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Zero Waste Homes

Zero Waste Homes

What is Zero Waste

Why Should We Aim for a Zero Waste Home?

● It is predicted by 2050 that there will be more plastic than
fish in the ocean.
● Zero waste living will reduce the amount of waste that is
contaminating the homes of our marine neighbours.
● The European Union wants to reduce biodegradable municipal waste by 33%
compared with 1995 levels.
● Reducing, reusing & recycling can be a key part of a climate change strategy to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
● The U.S. EPA has estimated approximately 42% of all greenhouse gas emissions
are caused by the production and use of goods, including food, products &
packaging.
● Reducing and reusing means fewer products are made, as people buy less and as
products are more sustainable.

Recycle

The 5 R's of Zero Waste

Everything we use has an environmental cost and consequence so it's important to be
mindful, now more than ever about this so these are the 5 R's of the Zero Waste principle:
● Refuse
● Reduce
● Reuse (and repair)
● Recycle
● Rot


1. Refuse

Make small changes such as using a reusable water bottle rather than buying new bottled
water, take reusable bags to the supermarket, place a "no junk mail" on your letterbox. Small
changes matter.

2. Reduce

● Being conscious of what you use in terms of single use plastics will mean you will
think about each purchase. Always try to reduce your reliance on unnecessary plastic
so for example, buy loose vegetables and fruit.
● Declutter your home, donate excess to charity for others to reuse. Only invest in
quality furniture in your home that has a classic look and is durable.

3. Reuse ( & Repair)

Start small, so buy a reusable water bottle and coffee cup. Repair worn shoes rather than
buying new pairs. Reuse old curtains to make cushions, throws or patchwork quilts.

4. Recycle

Being aware of what you can and cannot recycle is important and sometimes it can be
confusing. If in doubt check out recycling support websites where there will be FAQs. Items
like electronics, batteries, light bulbs etc do have specific places where they can be taken to
so check where your local centre is located.

5. Rot
Instead of discarding food scraps in the general waste bin, create a compost heap
and you can use it to bed flowering plants and shrubs in the Spring.

Zero waste hierarchy

5 Actionable Ways to Reduce Waste
1: Go food shopping with a list, plan meals and utilise leftovers
2: Declutter your wardrobe, giving anything you don't need/want or no longer fits to
charity shops
3: Declutter your garage, loft or attic as it's likely filled with many items you no longer
require
4: Keep cloth bags or wooden crates in your car for any expected shopping to
negate the need for plastic bags
5: Give the gift of experiences eg vouchers for restaurants, cinema, concerts,
walking tours, adventure activities as opposed to physical products like plastic kid's
toys or plastic gadgets


Article by Helen O'Keeffe of Ezliving-Interiors

References
https://www.penguin.co.uk/articles/2016/ten-tips-for-a-zero-waste-home/
https://www.thejournal.ie/bea-johnson-interview-zero-waste-home-3274554-Mar2017/
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/environment/the-zero-waste-lifestyle-1.3020305
https://www.torontoenvironment.org/zerowaste_benefits

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