Six Steps to Achieve Zero Waste at Home
Zero Waste is more than just a visionary goal– it’s a practice that’s easier to adopt than you may think. The basic principle is that nothing should be thrown into landfills– that everything is somehow reused or repurposed. There’s no better place to take the practical steps towards zero waste than in your own home.
Here are the six steps to achieve zero waste at home:
- Monitor. First, take a good look at how much trash you are actually sending to the landfill. It’s important to recognize what makes up your waste stream. We’re barely conscious of how much we actually throw out. “You’ll probably notice that you’re throwing away the same items again and again,”
- Get your bins in order. The Zero Waste house has three “trash” cans. The largest is the recycling bin. Next to it is a tiny “landfill” bin. It’s small because there’s actually much less trash that is true waste. Also– if it fills up quickly, emptying it often is a good reminder that you’ve still got ways to go to reach “zero.” The third and final bin is for compost.
- The Three R’s. Reduce, reuse, recycle isn’t just a phrase, it’s a hierarchy. First focus on reducing the amount of waste coming into your home. Figure out clever and creative ways to use durable items that were bound for the trash bin. Also be sure to make reusable goods a part of your life– coffee mugs, lunch bags, shopping bags, rechargeable batteries, and so on. If you can’t reuse it, someone else probably can. Donate old, unwanted items to charity, have a yard sale.
Finally, it’s time to recycle whatever you couldn’t reduce or reuse. And recycling deserves its own bullet.
- Recycle the rest. First and foremost, learn what you can and can’t recycle in your community.
- Organics recycling. Think of composting as a special form of recycling. You’re taking organic waste, and recycling it back into useful, nutrient-rich organic material. If you’ve got a backyard, it’s really easy to get started.
- The Fourth “R.” For the system to work people will need to not only reduce, reuse, and recycle, but also to Rethink. It’s important, that we “rethink our behavior and lifestyle. This is not to say that one should make drastic lifestyle changes or live like an extremist. Rather it means questioning some basic habits.” Like not buying something because it has too much packaging. Or like remembering to keep a reusable shopping bag in your backseat, purse, or backpack.
At The EcoFairy, our goal is to help you build a more sustainable life by offering you a line of reusable products. We offer products that last and that will help you reduce the amount of plastic you use.