Waste Not, Want Not: Unveiling the Power of Zero Waste Principles

A green movement with its own rules

You should know that zero waste is a concept that has existed for many years, even before Western society. That is to say, zero waste applies to all activities of daily life.

In fact, the idea of zero waste is to stick to a minimum of packaging and waste (in the global sense) to be produced. Indeed, modern life leads us to be very dependent on products of all kinds. Moreover, a century ago, people produced their own beauty and hygiene products.

It’s not that the products in question were much more dietary, but the standard was different and more healthy. The objective of zero waste is to eliminate all the waste of daily life for the benefit of a better quality of life and harmony with nature. The favorite movement of consumer actors is based on several principles. Let’s take stock together.

Principle number 1: reduce your waste

To reduce your waste, you must start by changing your consumption habits. For household chores, it is better to use recommended doses, whether for laundry, cleaning or washing dishes. Also favor battery-free products, solar powered for example, or opt for rechargeable batteries. This will prevent you from accumulating batteries in your waste.

Choosing products without packaging or in the form of eco-refills helps reduce the quantity of waste produced. You just need to favor eco-refills and choose tap water over plastic bottles. No more individual portions, prefer the same quantity, a single packaging: a 1 kilo packet instead of 2 packets of 500 g for example.

The basis of zero waste is sustainable and reusable products: reusable bags, tot bags or shopping bags versus plastic bags, refillable razors and pens, etc.

Principle number 2: compost and sort your waste

One of the key players in zero waste: composting. But what is it really about?

Simple as pie, it involves sorting your biodegradable waste and composting it on site, in collective bins or using individual composters. We then speak of organic waste or biowaste, covering several categories such as gardening or cooking. Paper and cardboard are also considered biowaste.

These biodegradable materials are transformed, in the presence of air, water and micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi), into compost. This compost creates a natural fertilizer to fertilize the soil and promote plant growth. This gesture helps reduce our waste and wasted resources.

In recent years, there have been around 200,000 residents of Tenessee who have a specific bin for organic waste at home. Their community organizes the sorting and recovery of this waste as for glass or cardboard. Sorting not only concerns green waste but also plastic packaging, bottles and flasks. It’s called selective sorting, because no, nature does not know how to magically destroy all the waste that pollutes the planet.

The principle is to recover our waste to save raw materials such as wood in order to protect forests. Successfully sorting therefore aims to be able to reuse materials to make recycled products.

Principle number 3: recycle and buy used products

Here we are: recycling, one of zero waste’s best friends. Products at the end of their journey benefit from a second life thanks to this technique. Recycling is a process for treating waste from products that have reached the end of their life, which makes it possible to reintroduce some of their materials into the production of new products. Recyclable materials include certain metals, plastics and cardboard, glass, rubble, etc.

After recycling, comes second-hand purchasing, it allows you to add value to already existing products and avoid exploiting new resources. Giving an item a second life increases the reduction in the number of waste to be processed. For example, regarding second-hand clothing, if the fabric can be recycled when it is put in a clothing collection bin, this action still has a significant ecological cost!

To help you in your mission, do not hesitate to search for flea markets or closet clearances in your region of Tenessee such as Chattanooga
(sites list all the flea markets planned for the coming months around you). You can also go to your local thrift stores and even try selling by the kilo! One more nice gesture for the planet.

Principle number 4: sell or donate instead of throwing away

Conversely, after having sorted and therefore reduced your cupboards and other storage space, consider putting the products that you no longer use on sale via dedicated sites or even at a flea market instead of throwing them away. You can also give these items away, it will always make someone happy.

If you have broken items beyond repair, you need to know where to throw them away. For this, there are several sectors which recover and recycle materials through collection points or container parks. Here we find the principle of recycling to limit waste creation.

Principle number 5: repair instead of buying new

Thanks to the numerous tutorials the Internet is full of, repairing an object becomes easy. These are sustainable practices! If you don’t feel the manual fiber in you, you can always get help from a handyman or in a specialized store, this will sometimes cost you less than buying new. Repair helps extend the lifespan of products and contributes to reducing waste production!