Regardless of whether you are a vegan, a minimalists or are simply looking to save more and hoard less, the bandied-around term, #zerowaste, can be applied to more and more people these days.
Practising zero waste applies to anyone who wants a life less impeded by material goods in their life and taking that first step means buying less stuff to therefore create less waste. The dismal truth of the matter is that as humans living on this earth, we continue to over-consume and it's inevitably taking its toll on the planet and something desperately needs to be done about it.
With nature programmes like David Attenborough's Blue Planet and the more recent My Family and The Galapagos exposing the real issues to us, namely the disastrous effect that plastic waste is having on our oceans, we really have no excuse to be ignorant to the effects of waste any longer.
There is a town in Japan called Kamikatsu, which is famous for practicing a total zero waste policy and is possibly the greatest blueprint for the rest of the world in terms of sustainability.
With an astonishing 34 different trash bins each household has to use, you might think the excessiveness is enough to put people off. However, over time, it has eventually become the norm to separate and dispose of the trash correctly; people have got used to it and the sense of community as a result of this initiative has been compounded more.
The people of Kamikatsu are even told exactly what their trash will be recycled into and what it will cost/earn the community. Kamikatsu boasts its vey own circular shop where people can take things in and use things that others no longer need for free, then return it when they no longer need it.
They also have a factory which uses materials such as discarded flags or old kimonos which the older women in the town, who possess skills such as sewing and knitting, then make into new clothes, bags and teddies etc.
Through all their efforts, the community of Kamikatsu, has successfully cut the cost of recycling by two thirds and a real and true sense of community has been harnessed by going zero-waste.
From Japan to London, the mayor of London Sadiq Khan intends to roll out a new network of water fountains and bottle-refill stations across the capital in a bid to reduce the use of single-use packaging, such as plastic water bottles. The mayor is also proposing that businesses make their tap water available to the public, building on a scheme launched two years ago in Bristol.
With a million plastic bottles bought worldwide every minute, the annual consumption is expected to surpass half a trillion bottles by 2021. A large number end up buried in landfill sites or littering the ocean, with figures revealing that over half of the plastic bottles bought in 2016 were not collected for recycling.
Plenty of businesses are either well on their way to being or are already practising a zero waste ethos, from companies like Starbucks, which incentivises customers to recycle by using their reusable cups in exchange for money off their coffee; packaging-free ("naked") cosmetic brand, Lush; Silo, the solely zero waste restaurant in Brighton, to the well-established Planet Organic and Whole Foods and clothes waste warehouse charity, Traid.
For other corporations, implementing a zero waste system may be less appealing, possibly daunting, especially for tech companies because, let’s face it, you can’t make money off products that last a lifetime!
This does make us question the fact that in places that are poor, they seem to make things last forever, ie the systems and expectations are totally different than in the West, generally.
And also, when we think of old people, they have a tendency to either make things last forever through practices that are inherent to their generation or from happily adopting everyone else stuff.
When we begin to question why this hasn’t been passed down the younger generations, we are forced to ask ourselves: is it to do with the ever-pressurising nature of consumerism? Is it that fashion changes constantly with new seasons, and that trends and collections dictate how we shop, or is it possibly the fact that convenience drives everything?
Buggy Revival are all about seeing less waste, but by appealing to the hardcore consumer as well as the zero waste warrior, we feel we have managed to mesh both worlds. So, whether you realise it or not, by virtue of the fact you are even reading this article means that you have opened your mind up to the idea of a zero waste lifestyle. Now let's see where it takes you?
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