Pink has already talked about the concept of zero waste. However, many eco-activists consider it unrealistic: a "zero waste lifestyle" sets strict rules and frameworks that cannot be violated. At the same time, not everyone is ready to strive for the ideal - zero waste. Instead of zero waste, a more viable low waste principle appeared.
His supporters suggest starting with small changes. For example, replace plastic bags with a string bag or start collecting waste paper. The main idea of the new "green" philosophy is a cozy and comfortable life without harm to nature. At the same time, you can continue to wear contact lenses, use tampons and buy your favorite shampoo in a plastic bottle - this principle allows such "weaknesses".
Step # 1: Replace daily lenses with fortnightly lenses
Zero waste advocates against contact lenses. Like plastic bags, these optics do not degrade in nature, but break down into smaller particles, exacerbating the problem of plastic pollution. The Zeroveysters are adamant: the best alternative to contact lenses is eco-friendly and durable glasses. But not all adherents of "green" life are ready to give up lenses and sacrifice their comfort.
Lenses do not restrict freedom of movement, do not squeeze the bridge of the nose and do not change the appearance. They are also compatible with any sports equipment. Low waste does not prohibit wearing contact optics. To reduce the harm from wearing it, try replacing disposable models with fortnightly ones and no longer flush them down the sink or toilet. By the way, ophthalmologists do not advise buying monthly and quarterly lenses - this can be dangerous for vision.
Step # 2. Pay attention to labeling
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According to the zero waste philosophy, you need to give up packaging. There are already shops in Russia, where all goods are sold by weight and bottled - you come with your container. There you can find laundry detergents, liquid soap, hair conditioner, cereals, pasta, granola, cookies, coffee, and honey. In addition, these stores sometimes sell reusable makeup remover pads, bamboo charcoal dental floss, and sustainable solid shampoos.
But if you've already found your perfect shampoo, don't give it up just because it comes in a plastic bottle. And you don't have to change your favorite shower gel to bar soap. Instead, start dropping your makeup bottles to recycling centers. Most likely, they are near your home. Typically, such plastic is labeled 1 (PETE or PET) or 2 (HDPE or PE HD) and is easily recyclable.
Step # 3: Pack your gifts environmentally
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If you love beautifully wrapping gifts for loved ones, do not deny yourself the pleasure. This can also be done environmentally - according to the principles of low waste. For example, shiny brown paper and thin rustling bags are not the best choice from an environmental standpoint. They are not accepted for processing, therefore, almost immediately after the presentation of the gift, such packaging ends up in landfills. Next time, try using what you already have at home.
It is enough to decorate a cozy scarf with a bright satin ribbon, and the book should be wrapped in an old newspaper or vintage card and tied with twine. Other eco-friendly options include reusable cotton wrappers, cloth pouches and stylish glass jars. Use sprigs of pine needles, cinnamon, woolen threads, nuts, cones as decor. But it is better to refuse adhesive decorative tape and sequins - they are not suitable for recycling.
Step number 4. Take a look at the second-hand
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An important principle of zero waste is to minimize the purchase of clothing. The textile industry is considered one of the main sources of water pollution, so advocates of a zero-waste lifestyle try not to buy new ones. Instead, they create stylish combinations from the basic clothes and shoes they already own, repair damaged outfits, and donate any excess to charities or recycling.
If you are not ready to give up shopping, but decided to live more environmentally, try a few simple guidelines. Try to choose quality clothing made from natural materials. Firstly, it does not release microplastics during washing. Secondly, such clothes will last longer. Better yet, drop by a thrift store or swap party. You will give a second life to great branded items and will not harm nature at all.
Step # 5. Cut back on fast food
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If you have a choice - buy a sandwich from a vending machine or have lunch in a cafe - give preference to the second option. Ready food is always packed in disposable plastic containers or cardboard boxes with a transparent plastic window. It also often comes with disposable appliances and cocktail tubes that cannot be recycled. Therefore, by choosing fast food, we increase the amount of plastic waste produced.
The same applies to paper coffee cups. Inside, they are covered with a thin plastic wrap, which allows them to withstand high temperatures and not get wet. For the same reason, these cups cannot be recycled. To replace them, you can buy a thermo mug or a stylish reusable tumblr made of cork, bamboo, silicone or stainless steel. By the way, some coffee shops give an additional discount for their glass.
Step # 6. Use things many times.
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If you accidentally forget a shopper or a reusable glass, you don't have to change your plans. There are no strict restrictions in low waste: you can easily buy a regular plastic bag or a paper cup for coffee. The most important thing is to use them many times. For example, you can walk with such a bag until it breaks, and then take it for recycling. In this case, it is very important that the package does not have the inscription "biodegradable".
According to supporters of the low waste concept, a disposable cup can be used for a month. In addition, it is easy to make a small box or a stylish stationery stand decorated with twine and scrapbooking materials. Even ordinary disposable spoons, plates and cocktail straws turn into a cozy home decor in the right hands. There are many inspirational DIY ideas on the internet.>