ZERO WASTE – FASHION or NECESSITY?

ZERO WASTE

ZERO WASTE – FASHION or NECESSITY? Continuation of life on earth is directly related to reducing the amount of waste generated!

Zero waste - in the bathroom.

At the present time, there is talk of a consumer style life people in the world. This way of proceeding harms the environment. The hundreds of millions of tons of plastic that pollutes the oceans and is ingested by marine organisms, transported through the food chain, harms us all.

Do not kid yourself! Most of us also eat marine organisms (once considered the healthiest) from time to time and plastics, previously eaten by marine organisms, enter our bodies through the digestive system. They are present as microparticles in the bodies of fish, reptiles, birds and mammals, including humans.

Nowadays, plastics have even reached the bottom of the Mariana Trench, they also appear in precipitation, e.g. in rain.

At some point, as an Earth society, we realized that if we didn't act, we'd be destroying the Earth ourselves. One of the activities we undertake are activities in the field of Zero Waste. This idea has been gaining more and more publicity in recent years, more and more institutions and foundations are trying to popularize it as appropriate for each individual and societies as a whole.

Quantity limitation waste it is not an invention of either this or the last century. The concept of disseminating many aspects of the Zero Waste idea had its beginnings in the XNUMXs. The end of the nineties of the last century brought the popularization of this idea. Waste recovery and processing, e.g. Your contribution to their wise management will not only reduce their quantity, but also indirectly reduce the exploitation of depleting natural resources.

According to one of the Finnish organizations, the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere could be significantly reduced (even by half) through the daily decisions of citizens themselves in four areas: food, shopping, housing and communication.

Therefore, the ordinary but cyclical, seemingly trivial actions of individuals, which together create a powerful effect, are of great importance!

Don't treat Zero Waste as a fashion, treat it as a duty to care for our environment!

Moving on to the merits.

Zero Waste aims to protect resources by acting responsibly in the processes of production, consumption, reuse and recovery of as many products, materials and packaging as possible. The aim is to avoid, and if unsuccessful, to minimize their burning, depositing in the ground, introducing into waters, emitting into the air, i.e. activities that threaten the environment and human health.

Simplifying it is the management of production processes and the products themselves to reduce the amount of waste and minimizing, and even if possible, eliminating the harmfulness of materials and waste through an appropriate method of their recovery or processing.

WHAT IS ZERO WASTE?

ZERO WASTE - Five simple rules of operation to implement the ZERO WASTE philosophy in your life! 

What are the Zero Waste rules of conduct!

 

Meritum Zero Waste consists of 5 practical, simple assumptions commonly referred to as the 5 R rule.   

R for Refuse            – be assertive and refuse,

R for Reduce            - try to limit where you can,

R for Reuse              – recover – i.e. reuse what is successful,

R for Recycle           – sort and try to recycle waste,

R for Rot                  - compost

+

R for Repair - fix

R

as the principle of Recycling,

recycling,

and again Recycling!

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Refuse to accept things. (Zero Waste Policy)

In the household or at work do not accept  items that will arrive immediately to the trash eg .:

Leaflets - when you are not interested in reading them,

Cosmetics samples - rather use a tester in a cosmetics store,

Disposable packaging and bags - always have reusable bags instead,

Leashes - when you know that you will not use them or you already have a supply of them at home,

Plastic pipes - if you can drink the drink directly from the container or using a metal or glass pipe,

Disposable cutlery - if you know that you will consume at work or at home where you have reusable cutlery.

 

Limit the amount of items you buy (Zero Waste Policy)

Discipline yourself while shopping. Buy only what you really need at a given time - do not make unnecessary stocks! We often forget about food or other supplies and they may expire. Before going to the pharmacy, check your home first aid kit. It is possible that the medicine you need is already in it. Thanks to this, you will not only not buy "in stock", but also save money. Not to buy means very often not to generate unnecessary waste. Avoid disposable products!

Recycle (Zero Waste Policy)

Not only avoid single-use products, but also look for a use for products that you would like to throw away. All products and their packaging can be reused thanks to your creativity. 

  • an old kettle, a bowl, a pot can become, for example, a flowerpot,
  • you can make a pencil case for pens, crayons, felt-tip pens from an aluminum beverage can, after you have bought it at your child's insistent request - by cutting out its upper part,
  • plastic chocolate wrappers, when you received them as a gift from your friends, you can use them for trinkets, which you often throw in a drawer in disarray due to lack of time,
  • used, old clothes, curtains, tablecloths, sheets can get a second life serving as a sewing material,
  • glass jars (previously used as packaging) will turn into stylish candlesticks after being painted.

Segregate (Zero Waste Policy)

Always segregate waste and put it in the appropriate waste containers. Not only do you help the environment, but you also reduce the amount of mixed waste.

Compost (Zero Waste Principles)

Organic waste can be reused. Biowaste is a significant part of the waste generated in households. From leaves, mowed grass, branches, food residues such as peelings, tea or coffee grounds, eggshells, we can create a valuable fertilizer that we can use by growing plants and crops in the home garden, on the plot or by sprinkling into pots.

 

ZERO WASTE - ethics and real action!

Ethics as such is just an idea, only the implementation of pro-ecological behavior has a real impact on the condition of the environment!

We can talk a lot about ethical values, but just talking about this topic is just propaganda for success, without real effects.

Only the implementation of ethical activities in relation to the natural environment will bring measurable results. 

The first step is to motivate the community in which you live / work and yourself to act to minimize the amount of waste generated. The next step is to make sure that you and those around you put the actions into action.

Smart shopping, behavior in the kitchen, bathroom, home, garden, during holidays and at work gives real benefits to the environment.

We can also help the environment in many ways at work.

Zero waste - in the kitchen and while shopping

Shopping for food often takes us a long time. However, maybe you should think about what to put on the list when planning your shopping. Go through the kitchen cabinets, pantry - before you create a shopping list. Maybe you can use something before it expires.

Instead of throwing away or wasting food, you can use it without entering certain items on the shopping list - changing the menu for a given day. Instead of wasting food by throwing it away, plan your meals in advance and buy only what you need at the moment.

Leftovers from dinner can be used to create lunch for the next day, for example, potatoes or noodles can be made into a casserole in a casserole dish, and cooked meat from soup and vegetables (if the household members do not like eating them) sauce, goulash or vegetable salad.

Unused food can often be frozen in the form of a ready-made dish to be reheated later, and too much fruit and vegetables can be frozen or processed using home methods of preserving food products, e.g. through processing.

If you have already bought and realized that you have in your pantry products that are not expired, but close to the use-by date, you can always share with those in need. There are plenty of refrigerators located in various places in cities and villages, where some put food and others use it. You don't produce waste by helping others! Two in one - it's pleasant and beneficial for both sides 😊.

Remember - if possible, do not throw away food! Reasonable, conscious decisions when shopping, as you have noticed, affect the condition of our environment and wallet, and our handling of unnecessary foods can often bring happiness and help to those in need.

What is important :

  • when possible, buy and eat vegetables and fruits grown in the open field, not in a greenhouse. Greenhouse production uses artificial lighting, which is related to the production of energy, often using non-renewable resources. In addition, during the combustion of fuels to generate energy and heat for lighting and heating greenhouses, gases and dust are emitted into the atmosphere,
  • keep track of expiration dates on items in your refrigerator, kitchen cupboards, basement, and pantry.
  • use products that are close to their expiration date to prevent their expiration,
  • try to shop locally, saving transport costs and thus reducing pollution emissions,
  • use reusable packaging and bags - wherever possible (e.g. reusable bags for vegetables and fruits),
  • if you cannot use reusable packaging / bags, consider a solution that minimizes the impact on the environment. Maybe you can use paper bags?
  • mesh fruit bags are becoming more and more popular - if you have this type of packaging, in addition to ecological aspects, you will also be "trendy",
  • pack the bread in the store in your own linen bag,
  • if you have collected plastic disposables at home so far, reuse them,
  • buy vegetables and fruits by weight in the amount you really need, not in packages already packed in plastic,
  • instead of half-liter drinks, buy 2-liter containers. You will reduce the amount of used packaging going to the waste market,
  • use food leftovers to prepare other dishes, use what is not suitable for use, e.g. you can dry orange peels and add to cheesecake, cook krupnik on pork skins, smoked bacon peels can add flavor to sour rye soup. Take the remains of vegetables and fruits to the compost,
  • use cloth towels and cloths instead of paper towels,
  • use natural products as cleaning agents. Feel free to use lemon juice, food vinegar or baking soda. You can use them to clean dishes, e.g. burnt pots, scale from the kettle, getting rid of the unpleasant smell coming from the fridge or microwave. Thanks to natural products, in some cases you will get rid of tea, coffee and wine stains, as well as clean your jewelry,
  • use product packaging for various purposes. Use jars, for example, to transport or freeze meals, ice cream containers to hold or freeze products and transport,
  • wooden wine boxes or wooden boxes from Christmas gifts can be used for collective storage of fruit and vegetables in the basement or small items in the home workshop. In this way, you will avoid buying additional, in this case unnecessary packaging,
  • instead of ordering food for family members from several restaurants, order from one. In this way, you will minimize the costs and harmfulness of multiplying the transport of meals to your home,
  • consider whether on Black Friday or Black Week the prices have not been artificially inflated in order to be able to grant a discount. Stores often do not want to lose on the promotion offered,
  • during the promotion, assume that only the products to which the promotion applies are included in the promotional prices. Do the rest of your shopping according to the previously prepared list. Each additional, potential purchase of a product from outside the list, think twice in terms of the actual need to buy it,
  • if you did not plan to buy something (and you put it in the basket because the product was at a good price), put the product on the shelf and sleep on the subject of its purchase. There will also be a promotion tomorrow! Often, after buying something in a promotion, we come to the conclusion that the product was not needed at all,
  • appreciate good quality goods. Durable goods and made of environmentally friendly materials will serve us longer. The transaction will turn out to be more beneficial for both us and the environment than if we bought something cheaper, which will break down faster,
  • be careful when confirming card transactions and do not take the confirmation if you do not analyze the expenses in detail later (if the receipt goes straight to the trash can). You will save both paper and printing materials and devices.

Zero waste - in the bathroom

  • replace your plastic toothbrush with a bamboo one that is biodegradable,
  • use fabric towels instead of paper towels,
  • instead of the planned bath in a bathtub full of water, take a short shower,
  • turn off the water while brushing your teeth and soaping yourself in the shower,
  • Instead of disposable razors, use electric shavers or reusable razors with replaceable blades.

Zero waste - at home.

  • try to save both water and electricity,
  • when you leave the room, turn off the light and make sure to use energy-saving light bulbs. The idea of ​​minimizing the amount of generated waste is supported not only by the use of energy-saving equipment, but also by not keeping it in standby mode,
  • before you turn on the washing machine or dishwasher, make sure that they are full,
  • only heat the amount of water in the electric kettle that you will use immediately,
  • If you can, fix broken appliances instead of buying new ones. The reason for the failure of the lamp can be a trivial thing - a broken cable, which you can repair for a dozen zlotys,
  • follow the manufacturer's recommendations when using devices and products and maintain them properly, and you will extend their life,
  • do not forcefully replace devices with new ones if they work well (e.g. TV sets, mobile phones, computers),
  • darn a sock, sew a button or a pendant on a jacket instead of replacing them with new ones. After all, you can do it yourself or have a seamstress at a sewing point,
  • instead of paper towels for wiping up spilled liquids, use as rags that are useless, stained clothes,
  • use metal or glass tubes to drink instead of plastic or paper straws,
  • use ecological detergents, with a composition based on compounds found in nature,
  • verify that you have the need to own everything. Often, renting or the possibility of renting turns out to be more advantageous when it comes to equipment that you do not use on a daily basis, such as a drill, a dress for a carnival or wedding ball, ice skates or skis. Also, services that are used quite often can be ordered, outsourced or their use efficiency improved,
  • give away to friends or sell on the Internet products and devices that you no longer need: redundant undamaged clothes that you do not wear; furniture replaced by children due to their growing up; shoes you didn't return to the store and never wear. Our apartments, wardrobes, garages and basements are full of such items. For us they are useless, for others they are noteworthy,
  • if you accept second-hand purchase, instead of buying in the store, browse the Internet. It's not uncommon for someone to sell fully functional, undamaged products for less than you can buy identical new ones. An example is post-leasing electronic equipment (e.g. computer equipment), for which a warranty is often provided by the seller. 

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Zero waste - in free time

  • during presentations or shopping, do not accept cosmetic samples, use a tester,

  • during a barbecue or picnic, avoid disposable dishes and cutlery. Try to use reusable dishes and cutlery,

  • take a water bottle, thermal mug for the trip, tourist thermos, water bottle. In most places, tap water is safe to drink without having to boil it,

  • use electronic tickets instead of paper tickets or use a charged magnetic card,

  • get an e-book reader and it will replace many paper books,

  • instead of buying more paper items for your library, you can take part in the book exchange system, which has been operating for several years in various towns,

  • carry a set of bamboo cutlery with you, you won't have to use disposable cutlery.

Zero waste - during transport

  • rent or rent. An example of pro-ecological activities in the field of transport are rides in a rented or shared car. Instead of buying a car, we can use public transport on a daily basis, and rent a car only occasionally,
  • if we already have our own vehicle, we can offer others to use the car together on the route planned by us or slightly correct it,
  • driving between remote places (e.g. from city to city) we can use the so-called "blah blah car", covering our share of the cost of travel.
  • use the bike in good weather.

 

All these possibilities serve to minimize the emission of gases and dust into the atmosphere, and at the same time reduce the costs of transport.

Which is better for the environment? Plane, train or car?

  • Avoid traveling by plane if possible. It has been estimated that flying from our country across the ocean generates a carbon footprint similar to the carbon footprint of using a car all year round. To this must be added the carbon footprint and waste from the disposable products used on board,

  • if we have shorter distances to travel, use the train or bus,

  • a Zero Waste car should be used as a last resort. In this case, it is beneficial to share rides, eg offering shared rides to and from work.

Zero waste - at work

  • if you order advertising gadgets, make sure that they do not have a negative impact on the environment. It is better to order a bamboo pen (it is biodegradable) than a plastic one.    

It is worth making sure that it is adapted to replaceable cartridges.

  • you can buy for customers in the form of gadgets ecological: fleece, jacketsbackpacks. Most of them are made of recycled PET bottles, 

  • use espresso machines with a coffee grinder or for loose coffee. Capsule makers generate empty capsules,

  • use refillable printer toners,

  • on communication routes where employees are not permanently present, lighting activated by a motion sensor is enough, 

  • train staff on how to turn off lights in empty rooms,

  • train staff in waste segregation,

  • if possible, change the method of heating / cooling rooms to a more energy-efficient one. In this way, you will reduce or eliminate fuel consumption, thanks to which you will additionally reduce the emission of pollutants into the air, 
  • at the present time, solutions that resist are highly valued on the production of renewable energy. By implementing them, you not only save money, but also help the environment by reducing the size of your carbon footprint,

  • make sure windows and doors are tight. Call a specialist or order these activities to an internal service technician. These activities will reduce heat losses from the facility in winter, so you will not need to use so much fuel, which will lead to a reduction in gas and dust emissions to the environment.

ZERO WASTE - How to take care of the environment during the investment and operation of the facility?

From simple waste segregation, actions to minimize their generation, reasonable shopping for investment, to carrying out investments with a view to minimizing the impact on the environment!

 

A very good example is the construction of houses or industrial facilities, taking into account the desire to minimize the impact on the environment both during the implementation and operation of the investment.

How to do it ? Let's start with the project

You should hire a company that will approach the investment analytically. He will calculate the costs and benefits and select an effective method of heating, providing electricity and insulating the building. He will ensure that construction and finishing materials are used with a view to minimizing their impact on the environment during their production, execution of the investment itself and during its operation.   

 

When planning the investment, the designer should choose the method of heating the building. There are e.g. traditional boilers, heat pumps, central heating (sourced from combined heat and power plants) and several other solutions. In order to produce electricity, we can bring it from the national grid, but also obtain it from natural sources: photovoltaics, windmills, small hydropower plants, etc.

ZERO WASTE from scratch - the impact of reducing garbage (waste) at every stage of investment and operation!

By reducing the amount of waste produced, you often save on costs that you would incur for their removal. When ordering the removal of waste, it should be remembered that this entails real costs of transport, work of people sorting them (these people must be paid), but more importantly, the amount of energy used by these people for work during waste segregation. The energy expenditure of these people during work creates the need to consume additional amounts of food and drink, and to use additional amounts of washing agents and deodorants after work. These people get tired, which makes them hungry faster and sweat. Going further, not only do they have to use extra water and energy to heat it, producing bath effluent, but they also sweat to produce extra clothes that can be washed more quickly. Each subsequent washing causes the clothes to deteriorate, which forces them to buy new clothes earlier. Wanting to make a purchase, they are often forced to travel to the store and spend extra money on means of transport. Etc. Etc. Etc.

By producing unnecessary waste, we not only generate costs related to their further use, but we cause a lot of unnecessary costs and activities that have an indirect HARMFUL impact on the environment, and so little is needed - just think about our way of proceeding. Rethink, Reevaluate and IMPLEMENT THE "ZERO WASTE" IDEAS. Zero Waste is the implementation of the recycling idea!

If you don't like IDEAS - think about your loved ones - how much you can buy for them with the money you save - not from ideas, but from common sense.

No one is forcing you to use the IDEAS - just take care of your wallet, taking care of the environment at the same time.

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