shopping, refuse to pack vegetables or fruit in disposable plastic bags and don't buy plastic bags.
Do not use disposable solutions. Use only reusable packaging for food (e.g., use your jam jar to store rice). Don't use disposable plates and cutlery. In the kitchen, go back to cotton cloths and towels - limit napkins and paper towels. In the bathroom, maybe you can use reusable hygiene products (e.g., razor blades). Don't use disposable slippers at the pedicurist's, disposable towels at the hairdresser's, disposable toothbrushes at the hotel - carry your equipment and utensils instead.
Let's also reuse things that at first glance are already rubbish, e.g., let's plant flowers in a pot with a hole in it, and let's wash and steam a glass oil bottle and pour homemade liquor into it. Repair things instead of throwing them away. A shoemaker will repair a broken heel; a watchmaker will replace a battery in your watch. Old professions come back to favor. Let them bloom anew.
Recycling and upcycling - converting old into new
Recycling is a form of secondary treatment of waste, resulting in products of value higher than the raw materials that could be obtained from processing the waste. As a rule, such activities are done on an industrial scale and require taking used things to appropriate places.
On the other hand, upcycling is about giving new life to rubbish - it allows us to reduce consumption and enjoy the satisfaction of reducing waste. It will enable us to reduce consumption and enjoy the satisfaction of being more restrained in waste production. Upcycling fits in noty only with the idea of zero waste but with one of the fashionable interior design trends of wabi-sabi, where old, worn objects are given an aesthetic value even without being refurbished.
Rot - let's compost what's organic
We can compost organic waste (food scraps and by-products of garden care) and many objects of everyday use made of organic materials. We can throw away a used hemp dishwasher, recycled paper, ashes from a fireplace, or a broken wooden brush handle.
Composting has many benefits - compost is a natural fertilizer. Also, by throwing away some of your rubbish on compost, you reduce its volume by up to 50%.
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