Let’s be the generation that ends waste.
Living a Zero Waste lifestyle is possible and beneficial. Many individuals and families are proving that they do not need garbage dumps or garbage burning incinerators to dispose of their waste because they are making Zero Waste choices .While they are making choices such as recycling.repair and reuse that avoid materials being put in the garbage bin, they are also changing habits and behaviours that once enabled them to produce waste.
Most people adopting the challenge to change have reported that it improved their health and well-being. They are happier and very proud to be accomplishing this lifestyle change for the planet.
But are these people “regular” people? Yes they are just like all of us; the only thing special is they made a commitment. : if you are looking for regular people examples check out
Many people are also significantly reducing the waste they generate and you can too.
At Zero Waste Canada, our mission is to support and educate so that we can all transition to a Zero Waste lifestyle, while creating a Zero Waste nation and a Zero Waste future for all.
Where do we begin?
Begin with the realization everything we consume, use and discard are resources. We are not using them wisely; we are using too much and discarding too much.
By the age of 6 months, the average Canadian has consumed the same amount of resources as the average person in the developing world consumes in a lifetime.
In a lifetime, the average North American will throw away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage. A 68 kg adult will leave a legacy of 40,825 kg of trash. (Natural Resources Canada)
Mindful shopping and gift-giving
Before acquiring more stuff, ask yourself if you really need it.
Being mindful what kind of products we bring into our lives is the best way to avoid having to generate waste afterwards. There are many products which are not recyclable or compostable because of bad design and the first step is to look for alternative ways to get those products without having to take with you the waste that comes with it. Prioritize always local quality products which are sold in bulk and are durable, reusable, repairable or products sold at thrift stores and second-hand sites
As a general principle try to avoid single-use products (razors, packaging, nappies, plastic bags…) and those products containing toxics (PVC, brominated flame retardants, DPA…).
Zero Waste is also about supporting the local community. Buying local generally means less emissions in transport, less packaging, more jobs for your neighbours, less toxics for the future generations and of less waste!
Before recycling, composting, or disposing, ask yourself can I still use this if I repaired it, repurposed it.
Learn what discard opportunities are available in your community and the rules. In most communities there are recycling, reuse and repair options available.
At home we will be generating discards from the products we consume but in order to reintroduce them into the production cycle it is important that they are properly separated. Separating food waste –wet stuff- from recyclable waste –dry stuff- is the key to optimise the quality of composting and recycling.
Generally, the biggest waste stream you generate is food waste and this is a part that you can recycle yourself by finding creative ways to reuse it, feeding it to animals or compost it at home –in home composters for houses or worm-composters for apartments-. Many community have composting programs accessible to residents. Remember to first Reduce your food waste!
We waste approximately 40 per cent of our food, or $27-billion worth, according to the Value Chain Management Centre, an independent think tank based in Guelph, Ont. And just over half (51 per cent) of that gets tossed from households.
The other waste streams –paper & cardboard, metals, plastics, glass, white goods, electronics, textiles, etc- can mostly be reintroduced in the production cycle if we separate them and handle properly.
Give it a try!