Change yourself and the world around will change

Zero waste or how to live without garbage

Zero waste or how to live without garbage
There is a firm rule - the little prince told me afterwards.
- You got up in the morning, washed, brought yourself into order
- and immediately set in order your planet.

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

For the first time I encountered the term «Zero Waste» by reading a walking in internet and very controversial article of eco-activist Lauren Singer from New York. She confidently told the world that has built her consumption in a way that does not leave behind "a single gram of waste." Moreover, she has not just changed her personal attitude to the problem of waste, she has created her own «zero-waste» company «The Simply Co» - waste-free Cleaning company for the production of "green" biodegradable cleaning products. Plus, Lauren actively promotes waste-free lifestyle and writes a blog with the provocative title «Trash is for Tossers».

The concept of «Zero Waste» widespreads abroad and is a new principle for the relationship of mankind to waste production and consumption. «Zero Waste» - is not just a term, it is the whole ecological philosophy, which aims to review the problem of resource consumption in such a way that it is maximumly reduced to the possible minimum. Down with the city dumps, down with the burning of waste and landfill, down with garbage containers, down with the dependence on plastic and disposable packaging. And replace it with "hoorah! long live" the health of the planet, people, animals and plants.

Great idea, but on a global scale, it is, of course, utopian. Since the change of people's attitudes to the problem of tempting and completely thoughtless Consumption - is the task of today is practically impossible. Advertising, the speed of life, the promotion of passion, availability and multiversion seductive pleasures - all this creates in man the infinite desire to take, to buy, to own, to store, to stock, to increase, to change, to chase - only to be a trend, to be in the flow, to be on top .

However, not all so hopeless and unrealizable as it might seem at first glance. Everyone can easily try to implement at least some principles of "zero waste" in their individual lives and, thus, at least for a bit of help the planet to breathe more freely through the daily awareness of their ecological footprint. As the saying goes, "you should never neglect small quantities, because through them we come to the great."

Lauren Singer says in her article how she brought her consumption to zero. The girl stopped to buy the products in the package, began to go to the shops with her own jars, bags and bottles, stopped to buy some new clothes and replaced it with "second-hand", began to make the natural products for personal care and for cleaning, donated needless stuff, which was cluttered her home. The most important change in consumption, she noted, "plan" garbage "situations" - that is, she refused to use any items that may have the potential to become the garbage quick: straws and disposable cups at the bar, packets, packaged products in the store. What she got instead with so diligent respect to consumption? She writes: "1. I save money 2. I eat better and healthier 3. I become happier ... I did not expect that the decision to give up any debris will lead to the fact that the quality of my life improved so much. I did not start to live so to prove something to someone. I began to live that way because life without garbage - is the best way, and all that I know, to live according to all, is what I believe. "

Lauren’s experience made me think: how is my reality corresponds to the principle of "zero waste"? And what can be changed here and now to a more sensible approach to consumption?

It’s happened that my life is naturally made me be approximated to the principle of "zero waste". Multiple moving from apartment to apartment made me learn not to get attached to things and do not accumulate them. Now my house is almost no extra stuff. Only the most necessary things: cheap furniture, simple decor, created with my own hands, a minimum of the utensils. I try not to acquire a bunch of useless household chemicals and cosmetics, and never buy it "in reserve". I don’t like when presented with useless souvenirs and never present them to anyone. Over time, I changed my attittude to buying clothes. Earlier I filled up my wardrobe according my desires, sometimes even in the absence of money, but now I buy or sew things out of necessity, absolutely not following fashion trends. I fold the bought things into the cloth bag that I always carry with me. I try not to buy the products in disposable containers and always refuse spare filling bags, if the sellers are trying to put them in fruits and vegetables. I never discarded paper in the rubbish bin - pile it in a separate bag, sincerely hoping that vagrants of city dumps will give it secondary use. I try to take care of the consumption of paper in the office, insist on sending e-mails instead of faxing.

I can’t say that my life activity is reduced to a "zero waste". But I do try to remain vigilant and aware of what I am and how I consume. And if it is possible to reduce the consumption, I do not neglect this opportunity.

What else can you do to put your life on the "eco-friendly rails" and get closer to the ideal point of consumption «Zero Waste»? We thought about that with Yoga Club «OUM.RU-Novosibirsk" and put together a list of 50 simple tips on how to significantly reduce the consumption of electricity, water, utensils, household chemicals and waste.

1. Drink tap filtered or settled water instead of bottled water.

2. Eliminate flow faucets, pipes and leaking toilets.

3. Take a shower instead of a bath. Turn off the water when lathering and brush your teeth.

4. Wash the dishes at the sink hole closed or in the basin instead of constantly running through the water from the tap.

5. Close the pan with a lid during cooking. Use a small amount of water for cooking foods.

6. Use the soap remnants instead of washing powder: you can crumble its and put together with bed linen in the washing machine drum.

7. Put a small amount of fabric powder in the washing machine when washing smaller quantities of laundry. Try to fully load the washing machine and use the most efficient mode at a minimum temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.

8. Refuse plastic packaging gifts: instead it is possible to use paper, cardboard boxes, packages and other natural materials.

9. Give the live flowers in pots instead of bouquet: so you will be able to reduce the use of plastic wrapping paper and waste plastic bows.

10. Buy ready-to-eat products in the required amount - as much as you can eat - do not throw the excess away.

11. Think through your purchases in advance. Purchase only what you really need. Make the shopping list before to go to the shop - this will help you not to buy too much.

12. Preference is given to Loose, not a packed product. Buy goods sold by weight in the great economical package. Such products contain less packaging per unit. For example, one juice box of two-liters weighs less than two boxes of 1 liter. This means that it took less production resources, and it costs less. In addition, a large bag can be reused on the farm.

13. When buying fruits in the supermarket, put them in one bag and glue on it a few price tags.

14. Buy products sold by weight in a reusable container. For example, a container for salad or package of loose nuts can be captured from the house. Try to wean yourself from the temptation to buy semi-finished products and salads in disposable containers: dubious quality, high price and packaging can not be reused.

15. Give preference to products without unnecessary wrappers.

16. Take with you reusable bag or previously bought a plastic one when go shopping.

17. Don’t use new rubbish bags, reuse old large bags in the house.

18. Wait till rubbish bag become full, don’t waste it half-filled.

19. Buy rustic dairy products from the farmers and distributors of milk, cheese, butter, cream. So it is possible to combine the power more environmentally friendly products and eliminate the use of unnecessary packaging. In addition, delivery of products which are produced closer to your city, use less fuel and produce less emissions.

20. It’s not necessary to iron the bed linen. Give it a good shake and carefully straightened, hang to dry, and then, without letting the laundry over dry, removed it and neatly folded stacks or rolls, it would look almost like pressed. With this method of reducing the energy consumption.

21. Dry you hair with the hair-dryer only when it’s absolutely necessary, remember to save the energy.

22. Hang your clothes on a hanger in the closet instead of folding and subsequent re-ironing.

23. Use economical wall or table lamps instead of chandeliers.

24. Turn off the mains power supply and battery power devices when not in use - they continue to consume energy in vain.

25. Leaving the house, do not forget to turn off the light.

26. Change light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents.

27. Don’t switch on the electric stove in advance and use the residual heat during cooking - turn off the burner for some time before the end of cooking.

28. Don’t warm up water in the kettle any longer than you really need.

29. Regularly defrost the fridge - it consumes more power when filled with ice.

30. Try to avoid buying disposable items: dishes, razors for shaving, lighters, napkins, paper handkerchiefs, kitchen towels, foil, paper for baking, toothpicks.

31. Instead of Aerosol air fresheners pick any natural incense sticks, oils or candles.

32. Replace shampoos and conditioners for hair in plastic containers by decoction of herbs, tea, coffee.

33. Instead of a shower gel, soap and scrubs use natural means - by grinding a mixture of dried herbs and clay. It’s useful, economical and eliminates ejection of the package after use.

34. Use natural cleaning agents instead of chemicals: baking soda, vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, borax powder.

35. Arrange a couple of "hungry" days or fasting days in a month (Ekadashi), you’ll get: health benefits, and a reduction in spending on products, and waste reduction.

36. Use a damp cloth instead of paper napkins only when strictly necessary and travelling: the decomposition of soil fabric fiber is ten times longer than the expansion of the paper.

37. Buy a simple cheap toilet paper - it is much cheaper and is made from recycled paper, while paper from well-known brands is created from wood.

38. Collect used paper separately from other garbage. It can be taken for recycling. Take it to the country by chance, to give the residents of village houses for recycling or incineration in furnaces. Sometimes it is worth remembering: one sheet of office paper will biodegrade in soil in two years.

39. Donate unnecessary books to the library, or give it to friends through social networks or ad.

40. Before you print a document to a printer, stop for a moment to check your text for errors. Install the printer duplex printing.

41. Use drafts instead of pure blocks for records.

42. Send information via e-mail instead of fax.

43. Walk more if time permits, to reduce the number of automobile emissions indirectly.

44. Give a second life to unnecessary things. Usable clothing, shoes, household appliances, that you no longer need, first, to offer your friends and acquaintances. Tatters are better to burn in the fire-safe place, than to throw out with the general waste.

45. Bring food containers from home to work. Food prepared at home has your home atmosphere and vibrations. Moreover homemade dinner helps to resist the spontaneous and reckless spending at the supermarket or coffee shop, as well as to reduce the use of packaging of the purchase of food, which in turn will reduce the accumulation of debris.

46. Use biodegradable trash bags and cleaning detergents in a biodegradable plastic.

47. Use indoor shoes instead of polyethylene disposable shoe covers when necessary.

48. Recyce batteries and charges into special recycle units or waste management company in your apartment building. It is estimated that one carelessly thrown in the litter bin penlight batteries can contaminate about 20 square meters of land by the heavy metals, and it is a forest habitat of two trees, two moles, a hedgehog and several thousand earthworms.

49. Recycle burnt-out bulbs to the collection points. Addresses can be found by region - follow the “Greenpeace” link "Greenpeace»: ..

50. Purchase and consume things, products and energy consciously. Search for information on reducing consumption.

All these elementary measures develop thoughtful consumption and help to cut your dependence gradually to follow fashion, to change things without a clear need and treat nature as infinite inexhaustible resource.

During five years of getting ecologist profession, I heard the idea of man and nature are a single entity in different variations and, according to the law of conservation of energy: the energy is a closed system, it never disappears and reappears, it can only be converted from one form to other. If you think about it, this law reflects the essence of karma - cause and effect, which are inseparable from each other. In response to the damage, nature certainly will respond to man - sooner or later - it is only a matter of time. Action always generate reciprocal resistance, because everything in nature is one.

Vladimir Vernadsky - the great Soviet scientist, who introduced the concept of the biosphere and the noosphere in the science - once wrote in his diary:

"In the midst, in the intensity and complexity of modern life, a person practically forgets that he himself and all mankind, from which it can not be separated, are inextricably linked with the biosphere - with a particular part of the planet on which they live. They - geologically naturally associated with its material and energy structure.

The hostel usually speak of man as a living freely and move around individual on the planet, which is free to build his story. Until now, historians, scholars of the humanities in general, and to a certain extent, and biologists have deliberately not considered the laws of nature biosphere - of the earth shell, which can only exist life. But people spontaneously inseparable from it. And this continuity, is only now beginning to emerge in front of us for sure. "

It is worth considering. We are not the bodies who live in nature, we have a nature that is expressed in a separate biological membrane. Conscious and thoughtful attitude to the world around in daily trifles - that is our important contribution to the preservation of the integrity of the system "man-nature". All that we invest or appropriate now in this system, according to the law of karma, we will return a hundredfold. Therefore - live according to your conscience and in harmony with nature.