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What is Zero Waste?

Girl holding a Mason jar filled with 1-year of trash
Girl holding a Mason jar filled with 1-year of trash

Chances are you ever stumbled on the picture of a girl holding a Mason jar filled with her waste of an entire year.

Even your 1-day trash don’t fit in that jar. And it’s normal. This performance is done by the best Zero Wasters that exists on earth! It’s quite impressive but it can also be intimidating.

So, yes. That’s Zero Waste. But it’s only the ultimate goal of it. Zero waste is a progressive journey that anyone can start adopting at its own pace.

And this movement brings way more benefits than reducing trash. It’s a mindset that drives to happiness, that respects others and that reduces the impact on the environment.

What's the Zero Waste mindset?

Hiker climbing the zero waste journey stairs.

The primary goal is to send no waste to the landfill, in the ocean or in the air. It includes plastic, cardboard, clothes, food, greenhouse gases and many more.

To achieve that, many ways are possible but the most common is by refusing, reducing, reusing, repairing, recycling or rotting our trash.

But wait. Not all at the same time! We all have busy lives. Zero Waste is a gradual process that goes along with your schedule.

Pick-up one that you can easily apply to your lifestyle and master it. Then pick another one. Each step towards that goal is a celebration!

One tip doesn’t fit your lifestyle? As long as you tried, it’s OK! Look for something else to change and keep improving.

It’s all about becoming aware of ourselves, the way we consume and make better purchase decisions.

  • What do I really need?
  • How do I consume?
  • Does it generate waste?
  • Is there a more sustainable alternative?

Use these questions on each of your daily habits/purchase and you’re all aboard for your zero waste journey.

Having a little down? You’re not alone! Find zero waste communities. Everyone is there to help each other and to improve!

How to do Zero Waste?

5 tips to start zero waste lifestyle.

Have you seen these crafty videos about eco-hacks and zero waste swaps? That’s a good start!

The idea is to make an audit of your life and spot the activities that generate waste.

Then, replace them with more sustainable alternatives.

Here are some real-life examples:

  • Need to carry your groceries? Now: Use a disposable plastic bag – Alternative: Reuse a cotton fabric bag.
  • Going to work every day? Now: Take the car 5 times per week – Alternative: Take the bike 3 days per week.
  • The blender doesn’t work anymore? Now: Buy a new one – Alternative: Try to repair the broken part.
  • Too many clothes in the wardrobe? Now: Throw them in the garbage – Alternative: Bring them to a clothing bin for recycling
  • Get rid of your veggie scraps? Now: Throw them in the garbage – Alternative: Bring them to a compost area.

Adding up all these new habits will have a positive impact on the environment.

But not only! Most of these alternatives are healthier, respect others and allows you to make a lot of savings.

Here’s a Ninja tip: discover the 7R’s Kunf-fu moves in the “how to start a zero waste lifestyle” post.

Can you really produce NO waste?

No! Zero waste is a goal to reach. It’s a journey of improvement. Even the most advanced zero wasters still produce waste. The purpose is to make it as low as possible.

In certain situations, single-use packaging makes a lot of sense. It conserves food that rots quickly or it keeps medical tools sanitized.

But when it’s not necessary, it can be swapped for a more sustainable solution.

And you know what? When you buy goods without packaging, the production of that good also generates waste. A lot of waste.

That’s why buying from companies aiming for more sustainable production is also part of the journey.

Small actions performed by thousands of people has a bigger impact than one person doing it perfectly. Let’s do our best and inspire other people to change the world!

What is doing Zero Waste groceries?

Girl filling up a bag in a food bulk store.

Back in time, your grandparents were probably doing Zero Waste groceries. Bring their own reusable shopping bag at the supermarket, using jars to refill with food or buying milk with a deposit bottle.

Doing Zero Waste groceries is the art of buying food that generates as low waste as possible.

Wanna have a try? You can do it in your supermarket! Vegetables, fruits, and nuts are usually in bulk. Use a fabric bag instead of a disposable plastic bag. It’s already a good start!

But you will still come back home with a ton of plastic packaging. If you want to go further, you’ll need specialized shops to help you!

Bulk stores provide food with the lowest impact on the environment and make it super easy to shop without packaging. There are even more benefits! The food is usually fresh, organic, locally produced.

Have you ever seen these vertical dispensers? That’s how you pick up your bulk food. It’s very easy to learn how to shop zero waste.

What is Zero Waste at home?

Assortment of Zero Waste hygiene accessories

Having good body hygiene and a clean apartment is the key to a balanced everyday life.

A ton of products are available for that purpose and make our lives easier.

But most of them are sold in plastic packaging and contain a lot of chemicals.

Do you know that you can do most of your cleaning products by yourself? It’s cheaper, it’s quick and it’s made with natural ingredients. Multi-cleaner, laundry soap, dishwasher tabs,…

If your life is really too busy for that, there is a faster way. Bulk stores offer natural cleaning products with a refillable option.

Regarding your body hygiene, it’s even more important to take care of it. That’s what you spread every day on your body! There are also zero waste and natural alternatives available in the bulk stores or in online shops.

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