What is Zero Waste?
The Zero Waste concept encourages us to follow the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. First of all, we look at reducing our consumption, we then look to reuse items already owned and as a last resort, we recycle.
In recent years there has been a lot in the news, in documentaries and on social media about the plastic problem. Without a doubt, we need to reduce the amount of plastic we use. But it’s not just plastic that’s the problem, it’s all waste.
Everything we buy – including packaging – requires energy to be manufactured, transported and disposed of. You may think recycling is the answer but that too requires energy, thus contributing to carbon emissions and climate change. Furthermore, the recent ‘War on Plastic’ documentary has highlighted that not everything we send for recycling is actually being recycled. So reducing the amount of packaging we buy and reusing it wherever possible is by far the best solution for the planet.
We should also consider the food we eat – or more importantly the food that we throw away – because that also has a carbon footprint from farming, processing, and transportation. So we should also look at reducing the food we buy (only buy what we need) and reuse where practicable eg. turn the leftover roast chicken or random spare vegetables into a curry.
Buying your products from a zero waste shop can help to reduce the amount of food waste because you can buy as little or as much as you need, you are also reusing packaging and containers thus reducing the manufacture of new packaging. Every time you refill your washing up bottle, that’s one less plastic bottle that needs to be manufactured and disposed of or recycled. Above all, zero waste advocates the avoidance of sending anything to landfill wherever possible.
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