Recently, I have been following an interesting blog called Zero Waste Home that chronicles a family’s initiative to live without producing any waste. With the motto, “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot (and only in that order)”, the author Bea emphasizes a lifestyle of eliminating unnecessary and disposable items, reducing the amount of daily necessities, and introducing many alternatives to disposables.
There is even an app that you can download to your smartphone, called BULK, to help users find stores with packaging-free bulk items nearest to them.
This blog has inspired many, particularly a recent college grad who made the same decision. Lauren notes that in her two years of living waste-free, she has started eating much better, has saved money, and is much happier. It has also inspired her to start a zero-waste company called The Simply Co.
Both sites emphasize the ease of neglecting certain wasteful habits, and I found myself wondering which actions I could integrate into my own life. Some of my best friends make most of their own beauty and self-care products, and their efforts make it seem both fun and worthwhile. I find it especially exciting that you can customize what will be on your skin! The products that they (and these bloggers) make are free from toxins, carcinogens, and unpronounceable ingredients that are harmful, and compose most of the things that people use every day. Small changes, like bringing egg cartons to farmers markets to be refilled, are simple, and reduce the amount of Styrofoam or cardboard wasted. Creating a compost bin for discarded food is another relatively easy task to reduce waste. These two blogs offer many other innovative tips for making daily life more sustainable.
If you’re interest in seeing what a zero waste meal looks like, keep an eye out for Dining Team Green’s Zero Waste Dinner, which is coming up early next semester. Traditionally hosted in Douglass, the event is structured so that Team Green and volunteers will calculate the amount and type of waste per person throughout the evening. This dinner is held with the goal of demonstrating to students how much of the food that they put on their plates is uneaten. The food scraps are displayed, and ultimately composted.
What do you think of the zero waste lifestyle? Do you buy in bulk?
Written by Leslie Wolf, Class of 2015