I first came across the idea of zero waste while researching the impact of the animal agriculture industry on the environment. Learning that animal agg comprises 51% of green house gases, amazon deforestation, and numerous other detrimental environmental effects I became even more committed to giving up my part in this cycle by going vegan. Zero waste came into the fold when I finally put two and two together and realized that I, like most Americans, was ignoring the other 49% of environmental devastation. What could I do to reduce my footprint further. Well, my husband and I downsized into a 399sq foot home back in July 2016. That was something but was it enough? After researching the zero waste movement I became inspired to do everything I could to eliminate wastefulness in my family's life.
Things in the zero waste movement have changed since I was in elementary school learning 'Reduce, Reuse, Recycle'. The movement has taken this a step further. There are now 5 R's which are in order:
Refuse - single use items, straws, plastic bags etc.
Reduce - what you need
Reuse - what you have including repairing items
Recycle - when you have to
Rot - compost what you can
Armed with this new pyramid of information I decided to start small and make 5 changes to reduce my family's waste this February.
This month we:
1. Switched from plastic to mesh/cloth produce bags
2. Switched to a safety razor and eliminated need for disposable razors
3. Made our own laundry soap and liquid soap
4. Switched to bamboo toothbrushes
5. Canceled catalogs and got on the 'no junk mail' list
Allison Bost, MSW
This Tiny House Wife