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Zero Waste approach: trend or lifestyle?

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Ecology and environmental protection are words that we hear more often every single day. We are all aware of all the negative changes occurring in our environment and their impact on people’s lives. Many leaders and organizations try to implement different methods of decreasing our ecological footprint. Some may think that only governments and leaders have the power to make a real change, but what about all of us citizens? Is there anything we could do to help?

The answer to this question is – yes!

Every single household can decrease the amount of waste it produces. This way we are not only able to better manage our resources but also gain knowledge about recycling, reusing, and composting. Ultimately, we can feel good that we did something to protect our environment and mother Earth.

Remember: There is only one Earth.

To make it simple, lets talk about what small changes we can implement in our households to make a better world. Have you ever heard about the zero waste approach? Let’s take a closer look.

The Zero Waste method is composed of 5 basic rules.

The first rule is called Refuse. It states that you should avoid using any store offered plastic bags, single use utensils (cups, plates, or cutlery) or accept fliers. You’ve probably seen how all these items are mass produced, and after their extremely short use they do nothing more than pollute and contaminate our environment. By refusing these items in the first place, you are helping to reduce the amount of different toxic and harmful wastes that cover our earth and take centuries to decompose.

Reduce is the second rule of the Zero Waste approach. It states that you should try to live and promote the most minimalistic life possible. It means that you should buy things that you truly need and are necessary for you. This rule also applies to cooking and buying food. This approach can help reduce the amount of  food waste as well as gadgets and clothing intended for garbage disposal.

This minimalistic approach is closely connected with next rule – Reuse. This principle says that we should avoid disposable products and reuse everything we can. This includes everyday items like boxes and jars. You can purchase reusable bags for your grocery shopping, vegetables, or fruits. Grabbing a coffee? Remember to bring your reusable coffee cups and drink straws. In addition to all this, there are also plenty reusable hygienic products on the market that can reduce waste in significant way. For example, using a menstrual cup can eliminate immense amounts of other menstrual products that end up in landfills every single day.

The next principle is well known by everyone and is called Recycle. Many households have already made this rule a part of their everyday practice. There are widely available bins or bags for general garbage but also for trash that has potential to be reused. Today we can recycle paper, glass, plastic bags, bottles and organic waste that can be turned into compost to grow crops. There are some other products we can recycle in our own homes. For example, wood pallets can be turned into furniture or other products like storage shelves/boxes, and your old cooking pots can be used in a garden and used as flower beds. We should always think twice before disposing of anything, as maybe there is a way to recycle it and give it a second life. We should also teach our children the importance of recycling the importance of caring for our planet. Changing their habits now will have a huge impact on the health of our Earth in the future.

The last rule is something that I already touched on above – Composting. All organic waste can be used to produce compost that can be used in gardening. It is easy to set up small compost bins in our gardens for disposal of all our organic waste. This makes for a perfect organic amendment for planters and flowerbeds, the vegetable garden, lawn, and generally all indoor or outdoor plants. It is worth to mention here that compost can even be used to produce energy, but this makes for a whole other blog article.

In summary, it can be difficult for some to introduce the 5R’s approach to their daily routine. At the end of the day, we should treat it as the new modern lifestyle that is beneficial both for our planet and new generations. Remember there is no planet B and this is why we do not have any other choice but to make a change now! Next time you are shopping, grabbing coffee or going about your daily routine, try to think about the Zero Waste approach and how you can contribute to making our world a better place! Join discussion forum at and share your thoughts on that topic.