Among environmentally minded people, there is a popular three-verb phrase “reuse, reduce, recycle” (or “3R”). If you adhere to these principles, you are close to a sustainable lifestyle.
Let’s take a look at them.
Zero waste is not about recycling, but about reducing consumption. Why? Because the real problem of modern humanity is the desire to get unnecessary things (and then think what to do with it).
The main principles of zero-waste are:
* first of all to give up the superfluous things;
* reduce the amount needed for life;
* reuse what we already have;
* what remains is to be sorted and recycled.
Really, we know that now you have thoughts: “Oh, it’s so difficult! Sort. Some other time.” But everything is actually very easy. The main thing is to remember three steps:
Step 1: “Divide and rule”! First of all, divide dry waste from wet. Wet include: leftovers, used wipes, greaseproof paper and so on. Dry include all clean packaging – plastic, glass, metal, etc.
For instance: boxes of cereal and a plastic bottle are dry. Remains of banana are wet. Isn’t it so simple?
Step 2: Wash and dry. Dry waste should be washed from food contamination and dried.
Step 3: Each material has its place: sort recyclables by materials (metal, plastic, glass & paper).
So it will be more convenient for you to give recyclables for processing.
To make this process even easier, use cardboard boxes at home or at work to sort recyclables, O-Zero advises.
Reuse is a key to zero waste because it allows you to not throw anything away.
Giving things a different purpose and using them again, you can:
* save personal funds;
* conserve natural resources;
* extend the life of useful things we buy.
O-Zero proposes a few ideas for rejuvenation:
use old T-shirts as cleaning rags;
dags and shopping bags can be sewn from old bed linen;
unnecessary glasses can serve as stands for the office or “housing” for plants;
cereals, dried fruits can be stored in glass jars from sauces or pickled vegetables.
Consumption reduction is a secret ingredient in Zero Waste travel.
It leads to a simpler way of life and allows you to focus on quality rather than quantity, O-Zero states.
Principles that will help reduce the number of things in your everyday life:
* Question the importance of all the things you have.
Many discoveries await you, because most things are stored in closets until the “X” day, which never comes.
* Get rid of everything you don’t use. Leave what brings happiness.
For example, a yogurt maker that was last switched on a year ago, or unnecessary clothes that can serve other people well.
What can I do with unnecessary things? The “Western”-lifestyle options are: sell; donate to charity NGOs; auctions, orphanages etc.
* Limit consumption in size.
This applies to the amount of packaging, the cost of paper and other materials, even the use of the car.
* Limit media influence.
Advertisements provoke us to buy more. Choose quality TV channels or sites where there’s no constant promotion of new cosmetics, appliances or clothing.
How to question the need to buy new things: let’s check the main criteria for selecting new things. This is:
– service life;
– ethical producing;
– the ability to reuse or recycle.