3 Essential Principles Of Zero Waste
This is the first instalment of a short and simple guide to making less waste in everyday life.
In later posts I'll be looking at specific actions and swaps you can apply in and out of the home. But for now, I'm suggesting 3 essential principles for a less wasteful lifestyle that is both simple and sustainable.
1. Go slow and gentle
We live in highly wasteful consumerist societies that are not currently set up for a zero waste lifestyle. This means it is not always easy to avoid waste, and zero waste living is certainly not feasible for most people right now.
So be gentle on yourself. Embrace your good intentions and accept that you can’t be perfect. Simple changes that are implemented incrementally are far more likely to become long-lasting habits.
Remind yourself that zero waste is a journey, and focus on making well considered steps that enable you to waste less.
2. Apply the 5 R’s
Béa Johnson's 5 R's are beautifully simple and can be applied across our material lives, helping to establish less wasteful habits that cover both future buys and the objects you already own.
Refuse: Be mindful of what you accept into your home and your life. Say no to things you do not need, that are single-use, and that cannot be recycled or composted.
Reduce: Cultivate simplicity. Declutter what you own and commit to consuming only what you need.
Reuse (+repair): Use reusable objects instead of disposable ones. Extend the life of your possessions by mending them when broken.
Recycle: When an object can no longer be used, recycle it responsibly.
Rot: Find a way to compost that works for you and your home.
3. Where possible, call for societal change
Conscious consumerism is powerful. But it will likely take more pressure for industry and government to make sustainable, circular practices the norm as we know is needed.
As things stand, being able to make ethical choices in our societies is a privilege. Not all of us have the time, resources, or access to knowledge to do so. Those of us who can should call for sustainability and compassion to always come first.
I really hope you find this useful! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.