If you haven’t heard of the intense concept of a zero waste lifestyle, then you better start paying attention to the world around you. Unless you are one of those who have taken on the challenge, you contribute to the world’s landfill headache each and every day, possibly without even knowing it. Waste adds up quicker than you think and society is beginning to recognize the situation and possible solutions. Going waste free is no longer just for tree-hugging, peace-protesting citizens. The movement, however, has become fierce and is making its way into major industries, retail locations, schools, and maybe even the homes of your neighbors.
Take Americans for example. Each day, every single American produces on average, 4.4 pounds of waste, of which half ends up in a landfill. Yes, that’s 1,600 pounds per year. By pushing the zero waste movement, the goal is to cut that number to a fraction or even eliminate personal pieces of the waste pie altogether. Bandwagon shops are opening up around the world to promote the lifestyle and give people the means to go waste free without the compromise and struggle.
In New York City, where trends are especially prominent, upscale sections of Brooklyn are seeing emerging trends in zero waste retail. In one particular wealthy area, The Package Free shop opened this past May. The shop is bare; it’s lined with shelves, has a concrete floor and an unfinished ceiling. On the shelves are barrels and jars of detergent and soaps, bamboo toothbrushes, waste-free menstrual pads, shower curtains, and bathroom supplies. The owner believes that people are more willing to make the sustainable choice if they are given options, and those options are easily accessible. Those that back the cause realize the tremendous sacrifices and difficulty behind the lifestyle change and dedicate themselves to educating the population they can reach. Lauren Singer, a co-founder of The Package Free shop keeps an online blog called Trash Is For Tossers, where her followers can learn about ways to improve their sustainability efforts.
Found here: https://www.trashisfortossers.com/
There are thousands of blogs and trends available online to start or enhance your zero-waste journey. The concept has become so popular that even major cities have declared less or zero waste goals, including New York City by 2030 and San Francisco by 2020. Starting small however is most important, and so is getting everyone to realize that even a small change can make a huge difference. Here are some starter tips from the founders of New Yorks’ The Package Free Shop.
1. Trade plastic bags for a reusable shopping tote
2. Swap one-time-use water bottles for a stainless steel one
3. Pick up a set of reusable utensils that you can take with you on the go
4. When you order a drink, ask for it without a plastic straw
5. Buy compostable, sustainable toothbrushes instead of plastic ones
These are easy changes for those beginning their transformation; but even if you’re not looking to become waste-free, by committing to these six things, you’d be a tremendous help to the cause.
Chapman, Isabelle. “Zero Waste Isn’t Just for Hippies Anymore.” CNN. Cable News Network, 01 May 2017. Web. 07 June 2017.