Imagine a person who does not throw a single gram of garbage. Yes, yes, in our 21st century with you. And he did not go to live in the taiga, with bears, but leads a quite active lifestyle!
“Since I began to live in a“ zero waste ”style, my life has changed dramatically for the better. My family began to feel happier. Instead of overgrowing things, we truly live our lives and enjoy it, ”says Bea Johnson, who lives with her husband and two teenage sons in one of millions of ordinary homes in California.
“This is not a joke: I do not throw anything in the trash. Nothing. You think – this girl must be lying, or she turned into a hippie. Or maybe it’s just fiction. But it is not so! I really exist, ”not without pride says Loren Singer, a graduate of the Faculty of Ecology, and now a blogger, an entrepreneur and a full-fledged resident of one of the world’s largest megacities – New York.
“In 2011, I decided to drastically reduce my environmental impact while living in the heart of New York. One of the first calls was garbage, ”admits Colin Bevan, who won worldwide fame as No Impact Man, or a man without an eco-trail.
The term “zero waste” (Zero Waste) is not an invention of eccentric environmental activists. This is a generally accepted term, a kind of philosophy aimed at ensuring that all the products we consumed are processed, turning not into garbage, but into other products. Proponents of this concept are convinced: people are able to live in comfort and prosperity, while not sending a single gram of garbage to landfills and incinerators. The goal of the Zero Waste movement is to create a reasonable balance in society, similar to a stable circulation of substances in nature. How do ordinary citizens do without garbage in everyday life?
Step 1: Rejection of packaging. Bea goes to an ordinary supermarket, but takes her own container with her — linen bags for bread and vegetables, glass jars and containers for fish and meat. At first, the sellers were surprised, but over time they got used to it and began to recognize their regular customer. Loren prefers farm shops and shops of organic products: they are far from uncommon unpacked goods, cereals and beans by weight. Colin admits that he occasionally misses Indian, Italian and Chinese food from delivery restaurants. But there are exactly the same restaurants where you can order such takeaway food and ask to pack it in your own containers. He buys honey, pickles and other products from banks only from those merchants who accept clean cans and use them again.
Step 2: friendship with a thermos and a reusable bottle. “There is no soda in the banks – but then there is less chance of making cancer by consuming aspartame. No water in plastic bottles – but no plastic toxins that affect our endocrine system. And no coffee from a vending machine – but then no lethargy, when caffeine stops acting, ”Colin Bevan is optimistic about the situation. Many fashionable and ultramodern young people – including Lauren – take reusable eco-bottles with pure water or thermoses with herbal tea. Economical, useful – and no rubbish!
Step 3: a little household magic. Bea is a wonderful hostess who has long discovered the vast possibilities of natural household chemicals. Soda, vinegar, mustard powder, starch, Castilian soap – her faithful companions on the way to a clean house. In his articles and books, Colin recalls that instead of paper towels, disposable napkins and handkerchiefs you can always use traditional towels and cotton handkerchiefs. At the same time, in our opinion, he slightly goes too far, using baking soda to clean teeth, wash hair and deodorize the body – this is hardly good for them. Finally, in the very heart of every zero waste-hero’s home is a vermicomposter, a device for processing organic waste into compost. Yes, yes, as in the country, only compact and does not smell. And live there are the most real worms!
Step 4: the cycle of clothing in nature. All three heroes of our article are minimalist in clothes. And they all buy clothes exclusively in second-hand. At the same time, Bea buys clothes only a couple of times a year, going “on the hunt” with a detailed list, which allows her to avoid rash purchases. Bea turns worn-out clothes into patchwork mats. Colin gives the old clothes to charity: even if you can’t wear it, you can always make it, for example, a bedding for homeless animals in a shelter.
Step 5: Clean Work “Give up all these free pens and pencils – it’s just insane,” Bea advises. It uses pens, markers and markers that can be refilled. The extra stationery, which are formed in the office, she gives to the district school. In addition, Beata is an experienced paper spam fighter. Anyone who persistently sends her paper catalogs, pamphlets and advertising leaflets, immediately receives a polite warning, and with a repeated “attack” she is ready to reach the authorities.
We covered only a small part of the colossal experience of three people who decided not to produce any more garbage. Of course, we do not at all urge you to follow their example exactly. But you see, some practitioners deserve attention! It would be great if it would be completely natural to donate unnecessary things to charity, or to protest against annoying advertising spam in your mailbox. Less trash and more enjoyment of life!