Admitting it or not, we all create some sort of expectations for the new year and if they are positive we call them resolutions. The body is a temple but so is the planet then let's say 2020 is the beginning when we choose to take better care for both!
Being eco-friendly, going greener, those have been around forever, but turning to a zero waste lifestyle is a relatively new concept. As the name suggests, zero waste is about eliminating all the garbage we generate in our life.
This idea dates since the beginning of the millennium and by now it has gained huge popularity and has transformed into a movement that is slowly but surely conquering the world.
Zero waste is an ideal, connected to the theory of a circular economy where nothing is wasted and just as in nature, everything is a part of the never-ending lifecycle. It sounds like a grandiose project light years away from the standard we operate in now. However, the zero-waste evolution starts with the individual who is making small everyday changes, injecting zero-waste routines in his system, building up his awareness in little steps.
We are quite sure that if you're reading this you have already taken important decisions about minimizing the waste in your life. This quiz will only help you see which strategy you have mastered already and which one is inviting you to embrace it in 2020.
Choose the most familiar answer:
1. What is your solution when you want to refresh your wardrobe but you realize there's absolutely no space in it?
A) I will clean it up and donate everything unnecessary.
B) I will go through what I already have, rethink, readjust, and redesign new outfits.
C) I will throw most of my clothes, trying to separate them accordingly.
D) I won't buy anything new, I might swap clothes with friends or with second-hand stores.
2. How do you keep your essentials - coffee/tea and water - with you when you're on the go?
A) I have a cup of coffee/tea when I'm at home, I don't need to have more while I'm outside. As for the water, I'm fine with the tap.
C) I buy coffee and water in plastic and then throw the plastic in the dedicated container.
D) If I'm not at home I don't drink them. I go to coffee shops only with the intention to consume inside it so I don't order to go.
3. Let's suppose you had a delicious dinner at a restaurant and you couldn't finish your food. How are you willing to take it out?
A) I'm not willing, I'll leave it there.
C) I'll ask them to pack it and will later take care of the waste.
D) I'll politely request to pack the leftovers in containers that are plastic-free and if they don't have such, I'll probably not visit the same restaurant again.
4. How do you manage to stay eco-friendly and beautiful at the same time?
A) I learned to buy fewer cosmetics, only what I really need. I don't buy anything I haven't used for months.
B) I buy bigger packages that I use for longer periods of time and, if it's possible, I select package-free products like shampoo bars and hand-made soaps.
C) I choose products packed in materials that can easily be recycled.
D) I prepare everything I need by myself with home ingredients or ingredients I can buy from a local herb pharmacy.
5. What do you do with all the plastic bags from groceries?
A) I keep these bags to the minimum, I practice bulk shopping.
B) I turn the big plastic bags into garbage bags, while the small ones I use multiple times when shopping.
C) I keep them together and when they're too many I throw them in the bin for plastic bags.
D) I don't use them because I have my own reusable grocery bags.
6. How do you clean the house?
A) I buy a universal cleaner and I use the same one for the whole house.
B) I buy huge quantities and refill my bottles. This way the waste is less than if I was constantly getting many small bottles.
C) I keep the glass bottles and the plastic ones I recycle.
D) I clean with home-made mixtures such as vinegar with essential oils or baking soda with lemon.
If you answered A) the most times, then your readiness to Reduce is exemplary! This is marvelous because reducing and recognizing that less is more are the driving forces of zero waste and minimalism principles.
In case you selected B) often, then you've discovered how wise is to Reuse. It's not rocket science to use something more than once but single-use plastic is so deeply incorporated in our everyday life now, that it looks strange if we avoid it.
Having many C) answers means you'd like to Recycle all the waste around. While this is admirable and certainly helps, it's not exactly a zero waste strategy. Recycling supports the logic that it's ok to generate more and more waste because after that we can throw it separately and help nature. The only problem is that there isn't any space left to keep or recycle all that trash, and recycling requires energy as well. Instead, we can put those efforts into not making garbage in the first place.
Finally, if you opted for the D)s, then you're likely to Refuse to tolerate excess waste in your surroundings. It may seem funny or passive but it's not! By refusing to conform with the reality of pollution and plastic overflow, you're making a statement, and sooner or later more people are going to follow.