Sometimes I say to myself that our planet probably won't be saved. I can see people for whom separation of waste is not a difficult task, because they just ignore it and throw it in public places and pollute nature without having a guilty conscience. Why is that? It is not so complicated; even a monkey can do that. Maybe it is not because of a low level of intelligence or laziness. Maybe the problem is that nowadays people have gotten used to all the rubbish. They can, after all, buy these things again and again. Most of us are not forced to think about the environment.
I started to feel this way. Then, an excellent video changed my negative mood! A young girl was explaining how her three-year's waste could be put into one small jar. She practiced something called a (almost) zero waste lifestyle, which included not only throwing waste into the right container, but also decreasing its amount. What a wonderful idea; not producing waste! Even though it doesn´t seem so easy, you do not have to make any drastic changes to accomplish it. We do not need to quit using everything, but instead, make a small change that can be a benefit the Earth.
The entire origin of this idea cannot be exactly dated. Many advocates for environmentally friendly living may have practiced it. However, there is a creator of this more united movement - a young woman originally from France and currently living in California. Her name is Bea Johnson. She lives a very organic and minimalistic life with her family. Her blog and community, which has grown are proof that it can work. The main motto is Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot.
Bring your own container
The essence of this idea is shopping in BULK. It means that you bring your own small containers, bags, jars etc. to the shop. You buy all the products or ingredients without packaging; from flour, bread, milk, meat, grains and fruit. Unfortunately, it is not completely possible in Slovakia because there are not many shops where you can buy all the essential ingredients without packaging (there are some good e-shops, e.g. www.bezodpadu.sk). It is still a bit safer if you bring your bags for the whole purchase of, pastry and bread, and fruits and vegetables. Also for lunch you can use a reusable container, not a plastic bag. Drink tap water; do not buy bottled water.
I don’t think this needs to be explained. A big part of our trash is made up of organic waste. And what is more, it can help our gardens. If you live in a flat and do not have a place for making compost, you can at least put it into a special bin.
Simplify your closet/cleaning tools/life
By having a smaller amount of things you can take better care of them. If you buy a few items of higher quality, you won't have to throw them away so quickly. When it is possible, do shopping in second hand shops or make some homemade alternative. E.g. white vinegar and baking soda are great for home cleaning.
Here are some other tips:
· Do not use disposable dinnerware
· Always bring your own shopping bags
· Make your own cosmetics
· Use a bamboo toothbrush
· Eliminate disposable paper products (napkins, paper towels)
· Refuse what you don't need (in shops, in a café...)
· Use your e.g. lettuce cleaning water to water plants
· Buy or construct a Neti pot- for cleaning your nose with water and sea salt
· GIRLS- invest into a mooncup for your period
· Educate your friends about zero waste
· Grown your own plants and food if it is possible
by Natália Pribišová
Year 2, Issue 3