No matter how many times you have heard it, we will say it anyway. Zero waste is the need of the hour and is the ultimate way to save both the human race and the environment. There is not a single day that goes without us witnessing or hearing something bad that is happening to the environment.
From wildfires to the extinction of species, the environment is going through some of the worst phases of its existence. But have you ever wondered about what productive steps you can take to do something valuable for your environment?
If you haven't, there is a blog for this thought. We will be discussing this revolutionary step towards the environment and its restoration that is Zero waste living in great lengths because the devil is in the details!
Zero waste… know about it a little more!
There exist several definitions and explanations, but does it matter as long as the underlying context stays the same.
Zero-waste living is a path-breaking movement of the 21st century to reduce and ultimately eliminates the amount of waste that has been produced. It is more focused on reducing the amounts of wastes that we produce as an individual or a society. You might be going insane wondering “is there even such a thing as zero waste?” At the very moment, NO.
It is impossible for us to create anything absolutely “zero-waste” in a linear economy. Almost all products and purchases create some sort of waste directly or indirectly. However, a key point that is worth remembering here is that nothing in nature that has been produced with or by using natural components is a waste. End products of one cycle can be used as a substrate for another one. This is the way of nature to recycle all the waste products on its own.
With that said, the whole motto of zero-waste campaigns is to minimize the amount of trash that we produce and reduce its impact on the environment. Individuals or organizations with this mindset reflect on their consumerist behaviors and consider zero-waste guidelines before every purchase.
Why waste handling is such an issue??
Have you often wondered that why there is so much buzz regarding waste production and its management? This is because it is a major issue. Remember Wall-E? If you do, we do not want to end up like that human race.
We, humans, are producing ample amounts of waste. According to studies, the waste generation of municipal solid waste in 2018 was 292.4 million tons which estimate to be 4.9 pounds per person per day. This amounts to around 330 million tonnes of waste each year. And guess what? Only a tiny portion of this waste is ever recycled. These statistics are groundbreaking.
Millions of tonnes of waste end up in our oceans to whirl around for eternity! This is seriously threatening aquatic wildlife and resources. And that is why there is a need for us to be attentive towards these matters.
Give attention to the core.
If you are only assuming that zero waste living circles around toning down your waste production, you are looking at one side of the story. This concept goes far and beyond. It even goes beyond the talk of the town's environmental subjects, such as recycling and composting. It deals with LCA. Now let us enlighten you about LCA.
LCA means life cycle assessment. A way to track down the product starting from its developmental phase to its end in that respective way, life cycle assessment can be easily regarded as cradle to grave analysis. This concept is very much linked and deeply rooted in the movement of zero waste living.
You want to be a part of it, but how?
Zero waste living is the need of the hour and talk of the town. It is the latest and modern way of living. You might have heard whispers of it in the YouTube videos, and you are wondering how you can be a part of this campaign. Worry not, as we have got your back!
But don’t ever fantasize you can adopt a “zero-waste” or sustainable living overnight. It is a lifestyle change so take it slow but steady.
Ten easy ways to adopt zero waste living
Zero waste living does not in any shape or form means that you have to make your soap and you have to live on the floor, no! It simply means that you have to cut down the extra and not-needed things from your life. But first, you have to identify them, and we are here to help.
From limiting the use of plastic bags to walking, here are ten easy ways to get started to live greener.
The hidden aspect…. Economics
One thing that is difficult to achieve in this modern world is affordability. People often assume that living a green life is expensive, but this is the right time to get this myth busted. For example, consider the scenario of composting. Whatever waste you are generating in your kitchen, collect it and compost it in the backyard of your house. You will get a valuable soil additive that will work wonders for your lawn grass.
The journey does not stop here. Zero lifestyles also envelop buying second-hand items, sharing with others, and walking towards home often.
You are probably living under a rock if you haven't heard about 3R's
But you need to update your information regarding these Rs. Gone were the days when you only had to learn and apply these 3R's. with the recent surge in environmental concern and updated knowledge in this field now the world is in need of 5 R's
The on-time application of these R's can impact your everyday activities greatly. There is a need for you to understand that in this hierarchy, consider "Refuse" your top priority and avoid recycling for the spirit of zero waste living.
People often wonder how they can be a part of such productive campaigns. The easiest and simplest way of doing this is to draft out your everyday life and brainstorm how and where you can make changes. Yes, it is difficult to be the first one, but you should never underestimate the power of individual struggles. These beginners' steps are what will turn into collective efforts.
So, make sure to be the first one in your home, in your street, in your class, or even in your community. Be the change and bring the world one step closer towards cleaner and sustainable life choices. Because we all need to understand that this is our home and we have to protect it at all costs!
Nida Riaz is a freelance blogger based in Pakistan. She started writing about her passion for the environment when the world came to a stop in early 2020.