At J-Tech Solar, our main goal is to provide people with clean, renewable energy. Everyone deserves the knowledge of how to live eco-friendly lifestyles, along with the help from experts on how to best succeed. This week we want to put focus on one way many people are choosing to live environmentally friendly lifestyles, and the best way to achieve this lifestyle. It’s called living zero-waste, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
What on earth is a zero-waste lifestyle?
The way we consume energy and products is causing issues for our planet, and many individuals are beginning to take matters into their own hands. People are attempting to live completely trash free, meaning they produce little-to-no waste. They omit all disposable products, and compost anything biodegradable. Nowadays, businesses work to make zero-waste an easily accessible and enticing lifestyle. Large groups of people work together to inspire, encourage, and share tips and tricks on how they live a zero-waste lifestyle. While zero-waste is becoming a relevant aspect of the 21st century, this ideology wasn’t always so glamorized.
In the 1970’s, the term zero waste was first used by a company called Zero Waste Systems Inc (ZWS) in Oakland, California. ZWS worked to not only clear the earth of toxins and waste, but to educate the public on the distress their lifestyles caused. They were the only company in this field, thus beginning their worldwide reputation. After a few decades, zero waste began to translate from companies interacting together to reduce large scale waste, to lone acting individuals aiming to make a difference. As time progressed, zero waste became known as a sort of hippie movement. Many people considered this lifestyle edgy, dirty, or just strange.
So, which is it? Is zero waste living meant just for larger companies working with hazardous chemicals and products? Or is this lifestyle meant for edgy hippies whose lives revolve around garbage? The truth is, zero waste living can work for everyone, on many different scales.
How can this help the earth?
Only 5% of the world population, America still manages to generate over 30% of total garbage in the world. Did you know, statistics say you create one million pounds of trash every year? That’s enough to fill 63,000 garbage trucks on a daily basis. When you throw you bag in the garbage, it doesn’t vanish, it ends up in one of our thousands of landfills, or in our ocean water. This world of trash we’ve created is exactly why individuals are committing to waste free lifestyles, and why you should consider taking this step too.
This sounds really difficult
If done wrong, zero waste living is really difficult, stands in the way of your life, and takes over your home. When done right, zero waste living is easy and actually very fun (shocking, we know). Most people understand the earth needs help but aren’t sure about how to go about making eco-friendly changes. We broke zero-waste living into three beginning tips for those who want to give it a try, but aren’t ready to quit their day job to commit.
1. Trash is your friend
Many zero waste experts say that the number one reason most people don’t follow through when attempting this lifestyle is because they completely change their routine, make trash the enemy, and get burnt out within a week.
When first beginning, keep an eye on what you toss. Don’t throw away your kitchen trash can just yet. Does your large family manage to throw a lot of old food out? Consider researching composting to reduce wasted food. Do you see more paper goods in your trashcan than anything else? Implement reusable towels, napkins, and rags. Make your trash your friend, get to know it, then toss it out the window (not literally, please!).
2. Zero-waste isn’t always zero-waste
We’ve all seen those stories. “This persons trash from the past five years fits into one small mason jar!” While really neat, this also seems extremely unpractical. Luckily, when trying to begin a zero waste lifestyle, it’s important to understand that not everyone will meet these outstanding expectations.
If everyone took even small steps towards living a less wasteful life, the world would be a much cleaner, more sustainable place. When beginning your journey, set clear expectations for yourself. What do you plan to change? How long do you have to adjust into this change? Will you eventually make another more aggressive zero-waste commitment? Will you encourage your family to do the same? Answering questions beforehand will help make your adventure seem easier and more attainable.
3. Make your journey fun
Many companies are now making efforts to make zero waste living fun, easy, and even beautiful. Businesses such as Package Free Shop and Life Without Plastic are making efforts for this movement. Buying these products online takes away the stress of worrying about packaging, but is relatively inexpensive and arrives right at your doorstep.
Let’s all make an effort to reduce our trash output, one day at a time. By taking these small steps, you’re sure to succeed in your new lifestyle. Zero-waste lifestyles are saving this planet, one piece of trash at a time!