Everybody knows (or should know) that among the main topics related to zero waste, the conservation of resources is at the top of the list.
Therefore, it is essential to talk about the importance of zero waste.
While we understand that going 100%, zero waste can be quite tricky, making a few changes in your day to day life can already go a long way. That’s why it is also vital to understand the concept of reducing waste.
What Are The Benefits Of Zero Waste?
Helps protect the environment
At its core, zero waste helps us protect the environment while helping us reduce the significant pressure we are putting on the planet.
Namely, a waste approach helps us to immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions and its impact on climate change.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 42% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are linked with energy consumption associated with food and goods(production, transportation, handling, packaging).
Therefore, adopting Zero Waste Principals is critical to get these numbers down. Additionally, zero waste helps to keep a lid on pollution.
The burning of fossil fuels, for example, is one of the leading causes of air pollution.
By reusing waste, we can help minimize the need for production, helping us save energy and reduce emissions created by power plants(one of our main goals).
Take the mining of gold or the vast industry that is oil drilling. These take up a considerable amount of energy and generation of pollution.
It is universally known that are our waste system is putting a strain on natural resources. Moreover, our current rate of consumption is impossible to maintain.
Therefore, by reusing products, recycling, avoiding disposal of material things we can still use, we can reduce our purchases rate and preserve our natural resources.
More importantly, it is undeniable that plastic is taking up too much landfill space.
Which is why, you see countries in Europe already adopting an aggressive climate solution strategy to reduce the use of plastic, zero waste has a direct impact on this.
Zero Waste impacts the development of our Economy
On the other hand, zero waste has the potential to be a massive boost to any local economy. Rather than destroying solid waste, we can use “waste” as an asset.
Developing ways to reuse waste will lead to more jobs and involvement in the business sector.
Waste management has been around for a long time in local municipalities.
Some of the activities related to zero waste can drive community involvement by raising awareness and help to tackle issues around the globe.
Examples of these can be the development of projects to spread reusable goods around local communities, whether it be sharing of goods such as tools or donating leftover food to the homeless population.
These simple acts have a more profound effect than the average person realizes.
Rather than throwing out belongings, you no longer use. Donating them creates the double effect of helping out somebody in need and reducing the reliance on manufacturing processes that are harming the planet.
These types of ideas is what gives way to terms such as reduce reuse and reuse recycle.
According to the Toronto Environment Alliance, more than $31 billion in food goes to waste every year.
Going zero waste will have a direct impact on reducing this number. Part of that responsibility is getting businesses involved.
While residents are responsible for the consumption of products, we cannot forget about producer responsibility.
Product manufacturers need to be held accountable for the waste they generate.
If we can get our local community and companies to adopt a zero-waste strategy by forcing innovation, we can create products that are easier to reuse and recycle—giving businesses a way to develop their brand and product further.
Applying Zero Waste principles in your daily life has a positive impact on the environment, but also for the economy. Waste can be an asset i.e. reuse and recycle goods.
Zero waste is beneficial for your health and pocket
Everyone who shops via second hand will be saving money. Simply because most recycled or reused goods are less expensive than buying them brand new.
It is an affordable lifestyle and the right step in reducing expenses.
Moreover, more countries are switching to a “pay for packaging” strategy. Namely, charging for bags in quantities and differentiating them for recycling.
This, in turn, means that if you decide not to recycle your garbage, you end up paying more for those containers.
Additionally, whether its the shampoo, soap, toothpaste, cutlery, when doing groceries, going in a zero waste direction gives you another opportunity to control what you put in your body, human health is one of the driving factors behind zero waste.
Most of the ingredients used in zero waste products help you avoid all the chemicals found in the day to day version of the same products. This is true for both food and cosmetics.
Naturally, when you go to a market to buy ingredients for food, zero waste gives you the ability to control the saturated fats, additives, etc., that you consume.
Another direct correlation is the amount of plastic and wrapping you avoid purchasing when you go to regular supermarkets.
How Can We Live A Zero Waste Life?
In essence, going zero waste requires more reuse of existing waste and the creation of healthier product alternatives (reduce reuse).
Namely, adapting zero waste principles in homes whenever possible, we have a great guide on these principles, to help you apply zero waste with small significant actions and options.
Ultimately, adopting a waste strategy is done in small steps.
Climate impact, product design, natural resources, these are all words that should come to mind when thinking about zero waste and nature.
Waste generation is inevitable, but waste strategies aimed at reducing and reusing waste are easy to adopt and do not need a drastic change in our day to day lives.
It is also important to note than, in our eyes, there is no hierarchy in the importance of zero waste against other initiatives such as the destruction of waste or recycling. Instead, we should try to work together!
Also, the idea of Puratium is to encourage people in a positive manner, to help the earth.
If you have any questions or comments! We’d love to hear them.
CO-Founder @ Puratium. Lover of Belgian Beer 🍺, and debating endlessly over 🏀. That being said, actively doing my part for the 🌍.