In Bea Johnson's book, Zero Waste it is defined, as a "philosophy based on a set of practices aimed at avoiding as much waste as possible." Johnson goes on to explain a very clear and refreshing perspective on how to approach your zero waste first steps and recycling being one of them but not the first one. In particular she goes into detail about how living a zero waste life begins outside the home.
Here are the 5 Steps she refers to in her life-changing book, Zero Waste:
I'll admit, I am just beginning my journey on zero waste. It's a great resource to begin with even if you are entertaining the idea of living a zero waste lifestyle. It's an eye-opener on how much waste has been in our society or tolerated as human beings.
I've always considered the idea of where something goes after its functionality. What the HELL do I now? Throw it AWAY??!! What? UGH. It's like this ugly word I consider in my experience. I like the way things were back in the day. It was more simple. But it was before the Industrial Revolution and before the textile industry took a hike overseas so the profit could be even more for the larger businesses. But I ask, who is paying the price? Someone has to pay for the price. And Zero Waste brings an alternative solution that begins with you. I invite you to check out her TED talk .
I really enjoyed how she writes about being an ambassador in your community and gives the A-Z on guidelines to adopt this lifestyle including many other initiatives like letting your voice be heard through letter writing campaign and refusing or active discards. For example, she refers to actively refusing things that have extra packaging or having "active discards". When we return things with unnecessary packing to the manufacturing you send a message of change to the manufacturer instead of "inacton" of condoning it, the extra packaging. In our decision to actively discard it, we send an empowering message to say enough is enough and I'd like to change the way things go.
I like that message. A message of change is important. It doesn't mean right away. You need to do all of this now kind of change. It means, what is your next change? What is your next step? What will happen if I make this one decision? She gives sample letters which is super helpful when starting to make changes in your lifestyle. I encourage you to read her book. It's quite inspiring and a wonderful read.