Why Go Zero Waste?

Recycling simply is NOT enough!

Recycling, especially plastic, is essentially green-washing.
Only a very small percentage of plastic that is sent to the recycling centres are actually recycled. Some plastics are considered to be higher value than others. Most of the time, it is cheaper to produce new plastic than to recycle. Low value plastics are often sent to the landfill or burned.
Then there is the issue of items that are made of multiple bonded materials like cardboard bonded to plastic, or plastic bonded to foil. Some cans and cups even have a thin layer of plastic inside of them.
Plastic that is recycled can only a small number of times before it loses it’s integrity.


Recycling centres vary so much from area to area. Check your local regulations.

Why recycling is not enough - go zero waste

The best thing to do is try to reduce your consumption and try to buy the items that involve the least amount of packaging — especially the plastic packaging.

Things last longer!

Non single use items will obviously last longer.
Reusable items are often built sturdier so you can get more life out of them. You can re-purpose items that you have.
Try to buy second hand, as this prevents another item from possibly being tossed away.
You can donate, gift, or even sell items when you no longer need them.

It makes your dollar count!

You save money by not having to constantly replace single use items. There may be a bit more of an upfront cost, but it will more than pay for itself.
The cost is sometimes higher because of ethical materials and labour.
Buying less is important too.
Making your items last and re-purposing items you already have not only saves you money, but prevents waste as well.
When buying new items, support companies who are striving to wards sustainability and protecting the environment.

Don’t forget to check out thrift stores, charity shops, yard sales, or even Facebook sale groups.
Buying second hand is usually easier on the wallet too!

why go zero waste - sustainable

You are reducing your impact!

By consciously making an effort to reduce your waste you are reducing your impact on the planet and it’s resources. The Law of Conservation of Mass-Energy states that the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is constant. Everything you buy or use comes from something and it doesn’t simply vanish.

Change starts with YOU!

Yes, big corporations need to be held accountable.
Support businesses who strive towards being environmentally responsible.
Buy local. Support sustainable companies.
Vote with your wallet.


But individual actions add up.
If 100 people use reusable bags, then that’s at least 100 plastic bags that aren’t being used. The more people who strive towards a zero waste lifestyle, the more people there are who can petition the corporations to act responsibly.


why be zero waste

Earth Day 50 – Make Everyday Earth Day!

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day!

While most people are stuck at home during this global health crisis, it is still possible to celebrate Earth Day! It’s a good time to be able to slow down and appreciate this giant hunk of rock that we all call home.

Here are some practical ideas to inspire you to make every day Earth Day.

Food

local sustainable food
  • Eat Organic
    • Organic food helps to preserve the richness of the topsoil and helps protect biodiversity.
  • Eat Local
    • Local foods help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions involved in transporting food. Food is also fresher and it helps the local economy.
  • Eat in Season
    • Food that is in season is fresher, travels less, and tends to come from local farmers.
  • Reduce Food Waste
    • If food waste was a country, it would be in the top three countries for greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Eat leftovers, make soup, freeze food for later. Compost.
  • Reduce Meat
    • Try a meatless Monday!
    • Livestock is responsible for a lot of greenhouse gas emissions. Cropland is used primarily to grow crops for livestock.
    • The treatment of animals leads to animal suffering in mass commercial settings. Try to source meat locally. Local farmers usually provide better care for the animals and the meat tends to be of a higher quality.

Energy

wind energy
  • Switch to Greener Options
    • In some areas, there are green energy alternatives available. Take advantage of wind, solar or hydroelectric alternatives.
  • Replace Light Bulbs
    • Energy-efficient light bulbs consume 80% less electricity than conventional bulbs. I have noticed that they last much longer and in some jurisdictions are recyclable.
  • Lower the Thermostat
    • The average thermoneutrality of a healthy adult is about 19°C. This means that a person can maintain their body temperature without needing to use any extra body energy. This means that there technically isn’t a reason to need to heat your house above that.
    • If you’re chilly, you can always add layers. I’m always the coldest one in our house so I have some wool socks and a hoodie that I wear indoors.
    • Lowering the thermostat can also save your wallet!
  • Turn off the Lights!
    • With the energy efficient bulbs we have today, I get laughed at over this one. We should still turn off lights when we aren’t going to be in the room for a while. It can help prolong the life of your bulbs, save on every costs and even if it’s a tiny amount — reduce your energy usage.

Waste

Reduce Waste
  • Move towards Zero Waste
    • Reduce the amount of single use products in your life.
    • Buy products with the least amount of packaging.
  • Classic “3 R’s”
    • Reduce
    • Reuse
    • Recycle
  • Compost
  • Shop Second Hand
    • Thrift stores, re-sale stores, consignment stores, yard sales. You can also organise swaps at school or work. Facebook has “Buy Nothing” groups tailored to you neighbourhoods.
  • Stop Buying Stuff!
    • Do you really need it? Think about the whole life cycle of what you’re about to buy. How long will it still be around after you don’t

Nature

  • Grow a Garden
    • Whether its a smaller container garden in the city, a community plot, or a garden in a rural area it’s rewarding to grow your own veggies. I use it as a tool to show my kids where food in the store comes from.
  • Natural Fertilisers
    • Compost!
    • Chemical fertilisers can lead to soil depletion and lead to loss of biodiversity.
  • Plant Pollinator Friendly Plants
    • Planting nectar giving colourful plants will attract pollinating insects.
  • Plant a tree
  • Don’t Pick All the Dandelions
    • Dandelions are usually one of the first flowers in the spring and are an important food source for bees.
  • Collect Litter
    • Even if it’s just one piece on a neighbourhood or nature trail walk, that’s one less piece of litter.

Sustainable Transportation

  • Walking
    • Good for your health.
    • Cost effective.
    • Zero emission.
  • Cycling
    • Quicker than walking.
    • Some cities offer bike rentals.
  • Public Transit
    • By using public transportation, you can reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Vehicle Choices
    • Hybrids and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and are becoming more affordable. Some areas offer discounts, incentives, and rebates to encourage you to make the switch.
    • If hybrids or electric vehicles are not a viable option, then try to get a vehicle with the best fuel economy. Generally, a smaller engine is more fuel efficient.

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

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