Zero waste offers obvious and essential environmental benefits: reduces contamination (reduced of dangerous solid and vaporous waste) and promotes conservation (decline in demand for natural resources). But the advantages of Zero Waste go far beyond the ecological aspects. In the home, it undeniably improves one’s standard of living. The uninformed might think that Zero Waste is time-consuming and very expensive (as I did). Yet these suppositions could not be farther from the truth!
The most quantifiable eco-lifestyle benefit is financial.
Here are ten reasons why Zero Waste makes financial sense:
- Reduces product consumption (focus on activities rather than ‘stuff’)
- Reduces inventory, maintenance and repair costs
- Eliminates the need to purchase disposable items and offers incredible cumulative savings
- Encourages buying bulk groceries, which are generally cheaper
- Reduces (or at best eliminates) solid waste, therefore reducing disposal fees
- Eliminates the purchase of garbage coatings
- It favors the purchase of quality and is therefore good value for money.
- Supports a healthy lifestyle and thereby reduces healthcare costs
- Advocates selling unused items and renting seldom-used assets for a profit
- Offers an option to sell recyclables directly to MRFs and compost material to gardeners
The health benefits of the zero-waste lifestyle are primarily linked to reducing our exposure to plastics. The only downside (and that’s actually a plus) is that I’m more sensitive to chemical smells and plastic tastes. But overall, my family is healthier and I feel confident feeding my kids foods that haven’t been shrouded in health-harming plastics.
Here are ten ways Zero Waste will improve your family’s overall health:
- Deters purchases of plastic packaging and products and reduces risks associated with growing concerns about plastic leaching into our food (e.g. BPA ) and the release of gases in our homes (like vinyl)
- Supports reuse (i.e., buying used), which reduces off-gassing, since used products have already (mostly) released their gases
- Encourages shopping at health food stores that offer natural alternatives to conventional products and reduce exposure to toxic chemicals such as parabens, triclosan and synthetic fragrances in toiletries and makeup.
- Encourages buying recyclable, reducing exposure to the harmful chemicals released when using nonrecyclable Teflon-coated cookware
- Uses natural remedies and cleaning products, reducing exposure to unknown chemicals
- Supports living with less, reducing dust collection and the accompanying allergies
- Advocates outdoor activities, which help remedy vitamin D deficiencies, provide cleaner air
(indoor air can be more polluted than outdoor air), and increase physical activity
- Encourages buying whole foods, limiting the consumption of highly processed ones
- Limits media/advertising exposure, reducing the cravings for unhealthy foods
- Provides a leaner diet by reducing meat consumption
Perhaps the most gratifying lifestyle benefit is the time saved. And at a time when time is the most valuable commodity in our society, who doesn’t want more?
Refusing to hoard gifts, giving up time-wasting habits (e.g. dealing with spam), and reducing household items regains efficiency and time. Handling, storage, maintenance, cleaning, and organization are simplified. And reuse saves time that would otherwise be spent buying, transporting, or disposing of single-use items.
Everyone can benefit from a life free from the burdens of things and wasteful practices and instead focus on experiences. Time also opens up opportunities to engage and participate in collective consumption, making it possible to share, interact and strengthen community relationships.
We discover like-minded people, no longer feel alone, and find a hope we’ve never seen in the future before. But everyone’s individual journey with Zero Waste will be different.
For me, the increased free time has allowed me to live a richer life, to do the things I really enjoy, to spend time with the people I really care about. It has allowed me to find knowledge, wisdom, empowerment, confidence, passion and a new purpose in life. It has given me space to green my house, forage, and experiment with a variety of crafts. crafts.
It fully engaged my artistic abilities. It has allowed me to blog and reconnect with nature.I have come to realize that stuff takes us away from our roots, from the outdoors.And with more time now spent outside, I no longer take the Earth for granted and I find my spiritual faith has been recharged.
For me, zero waste connected all the dots; it can work wonders for you too.