You have heard the term “zero waste” thrown around, you pull a face, and think “those sustainable people are nuts!” How can a person go through life with zero waste? “You have got to be kidding me- washable maxi pads!” It does sound crazy.
What exactly is zero waste?
Zero waste means that whatever you do during your day, nothing contributes to land, water, or air pollution. Living a zero waste life is living a sustainable life. Simply put- whatever you touch must not hurt our planet in anyway. This is difficult to do. Simple things we take for granted all contribute waste in some way- the food we discard, wrapping from packages, pollution from our cars, etc.
We believe that zero waste is almost impossible to achieve, especially with a family. But, we also believe that we all have the ability to do better than what we are doing today. The principles that we learned about as children can be our compass: reduce, reuse, recycle, and now we add repurpose and refuse.
First, stop buying stuff that you don’t need. Before you make a purchase consider if you truly need it and is it sustainable? Do you own something that already serves the same purpose, or can you borrow or rent the item? Also consider if the item is something that is a fad.
Next, try to reuse the products that you already own. Repair the things that you have. Don’t rush out to replace things, fix stuff when it needs to be repaired, don’t just toss it into the garbage. When things finally are beyond repair, dispose of them the proper way.
Finally, recycle. Recycling is overlooked and when folks do recycle, they often don’t recycle the correct way. Do the research and learn about the correct way of recycling. For instance, in the City of Tampa you cannot put your recycling in plastic bags, yet a lot of people do. When plastic bags are put into recycling then the bags get caught in the machines, human intervention is needed, profitability decreases, and municipalities are less likely to implement recycling programs.
There are also some new key terms when it comes to zero waste: repurpose and refuse. Repurpose simply means find a new use for the old things that you already own. Instead of tossing the jar into recycling, maybe repurpose it into a refillable jar for rice in the bulk section of your grocery store. Maybe the shirt that has a stain on it can be hemmed up and can now be used as a produce bag. There are so many fun ways to repurpose items. Be creative! If you aren’t the creative type- use Pinterest for inspiration.
Then there is refuse. This is a big one. Refuse the items that hurt the planet. Say “no thank you” to straws, plastic bags, carry out containers, receipts, paper bills, newspapers, etc. There are so many items you can simply refuse and with every “no thank you” the world will be a little bit cleaner and we would all contribute to a zero waste lifestyle.
We are here for you 🙂
Most likely you will never be a zero waste master who only has a mason jar full of trash per year, but maybe you can get by with a smaller trash can or start composting all of your food waste. Maybe you can challenge yourself to be the change, trying a little harder, and stand up for what you believe is right. Changing the world we live in starts in our home and it starts by sharing our passion with our children. We can do this.
Throughout your journey we are here to support you. We have been where you are today. When we first started we read the books, we scoffed at the idea that we would “never be one of those people” and yet here we are today. We carry our own bags, we bring our own straws, and bring a carry out container to restaurants. We are not here to judge you, we want to support you. No matter where you are on the journey, we want to learn with you.
Don’t be shy 😉
There is a wealth of information on our site and we work closely with all of our suppliers and verify their values as well. Please ask questions, give us a call, send us messages, get to know us. We hope that you will embrace an eco friendly lifestyle and enjoy the journey as much as we have.