What is the Zero Waste movement?

More than a movement, it is a life philosophy. Therefore, it requires making a complete change, from the inside out. First, we need to evaluate how can we get adapted to it, what it is necessary to be changed in our life, therefore, everyone will need a different adaptation time.

This philosophy is based on the minimal waste production and the maximization of our resources. The final goal is to achieve a closed cycle where we don’t need to get the raw materials from nature again or to use landfills or incinerators to “store” our trash. It actually means that we must imitate what nature does: everything is integrated into an almost endless cycle and is reused again.

Many of us think of an industrial scale when we read these phrases and we think that the problem lies in the big companies. But, this isn’t true. Like in nature, each small member collaborates in the cycle and we all should take our part.

As individuals, we can do much more than we believe.

How? Following the principle of the 5 R of Béa Johnson:

  • Refuse
  • Reduce
  • Reuse (+ repair)
  • Recycle
  • Rot

In this list, we can appreciate that recycling should be the last option, therefore, we must reject and reduce first, also according to the philosophy of minimalism. Therefore, these two philosophies are linked and integrated one into the other, being at the end the same movement: live with less, produce the least and reduce the ecological footprint of your possessions / actions

Reduce

We live in a system that urges us to buy. We have integrated that “things” are what give us the happiness that it takes a lot to understand that this is not true. Moreover, we buy to fill gaps or to supply emotions. We fill everything with things. Items that we don’t need and that will end up in a landfills. We are drowning in useless things.

It is clear that production waste is less avoidable, and that’s why we have to focus into recycling. All those waste must have a new life in the cycle, avoiding the future need of raw materials. But, there are materials, such as plastic, that cannot be so easy reused, recycled or rot, and is in this case where we need to reduce.

Finally, everything that cannot be reused or incorporated into the recycling cycle, should be compostable (not biodegradable!). Which is a process of transformation of organic matter to obtain compost.

There are many aspects in our lives that we must evaluate and redo to get adapted. The zero waste movement is still a choice, but it may be one day where this will be an imposition. I anticipate that we are not perfect and our goals are adapted to our context. But, every day we improve and get wiser, so hopefully one day, we do less mistakes. Therefore, we would like to share our journey with you.

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