According to the EPA, the average U.S. citizen produces 4.4 lbs of waste per day. For a family of four in the US, the average value of produce waste alone per year is $1,600. Mass production of plastic only started in the 40's and 50's, and yet there are an estimated 269,000 tons of plastic waste in our oceans today.
The zero waste movement is all about changing these statistics by following the "Five R's of Zero Waste": refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot - in that order. By refusing things that we don't need and reducing our overall consumption first, we can eliminate most of the waste we create. You don't need to throw away much when you only have what you need! From there we reuse what we already have, repairing or re-purposing rather than buying new and throwing away things that are still usable. Recycling and rotting (composting) are the last resorts. Although better options than landfills, they still use an unnecessary amount of resources and waste useful materials, so we only turn here after our first steps. This way we can ensure that we aren't sending anything into landfills, and are reducing our total waste as much as possible.
- Save money: conscious consumerism reduces over-purchasing and packaging costs (read this article for more info)
- Healthier diet: package-free diets are based on in-season, unprocessed foods
- Active lifestyle: relying less on products for entertainment allows us to live more active, happy lives
- Help the environment: by being conscious of our waste, we can drastically reduce our footprint and inspire others to do the same
Reducing waste begins with YOU! How awesome does it feel to have the power to change the world? Begin right now by contacting me below, or visiting my DIY blog, also linked below.