It was a long time ago since I last watched this TED talk by Lauren Singer. It was interesting to know that anyone can fit years worth of trash into a mason jar. I watched it, I was amazed, and that’s it.
A few years later I came upon the same idea through youtube. I never knew how I got there. You know how watching a video about minimalism can eventually shift to a video on what americans think about filipino snacks or funny animal compilations, so I won’t even try to check my watch history. It just makes so much sense to try and join this movement with the ever growing concern in consumerism and how this has affected the environment and our health. For the record, this is more than just trying to fit your trash into a mason jar.
I have long been wanting to get into minimalism, building a capsule wardrobe and just having a few things which would last you a long time. I also stopped buying into the fast fashion industry and am proud to say I haven’t bought anything from Zara or Mango for a few months now!. Before I watched this documentary about fast fashion, I never really asked about how their clothes were made or where they go after consumers are done with them and it’s off to the next trend. Digging further into the zero waste movement made me ask the question of where do our trash go?
A lot of us think that recycling solves this. It is part of it, yes. But the first step really is to Refuse. To not pick up that free pen that you will just stack with the other free pens you have from the other seminars you attended. To say no when the cashier offer you a plastic bag for your purchase even if it wouldn’t even save you a cent. To avoid recycling and throwing stuff in the first place refuse anything that you don’t need. They say buying is voting. Every time you accept that pen and plastic and buy non-reusable items that you don’t plan to reuse, recycle or compost, you are saying to businesses that it’s okay for them to keep giving and making these things.
If you are lazy, or by some chance you don’t get the chance to take down your trash to be collected by the truck then you will see how many trash bag you fill every day or two. Once you get those collected it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ you don’t even think about how much you are wasting. I’m guilty of throwing away food that have gone bad. It’s because I forgot about it or because I did a mini panic buying. I bought loads of the stuff as if a zombie apocalypse will come tomorrow. You’ll be glad you have an extra stash of yogurt and sanitary pads.
I’ve binged watched A LOT of zero wasters and documentary about waste that this post will not be enough to talk about them all (but Lauren’s website started it all). I also only recently knew about The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and statistically how many percent of plastic is actually being recycled. Apparently all of the plastic toothbrush that have ever been made since its invention still exists today in one form or another.
So here is how Wikipedia defines it:
Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.
Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health
I have tried swapping three zero waste items as of writing this and I hope to add more to it. More to that in another post.