Zero Waste 2/2

Ecology Environment Reflections Social Justice Zero Waste

Drawings of waste, nature clean soap bottle, pure life water bottle, Bliss jar

One day, human civilizations will be living in a zero waste economy. All human activities will have the same impact on the planet as other creatures, i.e. a zero or positive environmental footprint in full symbiosis with ecosystems. The human species will have found ways to live in harmony with the biosphere by ensuring that human activities contribute positively to the regulation of nature. The waste produced will be beneficial for the earth and will in turn feed a multitude of macro and microscopic species. To achieve this, each government must put in place laws and the means to enforce them. One important law is a ban on all kinds of waste (banning plastic bags is a good start, but it is not enough). No amount of non-organic products, whether toxic or not, can be dumped into the ground. Companies will be forced to take back, process their obsolete products and make all post-consumer materials environmentally neutral. Clothing, hygiene, construction, delivery etc... All products and services will be required to have a zero environmental footprint. This is my zero waste dream.

It's a huge task, but it's possible if we all pull together and do our part. We have managed to irreversibly destabilize the biosphere on a planetary scale in just a few decades. The destruction has been done thanks to global concertation, one shovel at a time, one plastic bag at a time, one toothbrush at a time, one plane flight at a time. We are therefore capable of repairing the crisis one action at a time.

To start our zero waste goal, we are participating in a Home Waste Audit. Also, we focus on one product at a time. I have identified the products that we consume the most and that take up the most space in our recycling bins. The milk and cereals devoured every week come first. So we switched to refundable glass milk bottles and chose a brand of cereal that doesn't produce a carton. It's a first gesture among many others. On the list of things to follow is to favour products that have little or no packaging and eliminate those that are over-packaged, even if it means depriving ourselves of our favourite fruits such as golden kiwis. We make small changes because the task can quickly become so overwhelming and unmanageable on a daily basis that we give up before we even begin. As soon as a new action becomes a habit, we move on to the next one. Like everything in life, it's one step after another that we go for miles. It won't change the world, but at least we're doing our part. I am gathering my energies and ideas for the long road ahead.


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