The 5-Rs of ZERO-WASTE
Living green is a way of life that starts with zero waste:
More and more people are taking initiatives to reduce their waste and to live in a healthy and natural environment.
Nowadays, we are more and more bombarded with terms like “zero waste”, “vegan”, “minimalism”, which are pushing people to become curious and questioning their own behaviours.
But what is it really about?
First of all, we start by researching these subjects, getting informed, discovering and sometimes, acting on our own scale. Indeed, we no longer supporting news and scientific articles exposing alarming and monstrous statistics on the impact of our waste, our movements (and travelling), our consumption, and our daily habits ...
With all this information at hand, we realise that there is a surprisingly growing number of people going in the "right direction", that it is never too late to act, that nothing is impossible and that the new generation is already 'in-the-know' and have already started to act. Young people are increasingly looking at their carbon impact by reducing their consumption of animal meat, by travelling in groups rather than alone (ex: blablacar and other sharing apps), by expressing their desire to decrease and limit the flow of our waste abroad to poorer countries, which are also lacking minimal worker protection.
Today, in this article, we want to show you that this "way of life" is done in stages - very easily. There is no need to put yourself under pressure and shake everything up in your daily life overnight. By being informed and discovering alternatives, you can change your consumption habits gradually and effortlessly.
To start a lifestyle towards zero waste, it's enough to set up some small actions easily achievable and all without constraint. As long as they become routines - an automatism.
This is how we come to your rescue. We explain some basic principles that are essential for our approach in this article. These principles were initiated by Béa Jonhson, who is a French author and blogger from Avignon and who moved to the United States. She shared her lifestyle as well as her habits, telling, in her book "ZERO WASTE HOME" how she drastically reduced her household waste and her wardrobe. The movement began first in California before reaching the entire planet.
It develops the 5 R principle which has gained ground and which reminds us that "the best waste is that which is not produced".
By changing your consumer behaviour, that is to say by refusing these superfluous objects that come into your life: from advertising flyers to free samples, including plastic bags, merchant packaging, and so on..
These examples are not insignificant because they allow you to change things little by little. Taking baby steps allows you to see the positive impacts of these changes almost immediately, but it is obvious that it only works on larger scale if the effort is collective.
In our society of overconsumption and over-abundance, it's crucial to question our behaviour at the time of our purchases and daily activities, if we really need it, is it really necessary?
Give priority above all to quality over quantity since each purchase generates new resource extractions and various logistical means. YOU CAN reduce travelling by car (e.g. car sharing, cycling and walking), reduce the number of food packaging by favouring bulk or by reducing paper prints in your professional environment (by adding a "NO Junk Mail" sign on your mail box) and at home (print only if necessary).
To reduce waste, it is preferable to favour the collective consumption mode, the second-hand purchase and to repair rather than throw away, thereby extending the life of your objects and thus reducing the purchase of new equipment. It is also important to favour reusable containers and utensils and durable materials such as glass, metal, fabric instead of plastic for example. Many everyday objects can be washed and reused as a replacement for disposable and single-use products (glass food containers, microfibre wipes, tea or coffee filters in stainless steel or cotton, fabric tissues (rather than single-use tissues), washable and reusable feminine periodic protection such as the washable cup and sanitary pads in fabric, bulk bags, tawashi sponges made of recycled fabric).
With these changes in habits, you no longer have to buy but only wash or fill your own containers for bulk purchases.
One of the last steps when you can't avoid waste is recycling. Because the principle of recycling is to transform an object to create a new one, it is not without knowing that there is an ecological cost and that it is not the ideal solution concerning our current environmental crisis. By modifying your behaviour (upstream) and by changing the way you consume, by refusing, reducing and reusing most of the everyday objects, soyou will have little to recycle.
(ROT) COMPOST :
All your organic waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, leftover meals, animal hair, dust, hair is compostable (except meat, bread, citrus or banana peels). Composting your organic waste considerably reduces the volume of your waste and its natural decomposition makes it possible to provide the soil in your garden with the nutrients it needs, but also for your planting in pots if you live in an apartment by using suitable composers. You can make a collective request to your landlord or co-owner or your municipality.
It takes very little to implement changes in our daily life and achieve a "zero waste" lifestyle. What is important to remember if there are no too small gestures because all the intentions and change are good. You just need to start somewhere and it is up to you to how far you want to go.
We hope that this article will inspire and guide you in your daily and future steps.
Bother and Sister, Anne et Olivier have created this blog to inspire you to care for the planet. They believe it is possible to be closer to nature and still live in a modern world.