After giving up plastic in 2012, I realised that the only waste I was generating was the small amount of non-avoidable plastic, food waste and recycling. I began to wonder if I really needed a bin at all. Once I’d got my plastic-free habit down pat, I began to work on reducing my waste altogether.
It was only later that I heard of the zero waste movement, and I realised that was a pretty good description of how I was living my life.
Less waste, low waste, near-o waste or zero waste – whatever you call it, the goal is the same. To maximise resources, and throw less away.
I see single-use anything as a failure to value resources and make the most of materials. I see recycling as a last resort: it is always better to refuse, reduce, re-use and repair before recycling anything.
I still end up with stray napkins and the occasional paper bag, and I still recycle – I’m not perfect (but who is?)… However, I’m always thinking about my waste, refining my choices, and aspiring to do a little bit better next time.