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

Zero Waste Shopping Tips During a Pandemic [or other Emergencies]

First and foremost YOUR safety is the most important thing.
Not only your physical health, but also your mental health.
Online strangers in Zero Waste groups may say differently.
Rest assured, compassionate people will understand that some people may face challenges.

Shopping Bags and Checking Out
I personally prefer self checkouts.
I always preferred to use self check out as I hate small talk and I like to pack my own groceries. All those years of Tetris have paid off.
Right now, it limits how close and how long I need to be around people.
It allows me to use my own bags as some stores aren’t allowing you to use your own shopping bags. The ones that do let you use them at a regular check out make you pack your own bags. I prefer to save my time and just use the self checkout.
When I get home, I wipe off and clean my bags.
An alternative… they may even just let you put all the items back in your cart without a bag. This would require showing a receipt, which many people are saying not to accept.

shopping bags

If you end up with having to use plastic bags… Don’t feel too bad.
You can use them as trash bags around the house.
Use them to collect your dog’s poop on walks, or give them to someone with a dog. Take them on your nature walks to collect litter. Use them to stuff your shoes when you store them.
When the world gets back to normal you can go back to refusing the bags.
In my city, shopping bags are recyclable.

Grocery Items
Items in the grocery store can be limited right now.
I know we have had to make last minute changes to our meal plans and shopping lists. Some bigger stores that offer bulk items are not allowing you to use your own containers. Bulk Barn is not allowing your personal containers, and for safety reasons are only allowing associates to get your items. This means you end up with plastic bags. These bags could be reused and repurposed. One local store, MultiServices Vert (which I call the milk store) still allows your personal containers. If you can, check out businesses online. Call or email them to see what their polices are. It’s always better to choose local stores over large national chain stores. But at this time, YOUR survival and mental well being is the most important!

As you’re selecting items go for those with the least packaging.
Choose glass or cardboard over plastic.
If you have to get plastic, try to make sure it’s recyclable in your area or try to reuse it.
Feeding your family is the goal.

Learn How To Make It
If you’re having trouble finding items you want, in the packing you want … you can always try and make it yourself! Recipes can be found for almost everything online.
Since we’re all supposed to be staying at home, take the time to learn how to make your favourite items. Have some fruit that isn’t going to be eaten in a timely manner? Look up a recipe for a cobbler or bread.
Some basics to try and keep on hand:
– all purpose flour
– baking powder
– salt
– sugar
– eggs or applesauce to replace the eggs
– vanilla

Don’t beat yourself up.
No one is perfect.
Do the best you can and keep trying to reduce your impact!