Why Zero Waste is a Great Starting PointJune 17, 2020 · Aaron Burr
Here we are. We’ve discovered the different ways our actions affect the planet. How they affect people. As we begin to learn more and more, we feel that we must act. But the more we learn about the problems of the world, the harder and harder it is to decide where to begin.
Everyone’s lives are different. Some will find there are actions we can start taking that work better than others. And there may be some actions that don’t work so well by either being overwhelming or even underwhelming.
For many people, zero waste is a great place to start.
Zero waste is a great start because:
- It’s pretty accessible
- It develops habits that can set the stage for other parts of our lives
- It can encompass every aspect of our lives
- It offers us a quick way to align with our values
Zero waste is accessible
Not many of us are in a situation where we can radically change our lives at the snap of a finger. We usually require gradual steps that build momentum and enable us to make lasting changes. Going zero waste has room for those steps. It also allows for us to use it’s principles without spending a lot of money.
Heck, we oftentimes may even save money!
If we want to begin reducing our waste, there are many different small things that we can do. We can purchase a reusable water bottle instead of using single use bottles, or we can use reusable cotton rounds instead of single-use ones. If we want to repurpose and save money, we can just use a jar from something we already have!
There are many sustainable solutions out there available for purchase, but oftentimes we’ll do just fine with what we already have. That being said, once it’s time to replace a single use item this is a great opportunity to switch to a reusable option.
This is where our products like LastSwab and LastTissue really shine. They provide a cost effective and reusable alternative to single use products that we otherwise would have had to replace anyways.
Zero waste develops habits and sets the stage
It’s the actions that we take day in and day out that tend to be the most impactful. Not only because their impact will add up more over time, but because they are the most habit forming parts of our day.
The more things we choose to actively change for the sake of the planet, the easier it is, and even more second nature it will become, in other areas of our lives.
If we get into the habit of thinking about the waste we are generating, whether it be our dental floss, our tissues, or our coffee cups, this will naturally help us to start thinking about waste and excess when we eat, commute, or buy stuff.
It can apply to all aspects of our lives
When we hear zero waste most of us think about reducing what we send to the landfill. This is what a lot of it is about, and oftentimes where the movement starts. But a zero waste lifestyle can also be about removing the excess waste everywhere in our lives.
And a lot of times, excess waste can really just come from excess in general. It is at this point where minimalism and zero waste really become interwoven.
Because at the end of the day, much of our poor treatment towards the planet stems from our demands of the excess and the unnecessary.
You can quickly do a lot to align with your values
Maybe driving a car isn’t aligned with our values. It costs money, burns fossil fuels, and uses up a lot of time. But to completely give up driving can be a big and clunky change that takes time, especially if our life has been shaped around driving distances.
Zero waste changes are quick and relatively simple to do. This allows us to make a lot of changes relatively quickly that builds momentum towards a life more aligned with our values.
It’s certainly possible that some may find they don’t need to start with zero waste because they already have that dialed. Some may find it not as meaningful and would therefore not be very motivated from it.
Our path in sustainability needs to be tailor fit to us, and this may result in beginning with whatever feels right. Whatever actions we take that bother us the most, that’s probably what we should change.
Nonetheless, if everything is bothering us or we can’t decide where to begin, zero waste will always offer an accessible, effective, and meaningful place to start.