The first introduction to zero waste that most people get is the idea of reducing plastic use, and reducing the amount of plastic waste that we bring into our homes. Reducing non-biodegradable waste is, of course, very important. But it is important to remember that plastic waste is not the only type of waste we should be trying to reduce.
Zero waste means:
- Reducing (and eventually eliminating) non-biodegradable waste. (Things like plastic bottles and bags, but also synthetic clothing etc..)
- Avoiding all food waste. (Making full use of leftovers, preserving fresh food, composting what is left, etc…)
- Making sure energy is not wasted. (Both through energy saving measures in our homes, and by carefully considering what we buy.)
- Preventing water waste. (Again, not only by considering how we collect, store and manage water at home, but also by carefully thinking about the water use associated with the things we buy.)
- Ensuring that we do not allow land or natural resources to be squandered or used unsustainably. (Not wasting our gardens, but making full use of the land and natural resources at our disposal.)
We should also apply the principles of zero waste to our own talents, skills and capabilities. It is important that we value what we each have to offer, and make sure we do not waste our own potential as we move to transition to a more sustainable future.