WHEN YOU START YOUR ZERO OR REDUCED WASTE JOURNEY, THERE ARE 7 ZERO WASTE PRINCIPLES THAT YOU SHOULD ALL TRY TO FOCUS ON. THE MORE THINGS YOU APPLY THESE PRINCIPLES TO THE LESS YOU’LL WASTE.
Refuse what you do not need. By questioning whether you really need or whether you’ll ever use the things you receive, purchase or are given you avoid them becoming waste in time to come. Refuse to accept anything on paper that could be emailed – letters, bills, receipts etc. Refuse to accept novelty gifts and ask people to buy you consumable gifts that you’ll use. Refuse as many single-use plastics as you can when there is a packaging-free or more sustainable alternative.
Reduce waste by cutting down on how much of things you use. Reduce the amount of water you run for a bath – reduce the temperature you keep your central heating at – reduce the amount of water you put in a kettle to make a cup of tea – reduce the amount of clothes you buy that you hardly ever wear – reduce the amount of food you buy so you don’t have to throw any away. By reducing what you use you are avoiding the wasting of it.
Repair things that no longer work instead of wasting them. W often throw something away and replace it before trying to repair it first. By either repairing something ourselves or paying for it to be repaired we can avoid so much waste in replacing with new. Upcycling something is very popular and could then even be sold on instead of a ring got rid of.
Always try to reuse something before discarding of it – even if you would otherwise just recycle it. Bottles, jars, bags, plasticware. By getting multiple uses out of something that was only intended for single use – you prevent waste by it not having to be produced or made and disposed of multiple times.
For anyone who likes arts & crafts or a bit of DIY – so many things that are no longer useful or fit for their original purpose could be very useful for another purpose.
We strongly encourage everyone to recycle everything they can from their household and workplace waste. Most materials are and can be widely recycled and must be where possible to keep the physical waste we do create being in a circular economy.
Do though take note that if you – refuse, reduce, repair, reuse or repurpose – then recycling should then become one of your last resorts with your small amount of resulting waste.
Many natural materials that are not recycled will decompose naturally – home composting, industrial composting and anaerobic digestion of organic waste are ways by which we can separate and harvest valuable energy and natural elements from it. These elements are necessary to put back in the agricultural food chain to grow more food in order that there is enough to go around.