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Zero Waste is NOT a Waste: Benefits of a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

By: Patrick JuinioZero Waste is NOT a Waste: Benefits of a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

With an increased awareness of environmental issues plaguing the country, more Filipinos have chosen to adhere to environment-friendly practices. One practice that has been growing in popularity is the zero-waste movement. This movement seeks to encourage people to reduce the number of items they dispose in order to decrease the number of materials that are thrown into landfills and oceans or are incinerated. This also lessens the amount of land, water, and air pollution. Hence, adopting a zero-waste lifestyle can do wonders for the environment.

However, shifting to a zero-waste lifestyle is not as easy as it sounds. For starters, the majority of the items that we normally shop for like medicine, milk, and food come in disposable packaging. The same goes for fast food, sodas, candies, and chocolates that we enjoy very much. Secondly, we regularly encounter disposable items such as plastics, Styrofoam, aluminum foils, and tissues that throwing them away as soon as they are no longer useful has already become a routine for most of us. There are also no laws that incentivize the practice of living a zero waste lifestyle, making the shift more difficult.

Despite the sacrifices that a zero waste lifestyle entails, it is worth the effort.  Aside from helping improve the environment, a zero waste lifestyle can also do us good.

Here are the benefits that a zero waste lifestyle provides:

You gain a sense of fulfillment.

By living a zero waste lifestyle, you get to contribute to the environment’s protection. With a cleaner environment, people, especially children, pregnant women, and older citizens, stay safe from diseases caused by pollution. Meanwhile, plants and animals remain uncontaminated by highly toxic pollutants, enabling people to consume them without putting themselves at risk of falling ill after. The realization of having played a role not only in preserving the environment but also in ensuring the health and safety of those living in it can make you feel good about yourself. Of course, you can also live guilt-free knowing that you did not contribute to the pollution of the environment or jeopardize its inhabitants.

You save money.

Initially, disposables are cheaper than reusables. Since you constantly throw them away and purchase a new set once they lose their usefulness, disposables can actually cost you more money in the long run. Therefore, you can decrease expenses by replacing disposables like plastic cups, plastic bags, and paper napkins with reusables like tumblers, canvas bags, and fabric napkins.

You develop your creativity.

Living a zero-waste lifestyle can be fun – you just need to use your imagination. For example, rather than throw away a worn out cotton shirt, you can convert it into a rag that can, in turn, be substituted for disposable paper towels. Continuously finding ways to reuse items develops your creativity, which can benefit you in other aspects of your life.

You keep your home organized.

Refusing to purchase items that you do not need and will eventually dispose of keeps your home clutter-free.  An organized home allows you to conveniently search for your belongings, making you feel more relaxed.

You expand your social circle.

During the course of your journey, you may meet others who are also practicing a zero-waste lifestyle. This gives you the opportunity to exchange ideas on how to better practice sustainable living. In the process, you can learn new things and gain new friends.

You set a good example to your children.

Children tend to imitate what they see. Showing your children the importance of living sustainably while they are still young encourages them to start a zero-waste lifestyle early and continue it until they grow up.

It may take some time and effort to get accustomed to a zero-waste lifestyle but that should not discourage you from practicing it.  Considering how beneficial it can be to you and the environment, a zero-waste lifestyle is certainly not a waste.

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