By: Sarah Zitin
Zero waste products are the not-so-new buzz in shopping. I don’t know about you, but I have this driving need to be part of the change! Zero waste is one of the most important issues regarding climate change. We’re all acutely aware of the news of gallons of plastic in the ocean, along with other waste products which kill millions of marine life a year.
It’s easy to forget the little things, as the big things are the most talked about problems we face. Carbon and methane gas pollution is growing rapidly every day. Soil erosion from climate change has greatly affected our crops, on which we depend for food. The oceans are heating up faster than predicted, causing the environment to be more hazardous and unpredictable.
We’re in a critical time historically, as never before has the Earth experienced more dramatic changes while it’s still functioning. Water sources are scarce in parts of the world, there are vast and wide-spread food shortages, too – all because of global warming, in one way or another.
Waste is the biggest factor, calling for zero waste products in every category. We have become such a consumer society that we waste everything, rather than recycle, re-purpose, and reduce waste.
Human habits and practices have gotten us into this situation, and only human practices can save us, if it’s even possible. Far be it for me to bring bad tidings, but many scientists in their various fields feel that we’ve passed the tipping point of no return.
I believe that if we all do our bit to use zero waste products, recycle, reinvent, reduce and reuse, the environment may have a chance to repair itself. Only if we, humans, are willing to change.
Zero waste products are available for the kitchen, bathroom, and just about every room in the home. Back to school products are the way to teach kids about conservation and zero waste by buying them eco-friendly supplies. It’s much easier to live a sustainable lifestyle when you’re young so the cycle continues. Teach Your Children Well, as the adage goes.
What are the things we forget to do that include the use of zero waste products? We’ve been so accustomed to a disposable society, that often we forget to recycle, save food, use food to its full advantage, take shorter showers and run water less, turn lights off when not in use, as energy can be wasted, too.
If you’re a gardener, recycle, reuse and rotate. Farmers have learned the hard way to grow their crops in a way that’s regenerative and frugal. Crop covers, permaculture and other forms of agriculture have become more the norm if farmer’s are to survive drought and other climate events. With volcanoes, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes and other inclement events occurring at an all time high, it’s not too difficult to determine what needs to be done.
I suggest several tips to get you started in case you’re new at this. And by the way, don’t expect to be perfect at first. No one practices 100% sustainability, but we do our best.
- Turn it off. (electricity and water)
- Invest in eco-friendly technology.
- Switch to renewables.
- Eat less meat.
- Don’t waste food.
- Recycle everything.
- Try to cut out plastic.
- Turn down the bag.
- Buy only what you will use.
- Buy second hand.
- Don’t invest in equipment you don’t need.
- Donate used goods.
- Buy products with less packaging.
- Avoid disposable products.
These are only a few things we can do daily to be a zero-waste-product consumer. It’s just as easy to buy anything that’s planet-friendly as it is to buy what damages the environment. Be a smart shopper and follow the lead of environmental experts and specialists. Waste-not, want-not, as the adage goes… all of these “platitudes” make more sense now than they ever did.