What is zero waste?

Living a zero waste lifestyle means you will avoid sending anything to landfill… Whether that’s perished food or food scraps, packaging, paper, clothing… you get the drift.

The way our consumable society is set up initially makes this goal seem insurmountable.

Take a trip down any supermarket aisle and you’ll quickly realise that most of the food people buy is housed in single use packaging. Even the fruit and veggies in commercial supermarkets are now wrapped in plastic. Madness!

Whether it’s chip packets, soft drinks or paper towels, items that are destined for landfill after just a single use fill our bags, shopping trollies and cars on a daily basis.

Change is happening though… In early 2019, the European Union voted to ban single-use plastic straws, balloons, cotton buds and cutlery by 2021, and other countries are catching on. Sadly though, Australia is lagging woefully behind.

Therefore it’s up to individuals to galvanise change. Change will happen first in our homes, then in our communities and then in our businesses. Maybe then the politicians will follow.

If you’re just starting out on your zero waste journey don’t be intimidated by the “zero” part. I’m still not 100% zero waste and I have several areas earmarked for improvement, but even small changes make a difference.

You’ll find that committing to a zero(ish) waste lifestyle has a snowball effect. You may start out simply replacing your daily takeaway cup of coffee with a KeepCup and that might be all for now. In time you’ll think about tackling the single use plastics in your bathroom or kitchen, but that’s okay. Even preventing 365 coffee cups per year from going to landfill is a great achievement.

It’s all about baby steps… and it’s time to take the first one.