Zero waste is a lifestyle and a mindset that focuses on using as little waste as possible in your daily life. When some people think of using less/ no plastic they get overwhelmed. It can be somewhat of a crazy idea to some people, they think "I use plastic for everything how could I possibly give it up?" but really, if you put your mind to it, it necessarily isn't that hard! Yes you are right MANY things in our modern world are made from plastic, everything from plastic bags to the clothes that you wear, but in most cases there is a plastic free alternative. Take plastic bags for example, people have created an amazing silicone alternative, check out stasherbag.com for more information. There is also of course jars which we talk about on the food page. You just have to do some research and we can guarantee you 90% of the time you will find an alternative.
Another big part of zero waste is to reduce your overall consumption of stuff period. Weather it be clothes, holiday decorations, or even furniture the idea is to live in a space where the focus is not on stuff but rather the people you love and the experiences you have with them. One of the main concepts in zero waste is the 5 R's Refuse (what you do not need), Reduce (what what you already have/do need and cannot refuse), Reuse (what you consume and cannot refuse or reduce), Recycle (what we cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse), and Rot (or compost the rest). These are very important to keep in mind when starting your zero waste journey and apply to almost anything. However when beginning to reduce your waste you will most likely have many things already in plastic/made of plastic. In this case, before immediately throwing it in the trash consider where else you could donate it to, what other things could you use it, or if you could you reuse it?
One other key part of zero waste is finding ways to make things you would normally find in plastic at home! Things like soap, shampoo, and lotion. Or food products such as bread,yogurt, and hot sauce. There are so many things, especially food, that come packaged in plastic and there are SO many fun things you can make as a plastic free alternative! Get creative and most of all...make sure you have FUN!!!
*Check out the book Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste by Bea Johnson above to get info on everything you need to know about Zero Waste.
By Bea Johnson
This book is number one when it comes to zero waste. It is full of everything you need to know about how to simplify your life and create a zero waste home with easy to follow directions and tips for every possibly thing you can think of. By the time you finish reading it, you will be fired up and ready to change your lifestyle/wasteful habits for the better.
"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."
Don't hesitate to tell others what you are doing. You can be a HUGE influence in your community! If people see you reducing your waste, they will want to as well. Make zero waste fun, invent challenges to do with your friends, make reducing your waste a game, or try making musical instruments with every sized jar that you have! Inspire your parents to tell their friends and soon enough everyone will want to join in. Be the person people look up to. You are never too young to be respected. You CAN make a difference.