Zero Waste Lifestyle – The Recycling Revolution to Save the Environment
In the second article of our recycling series, Woodford Recycling are going to explore the emerging zero waste lifestyle movement and the impact their philosophy is having on the environment.
What is zero waste recycling?
Subscribers to the zero waste movement may approach their waste disposal and product acquisitions in different ways, but all have the same fundamental aim: to send nothing to landfill.
This idea is an extension of the general recycling movement that has become so ingrained in present day society. Rather than separating your waste into recyclable and non-recyclable materials, the zero waste movement looks to promote a lifestyle where non-recyclable waste is redundant.
Why has there there been an increase in zero waste recycling?
The zero-waste movement has exploded in recent years as people have become more and more exposed to the environmental damage caused by single-use product waste. Though general recycling has reduced these consequences over the past decade, there are still 31 million tonnes of waste that get sent to landfill every year in the UK alone.
The problem with landfills is that they aren’t great at ensuring waste is isolated. As waste decomposes overtime, many toxic byproducts, known as leachate, accumulate from the waste and seep into the surrounding environment. The harmful product permeates the ground and infects the water — some of which ends up coming out of our drinking taps.
In addition, many plastics aren’t contained very well and will find their way into the oceans where they harm sea life and disfigure the natural aesthetic of our landscapes.
How is zero waste recycling changing the world?
Followers of the zero waste lifestyle will try not to purchase items that cannot be reused, recycled or composted. Thus, the demand for these single-use items is reduced. A reduction in demand leads, ideally, to a reduction in production, subsequently reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions that attack the planet’s ozone layer and contribute to global climate change.
Many businesses are adapting to the zero waste ideal. As zero waste followers won’t buy single-use products, many of the packaged items most people regularly buy and then throw away are avoided. This has led many manufacturers to start changing the way they package their items to include recyclable or compostable packaging. ‘Naked’ vegetables are becoming particularly prevalent in UK supermarkets too, with many retailers opting to ditch packaged fruit and veg.
Pop-up shops are also appearing throughout the UK; they allow consumers to purchase an array of package-free goods that can be stored in jars or cotton bags.
What can I do to become recycling efficient?
Going completely zero waste requires some commitment and planning, but a total lifestyle change doesn’t need to happen overnight. It’s entirely reasonable to make small changes to your life and gradually ease your way into the new routine. Take a look at some of the following tips to help you make a change today:
- When buying food from the supermarket, always consider the packaging of the product. Try to choose items without single-use packaging. Alternatively, visit a zero waste shop.
- Ask not to have a straw in your drink when buying drinks for a meal or on a night out.
- Think about purchasing second-hand clothes rather than clothes that are brand new. There are plenty of charity shops, boutiques and online sites that offer a wide range of second-hand clothing.
- Educate yourself on which products are suitable for recycling or composting.
- Get creative! Items that seem destined to be thrown away can be made into creative art pieces or even other practical items.Empty cans can be turned into a place to store pens or dispose of razor blades, or old clothing can be sewn together to make a blanket.
Woodford Recycling are your local waste disposal experts, helping customers throughout Cambridgeshire to make the most of their waste. We provide a wealth of waste disposal solutions for both domestic and commercial needs, and we aim to recycle 100% of the waste we collect. If you’d like to use any of our extensive range of high quality services — whilst also saving the planet — give our friendly team a call today or fill out the quick quote form on our website.