Reduce your waste: a meaningful New Year’s resolution for 2017
Probably, by this time of the year, many of us have already given up in our New Year's resolution: getting upset less frequently, controlling our stress, working out three days per week or going on a diet. It may not be one of the most common, but what about trying to reduce our waste?
Not so very long ago, in a flat of two people, we would throw a 5l bag every two or three days. In fact, this report by the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs of the UK Government shows that in 2013, the average waste generated per person in England was 403kg. This other document by CB Environmental contains enlightening facts about waste and recycling, too, for example that "on average, each person in the UK throws away their own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks" or that "each year, one person gets through 90 drink cans, 70 food cans, 107 bottles and jars and 45kg of plastic".
I had never thought about it until I saw 'Sex, lies, and videotape'. That scene in which Andie MacDowell tells her therapist about her obsession with garbage made me think about it. I never forgot it, but I never took real steps to do my part either. So I decided to invest my New Year's resolution in something meaningful that aligns with my thinking and beliefs.
Trash is for tossers
One year and a half ago, however, while doing an online course on Sustainability, I came across this blog: Trash is for tossers. It is about the real experience of Lauren Singer, a environmentalist who decided to live a Zero Waste life in the heart of New York City four years ago. Why does she do it? As she says, this lifestyle considerably lessens her impact on the environment, but also helps her feel healthier, save money, get rid of clutter, act in accordance with her beliefs and, in sum, be happier.
And how does she do it? For starters, she's banned plastic in her life. This was her original goal, but she decided to expand it to all waste. So she has replaced plastic with other materials like glass, stainless steel, wood and cloths, she buys in bulk and she has learnt how to make her own cleaning, beauty and hygiene products. Thanks to the latter point, she has even founded her own company, The Simply Co, already present in around 30 stores across the US.
Singer is an inspiration, and following her tips and advice will lead to take the ultimate step towards a more sustainable life. Would you join us in our New Year's resolution? Are we able to reduce our waste in order to send to landfill just one 5l bag every six weeks? Accept our challenge* #dumpevery6weeks and check out these play lists to easily achieve what now may seen impossible!
* Waste is considered as all those things made out of materials that are non-recyclable or cannot be recycled because your council hasn't included them in its recycling plan.
* This objective is a reasonable one to start a transition. If this is achieved once, then the frequency should be reduced.
*This applies for one person, so if there are 2 people in you're flat, set the objective to every three weeks. In this way you'll encourage your flatmate to join it, too.
* Bear in mind that this is a provisional goal; it will get more and more challengeable, until we achieve our ultimate objective: a #ZeroWasteLife.