Let’s start simple.
In elementary school I’m sure you (along with everyone else)were taught the three R’s: Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. It was a way to instill in us as children the importance of being aware of how much waste we created and how to dispose of it properly, for our environment’s sake.
Zero Waste is… a stronger, broader version of this teaching. It isa lifestyle focused on drastically minimizing how much waste you produce. This lifestyle opposes all waste including plastic waste, clothing, food, electronic waste, and more.
I’m sure you’ve heard of this lifestyle before. In fact, I’m sure the number of times you’ve seen this word has increased significantly. More and more people are understanding the important of cutting down the amount of waste they create, especially harmful waste like plastics or toxins. Why?
Every year the human species dumps about 2.12 billion tonnes of waste into our planet. On land, water and in our atmosphere. That number already is the highest it’s ever been in recorded history. But on-top of that, there is even more to think about.The advancement and integration of technology into our lives in recent decades has of course many benefits but it’s important to be aware of the harm it causes to our environment. Contents of the current waste that are being dumped are plastic, electronic waste, hazardous materials/substances, toxins, heavy metals. These contents are being dumped into landfills more than ever before.
In 2022, the rise of technology and especially social media/online shopping has made it incredibly easy to over consume. With consistent advertisements as well as the influencers we follow, it seems at times that you just think of a product and immediately an ad with a promotional code pops up on your phone pushing you to buy it.
Getting caught up in overconsumption is a huge factor in how we’ve gotten to this place of massive pollution. Our planet is becoming so overconsumed, there are waste patches of debris like The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (a system of debris and garbage double the size of Texas) that float through our oceans,as the waste has nowhere to go. On land, it doesn’t seem much better as waste in landfills directly contribute to climate change.Greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, etc.) are constantly being emitted from the waste in landfills into our atmosphere and ecosystem as it decomposes.
Pretty bad, right? I mean, to put it lightly.
Living a Zero-waste lifestyle and generally being more conscious about your consumption is a great contribution to fighting climate change and aiding our planet’s help.
Here’s some things to help you get started.
First off, be aware of the media you are taking in. Again, you are constantly being influenced to shop and more times than not, shop for things you don’t need. Clean out your social media by making sure you are following brands that align with your eco values. Supporting small and local businesses are great, as well as following brands that are focused on creating sustainable products and having ethical ways of working. You can check outsome of the brands we follow (and us!) on our social medias at @peeledpantry.
When you do shop, before you purchase, really think about if this product will bring you the most use compared to another product. For example, if you are looking for a new shampoo, it’s easy to go into the haircare item, be overwhelmed with the options, and buy the first thing that looks alright. But focus on sustainability. Rather than yet another shampoo in a plastic bottle, find a shampoo in a glass bottle! Not only is glass less harmful to the planet than plastic, but you will be able to repurpose this bottle infinitely. This shampoo bottle can later become you water bottle, a storage jar, a space for plant propagation and much more. On our Instagram there are some reels you can check out that show the different uses of our shampoo and conditioner bottles. Some stores like ours, even have money back programs. This is where after you make a purchase you can return the bottle back and get some money back! You can find more here on our Return+Earn program.
Substitute single-use for reusable, cut down, make the most out of what you have before rebuying, and give back when you can. To offset some of their waste or other environmental harm;people will have gardens, donate to greater environmental causes, and get involved in making their communities more sustainable. There’s always something you can do to cut your pollution down, it’s just a matter of putting the work in.