What does ‘living zero waste’ mean? For me it means living consciously and constantly
working to reduce my waste. It’s a goal, and a process. It’s about refusing first,
then reducing, reusing, and recycling. It’s about getting away from our ‘disposable’ and linear economy, and working towards a circular economy. It’s about environmental and social justice to ensure to one faces environmental racism, or discrimination. It’s a movement, and a way of living. It’s about standing up for what you believe in, and for the environment. It’s about combating climate change, and making a difference in a meaningful way.
I’ve been living zero waste for a few months now, but wasn’t collecting my trash in a ‘trash jar,’ until the beginning of March. So it’s been a little over a month of collecting my trash, and I thought I would share what’s in it.
I found the process of collecting and keeping trash in a jar a really great exercise – you can easily visualize what type of trash you’re creating, and from there, you can adjust to create less. Even if you haven’t started the “zero-waste” lifestyle, this might be a great exercise for you to do – it can be really eye opening to see how much (or how little) trash you are actually creating.
There are lots of fruit and veggie stickers, receipts (although I am missing a few, as I forgot to collect some at the beginning), and a broken hair tie.
To reduce my waste even further, I could shop more at the local farmers market more as those would be cash transactions and there wouldn’t be receipts, and likely no produce stickers. Currently I have only found one store that (the NSLC, aka the booze store here), that asks if you want a receipt, and if you say no, they don’t print one for you. More stores should definitely adopt this, as receipts on thermal paper (most are printed on thermal paper), contain BPA, and are therefore harmful to your health, as well as non-recyclable.
We still have recycling bins in our house, as well as a big trash can. We Airbnb our spare bedroom (if anyone is coming to Halifax, come stay with us!) so need the big trash can for our guests. While I have committed to a zero-waste lifestyle, that doesn’t mean my boyfriend is forced into it. He has definitely reduced his waste, and is more aware about waste, but I would never force him to fully commit to this lifestyle.
I am definitely going to keep up with the trash jar, and continue to work towards a zero-waste life. I will post an update in a few months, so you can see what other non-recyclable trash I have created.