Zero Waste Lifestyle


Samira Cortes, Staff Writer

The zero waste lifestyle has become the new trend in the lives of environmentally friendly individuals. It is a lifestyle dedicated to producing less waste. Some people are full on zero waste and others just do their best to minimize the waste that they create.

This movement makes people more aware and conscious of the products they consume and how much waste they make. Yes, you can recycle, but not all the plastic will be recycled. In fact, only 9% of the plastic that is collected from recycling bins is recycled. About 25% is incinerated which gives off harmful fumes and is a contributing factor to climate change. Over 55% is discarded, meaning it ends up in landfills and is left to decompose. In case you didn’t know, it takes plastic up to 450 years to decompose.

There are 5 R’s in this movement that zero waste people follow. Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot.

Number 1, Refuse what you don’t need. At restaurants refuse plastic straws, napkins, to go containers, etc.

Number 2, Reduce what you do need. If you buy canned goods find alternatives in bulk stores or minimize the amount you buy.

Number 3, Reuse by using reusable containers. For example, use stainless steel containers or if you already have plastic ones reuse them as many times as you can until you are no longer able to.

Number 4, Recycle what you cannot refuse or reduce. Try not to buy canned goods or at least minimize the amount you buy. But if you do and can’t reuse them, recycle.

Number 5, Rot. Instead of throwing your food scraps out start composting. It is 100% better for the environment and is a very easy and simple process. Another alternative is to find a composting drop off near you.

There are many ways to reduce the amount of waste we create. Even the smallest change can make a difference.