What is Zero Waste?

Howell Illustration is Zero Waste, your neighbour is Zero Waste, your local shop is 'on the journey' to Zero Waste, but what exactly is it?

Zero waste kind of does what it says on the tin, actually: if someone is, or is going zero waste, it means they are trying to produce no waste that can go into landfill and clog up the earth. It's #ethical, it's #sustainable and it is growing in popularity, largely due to the huge boost Blue Planet II gave the movement.

Prior to watching Blue Planet II however, I stumbled across Kate Arnell and her vlog Eco Boost on YouTube. Having always been concerned with the environment, but never quite knowing what to do, her vlogs were the kick up the butt I needed to move forward. Before I even knew it, I'd ditched my plastic razors for a metal Merkur Safety Razor (and saved a bunch of money in the process), picked up a glass water bottle from Clas Ohlson and switched my takeaway coffee cups for an ecoffee reusable cup. I also bought a metal fold-up spork and a pack of metal straws, for if I ever wanted a straw with my drink while I was out somewhere.

But going Zero Waste and being on that journey (I refer to it as a journey, because it takes a while!!), has also led to other things I never even thought about plastic being in. For example: clothing. The fashion industry is one of the biggest polluters in the whole world, from the dyes it uses that go into waterways, to the mountains of clothes that get thrown out for being 'out of season', it is wasteful, and, though this is pretty strong, often morally devoid. Frequently we hear of workers not getting a fair wage, or dying early due to the chemicals used in the process. I'll probably do a post shortly on my favourite ethical fashion brands - if that's something that interests you, comment below!

It's also led to my discovery of minimalism, the KonMari method of cleaning (which is all about keeping - and more crucially, buying) only the things that 'spark joy', and beginning to investigate food and where it comes from, and how its grown and stored.

So, to answer your question Zero Waste is about reducing your waste, but it's also a lifestyle: what do you want to see this world become? How do you want to see your children grow up within it? To pull a quote I found on social media: we don't need some people doing this perfectly, we need lots of people doing it imperfectly. Here, pick a video, can you make a small swap today?

Comment below if you'd like to see more posts like this!

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