By Julia Chiarella-Genoni
In today’s world, we hear a lot about recycling and taking good care of the environment, by way of recycling. But there is actually a big misconception happening. As consumers, myself included, we are falling flat when it comes to recycling well and making a good choices for our environment.
Recently, I joined a Zero Waste group on Facebook and have been reading and watching the changes that people are making. The first time I heard about Zero Waste, I must admit, it seemed unrealistic. It also sounded like a hippy life that I would not be able to even try with my family of five, or want to.
I was wrong.
In fact, there are a lot of things you may already be doing that help with a Zero Waste way of life. There may be changes in your habits that are not so difficult but could make a big change for the better. Digging a little deeper, I found some solid ways to implement a better way of living, without feeling like your whole world is turning upside down. A great source of information is the blog, Zero Waste Home, by Bea Johnson. She follows certain rules to ensure she and her family live a Zero Waste lifestyle. After reading her blog, I think there are two main points to consider when starting out on this path.
First, in order to make a change, you need to understand why it would be good to do so. The shocking truth is that what we as consumers are putting in our recycling bins, are not all recyclable. I found out there were many items I was placing in my blue bin that actually should have been placed in the trash. It made me feel bad, but much more aware of what I was buying. Now when I shop, I look twice at what I might have to throw into a landfill. Check your local recycling department to see what is allowed for the blue bin. It may surprise you.
Second, changes can me made easily if there are tools to help you do so. Take a look at the items you use all the time. Is there an easy way to change an item that is disposable and non-recyclable for a sustainable alternative? One item I changed had to do with my daily wash routine. I might not have thought about it until Omaiki introduced me to their amazing makeup removal pads. Aside from the fact that their Lotus pads are soft, durable and easy to wash with other laundry, they are reusable! And while disposable makeup removal pads are not expensive, they are one of the many items that are bought, used and thrown away. Even the packaging can’t be recycled!
Now, I have my own little pouch for my pack of six makeup removal pads and I no longer create waste or spend money on an item I use daily.
This is just one example, but once you start to think about it, you will find yourself listing items and trying to find better solutions.
I can’t say my life will be 100% Zero Waste anytime soon, but I will say that I will be much more aware of the things I buy.