Everything prepared for future hypotheses ends up as dusty rubbish in the corners, taking up your time and space. Have you ever heard of a “zero waste” lifestyle? If you like “The philosophy of subtraction”, like a simple life, or want to reduce your cost of living and save money for other more valuable things, then you will also like this healthy lifestyle that is popular all over the world!
We used to be and we are now
Remember how we lived when we were kids? Use cotton and linen cloth bags to pack things, or just use a piece of cloth to replace the current handbags, and backpacks, and carry a lot of things with you; instead of paper towels, we use cute handkerchiefs embroidered with your name or favorite pattern. ; The drinks we drink are all glass bottles, and plastic bottles are rarely seen.
Our clothes may be worn year after year, as long as they are not broken, they are what we like, and we will happily wear them every season, never mind whether it is “the latest of the year”. And in many cases, it is hand-woven by mothers or relatives for us, which contains the love of relatives.
Until one day, we found that the life around us has changed unknowingly! A large number of items are packed in plastic bottles because the cost is cheap; the number of clothes purchased is not once a year, but several times a month, or even every day, because the Internet makes it easier for us to shop.
Going out with a cotton bag will be considered a sign of shabby, because everyone yearns for the world’s big names, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Hermes, and so on. Clothes, bags, and shoes are broken, many people think of throwing them away and buying new ones but never think about repairing them. As a result, many craftsmen who used to make a living by sewing and tinkering have lost their jobs, or have become a tourist projects in search of the old days.
We are used to living like this and take it for granted. But we don’t know that while consumerism promotes consumption, it also makes us ignore other good things in life and feel unfamiliar with the way our parents used to live.
We choose more disposable products, fast fashion clothing, milk tea, and coffee we drink every day, most of which are plastic or disposable paper cups, and more and more garbage is produced as we grow. The more goods we buy, the more goods end up in landfills, countless soils are polluted, and burning garbage produces huge amounts of methane, which contributes to global warming. So more people began to reflect on our lives and put forward “zero waste“.
“Zero-waste living” is in vogue
What is “zero waste?” In fact, the “zero waste” lifestyle is not really “zero” waste. Zero is just a goal because most of us don’t live in a perfect world, plastic, trash, and waste – it’s created every day and is completely beyond our control.
In 2018, Malaysia had 456,000 tons of unrecyclable and polluted plastic waste that was illegally dumped in its own country. They finally decided to transport this waste back to the source countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. And Philippine President Duterte once called on Canada to cut off diplomatic relations if it didn’t return the garbage, even declaring war.
Many countries, including those in developed countries, do not have adequate waste management facilities to handle the incoming waste. A lot of waste accumulates in mountains and ends up in rivers and oceans. In recent years, pollution caused by plastics has attracted global attention. The BBC’s “Blue Planet II” documentary shows the ocean blockage caused by plastic bags and bottles, killing fish, turtles and other marine wildlife.
A “zero waste” lifestyle is encouraging people to work hard to reduce the amount of waste, especially plastic waste, generated by their daily consumption.
Is “zero waste” possible?
You may look at the big bags and small bags of rubbish you take out from your home every day, shaking your head and saying: It’s too difficult! But if you see the originator of the zero-waste lifestyle in the United States, Ms. Bea Johnson’s own family of four has only 3 glass jars of waste a year, will you be surprised?
Since coining the term “Zero Waste” in 2008, Bea Johnson has blogged about her minimalist lifestyle.
At first, she and her family lived a typical American life—a big house, a full refrigerator, and more food, and packaging than needed. Until a fire burned many things in Bea’s employer’s house, and her employer never bought back the original items. This made Bea understand the truth, those non-essential items don’t actually need to be purchased.
So she wanted to start experimenting with fewer purchases. In the beginning, Bea’s goal was not zero waste, she just wanted to live a simpler and more environmentally friendly life. When shopping, she always brings her own handbags and never uses plastic bags. Also bring your own bottles, jars, and crispers, and buy unpackaged food so that there is no packaging waste.
In an accidental move, because the house was much smaller than before, they could only bring some necessities with them. As a result, after getting used to it for a few days, she immediately found that the lack of a lot of things did not cause her any inconvenience. Instead, it was easier to clean up the house, and the time suddenly increased.
After that, she persuaded her family to voluntarily give up 80% of her belongings, condensing her daily wear to only six pairs of shoes, seven tops, seven pants, two skirts, and a little black dress. But after her clever collocation, it is completely enough to adapt to various occasions:
Now, Bea and her family not only have more time to spend with her family but also reduce household expenses. Bea’s home is immaculate, clean, and bright, her wardrobe is well-organized, and she herself is refreshed, exuding confidence and grace. The family is healthier than ever, both mentally and physically.
“Our family spends 40 percent less a year, saving time and money to do more,” she said. “I went ice climbing, bungee jumping, skydiving with my kids and did a lot of things that most people don’t do.”
Everything is possible
Bea’s story tells us:
If you don’t blindly add unnecessary items, the things that are left will be at their best. And those things that are left after careful consideration will make you feel the satisfaction that comes from the things you love. You’ll never fall into the self-blame and regret that comes with constantly buying things you don’t actually need.
Today, her book “Zero Waste Home” has now been translated into 20 languages and sold all over the world, and more and more people are joining this “zero waste” journey.
“For me, life is about being around my family and creating more good memories. Real-life is about having richer and more memorable experiences, not material things. A zero-waste lifestyle allows me to do that.”
“Have less, waste less, live more”, is the essence of “zero waste” living. Are you excited too? Come with me and start your “zero waste” life!