Going “zero waste” is a movement with several misconceptions that deter people from even attempting to do it. Misconceptions about going zero waste include (1) that recycling is helpful enough, (2) that becoming zero waste is impossible, and (3) that to become zero waste you must do it immediately. The fact is, this trend might be the most effective way to save our environment from the modern lifestyle.
An average, modern lifestyle produces an enormous amount of waste and this waste is polluting our environment. Many people believe that recycling is the best way to mitigate our wasteful lifestyle, but most of the plastics we use can’t actually be recycled and never produce a product of equal quality. Recycling is important, but it is not the be all, end all solution to plastic.
Living a zero waste life is challenging. We all know how much easier it is to buy prepared food, use the plastic bags at the grocery store, use paper plates instead of washing dishes, etc. It is challenging, but it’s not impossible. There are always alternatives to the wasteful products that you are using. Making your food from scratch, using reusable grocery bags, and using real plates are several examples that many people do every single day. Making these small changes, you are already moving towards a zero-waste lifestyle.
This moves into the final misconception. Becoming zero waste is not a goal, it’s a process. It isn’t an immediate change to your life that happens overnight. It’s okay to start small and gradually build up your lifestyle to what you want. Start by always using a reusable water bottle or bringing your reusable coffee mug to the coffee shop every morning. Simple steps like this show you how easily you can change small parts of your life to reduce your overall waste.
Yes, we can recycle. Yes, becoming zero waste is a challenge. Yes, it’s impossible to become zero waste immediately. However, making small changes to your life to reduce your impact will show you how a zero waste lifestyle is attainable and is a realistic change that you can make to your life to benefit the environment.
~Written by our member Madeline Gray~