by Akosua Adasi
I first found out about Zero Waste after watching a Refinery29 video in which a young writer in New York took on a Zero Waste challenge. I was interested in the idea and what the lifestyle entailed. I began to do more research and attempt to figure out the ins and outs of the lifestyle.
What is Zero Waste?
Zero Waste is a philosophy and lifestyle shaped off the nature model in that within nature, there is no waste. It aims at reducing waste and changing the way individuals approach waste. Zero Waste was first made popular by Bea Johnson, Zero Waste guru and author of Zero Waste Home. Johnson and her family have been Zero Waste for six years now, and have really made a big difference in their waste production. The goal of Zero Waste is to reduce one's waste to the point that any waste produced over a calendar year will fit in a (regular sized) mason jar and over time, the size of the mason jar will shrink. Creation of waste is prevented by cutting back on a lot of plastic based items, as well as encouraging recycling and composting.
Why Zero Waste?
Without thinking about it we are actually producing large amounts of waste on a daily basis, which overtime builds up in landfills. In Edmonton we're very lucky to have a waste system that has a strong focus on recycling and composting. However that has only been the case for a short amount of time, and still there are many things that are unable to be processed, and go to landfill. Toothbrush plastic, disposable coffee cups, disposable razors, toothpaste containers are just a few everyday tools that easily create waste. The plastics in many of these items cannot be broken down and therefore will either go to landfill or are incinerated, two processes that are harmful to our environment. Zero Waste encourages individuals to be mindful and take more steps in reducing waste.
Read more about Zero Waste here