Why you shouldn't be scared of the 'zero' in zero waste

When starting on a zero waste journey it can seem so elusive and something that may never be accomplished, but it’s something you shouldn’t be scared of!

According to Wikipedia;

‘Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean. Currently, only 9% of plastic is actually recycled. In a zero waste system, material will be reused until the optimum level of consumption.’

There's so many amazing companies helping us make the transition from single use products to reusable ones, but sometimes it can be overwhelming with how much there is “to do”. It can be enticing to throw everything out and start a new zero waste lifestyle all at once, but I think that would be against the very idea of zero waste.

We should use up everything we have first. Use up that roll of glad wrap or baking paper, or that box of sandwich bags, then invest in a more sustainable product that you can use over and over again. It also means that things will run out or get used up at different times so you don’t have to buy everything at once. Because yes, reusable products are more expensive than single use, but they will save you money in the long run. Cost wouldn’t be the primary factor if you wanted to change though, otherwise you might make excuses and go back to single use because it's easier.

You want to make a difference and can see the damage that single use plastics are making to our environment.

Don’t compare someone else’s middle or ending to your beginning. What matters is that you’ve made the decision to start, and make a difference.

This quote is a favourite of mine, and is a great reminder that any change you make is worth it;

‘We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.’ - Anne Marie Bonneau

It's almost impossible to live a completely zero waste life in the modern world, but that shouldn’t deter us from starting. We should think of the process as an evolving journey, not a final destination.


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