By Liz Neroni, naturalist
You have probably heard of “The Zero Waste Movement,” which revolves around the idea of creating absolutely no trash. This means that all products purchased could be reused and nothing would end up in landfills or incinerators.
No trash?!?!? The first time I came across the concept, I was intrigued but also flabbergasted. Not thinking it could actually be accomplished, I wondered how someone could claim to be able to do such a thing with the way our society is.
However, in one case, a woman was able to store all of her trash from five years in a mason jar. Even with proof right in front of my face, I distinctly remember seeing that and still thinking it was impossible. I looked around my house and saw things I use every day that would be considered trash after I was done with them.
I started researching. I was surprised to find that there are ways to limit what ends up in the garbage can – products that you can replace with things you use every day and don’t make you feel like you are sacrificing. In all honesty, it forces you to eat healthier and it saves you money! Plus, if there is a will, there is a way!
So what prevents us from doing it? Time, or the lack of it, plays a huge role. We have to get so many things done in a short amount of time. We have adjusted to this demand by getting into bad habits that have bad consequences – even if we haven’t experienced them first hand. We create an astonishing amount of trash because it is “convenient”. We purchase products that aren’t in recyclable or reusable containers. We buy one-time-use items that are individually wrapped. We buy trash to put our trash in! We have become accustomed to not thinking about what happens to the planet after the garbage truck pulls away.
I’m not, by any means, living zero waste. However, I’m happy I started this journey because it has dramatically changed the amount of garbage I produce. It is different and it takes time to adjust. Yet, it is a fun challenge with a lot of benefits. You might feel too busy to embark on this kind of change, but in this case it’s worth investing the small amount of time needed to get started. The world as an environment is in trouble and this is how you can help!
Still not sure? Preservation Parks wants to show you how easy it is! Join us for our Sustainable Series this summer. Once a month, we will tackle, room by room, what simple changes we can make to live a life with a little less waste. There will be limited space in these programs, so make sure to watch out for the Summer Program and Events Guide, when it comes out in May, or check out our website for all our offerings.