Conscious Consumption

It is that time of year when we are overwhelmed with the message to buy, buy, buy! Everyone is trying to sell some happiness but don’t let that get in the way of actually being happy. It is very possible to live near zero waste in our trash filled society, here is some information I learned from www.RobGreenfield.TV to help you out.

REFUSE: The first step is to not buy or accept things we don’t need. It’s like the old D.A.R.E. saying of “just say no”. It’s good to ask ourselves; Is this a want or a need? and; what was its cost to manufacture/grow/transport?

REDUCE: A zero waste lifestyle is as much of a mindset as it is practical actions. Reduce your needs and consumption and you will automatically see a huge drop in the amount of trash you are creating. This can actually create space to make the things we do consume even more enjoyable.

REUSE: Just about everything can be reused! Try not to just reuse something once or twice, instead think reuse forever.

REPAIR: Rather than tossing out those pants with a rip in them or shoes with holes, just repair them. A lot of the things we buy can break in a short amount of time and that is where buying quality can be an advantage.

RECYCLE: Once all these options have been exhausted then recycle. Even though recycling is much better than creating garbage it is still resource intensive so try to find other solutions first. Check with your city to see what they recycle and recycle everything you can.

ROT: Composting is simple and can make a huge impact. Food waste makes up a big chunk of most people’s trash cans and simply by composting you’ll be able to decrease your trash by a lot.

Don’t let composting overwhelm you it is basically putting your organic material in a pile and letting it rot while nature “magically” turns it into a beautiful resource. ( If you’d like to get more involved with the process check out this guide to composting. But essentially it can be as simple as you like.) Even our poo can be composted instead of mixing it with our drinking water… Humanure: The forgotten black gold.

FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE BY GOING VEGAN: Animal agriculture contributes to over 50% of greenhouse gas emissions.

SAY NO TO ONE-TIME USE ITEMS: There is a waste free alternative for any one-time use items you may currently be using. Switch out plastic water bottles for reusable ones, bring your silverware and takeaway containers when going out to eat and use your own travel coffee mug.

Here is a link to Rob Greenfields’s Sustainable Living Series , 5 short videos covering all forms of waste including; food, water, energy, trash and transportation.

When we do purchase things and “vote with our dollars” let’s make sure companies are looking out for the best interest of the environment and all beings on it. It’s time we hold companies to a higher standard.





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