How About Zero Waste?

Apr 13th, 2011 | By | Category: Youth Blog

In America, there is a family called the Johnson family, Bea and Scott Johnson, that throws out only a handful of trash after a long period of five months, while earlier on they used to fill a big garbage bag every week. If everybody in America started living like the Johnsons, then the environment will be safe for a long time.
Whatever prompted the Johnson family to become like this? Can the practice be adopted by every one? The Johnsons say that a conservative lifestyle is addicting. In order to change, they first started out by moving into a smaller home. At first they thought zero waste was expensive but then they found that it was good for their wallet.
Primarily, they go to stores that sell basic food out of big containers from which you can take out some stuff with containers you have brought with you. All waste food they use as compost and put red worms in it.
Here is how you may start living zero-waste. But first, let it be understood that one cannot live zero waste on one’s own. You see, most of the garbage we throw out are wrappers and containers that products come with. We cannot live without food, and most of the places where food is bought has wrappers containing the food. Therefore, the Johnson family had to find special organic markets where everything is stored in big containers.
Take the example of milk. Supposing you want to cut back on waste. You are used to buying milk cartons and after finishing the milk throw the cartons away. Well, now you want to stop doing that. Well, you still need to drink milk. If you keep going to the same shop, you will have to buy milk in disposable bottles. You might take a reusable jug and pour milk into it from the bottle and leave the bottle there, but, then it’s trashed right there.
But what if you find a shop that has milk stored in large pots, and you buy milk by taking some reusable container with you and filling it up. Then you have produced no waste in consuming milk. Same goes for other food, like if you find big containers filled with meat and put some of that meat in a reusable container that you carry with you. Such organic stores do exist. For now, water seems to be the only thing the organic stores sell in this way. I see no reason why they can’t extend the same practice to other grocery items.
What we need to do therefore is to get more of these stores around the United States in order to reduce waste. The creation of these stores is necessary before people can be told to reduce waste.
In the instance of trash food, some parts of food we can’t eat, like banana peels and we can’t eat food that is accidentally contaminated, like falling on the floor. But we can feed it to animals, even our pets. Dogs and cats can’t eat bananas and orange peels. Some animals like donkeys can. Another alternative for trash food is to bury it in your garden after cutting it up into little bits, and it results in a good fertilizer, and you won’t have to buy special fertilizers.
Most food one buys from the market comes in containers like plastic wrappers. However, one can get pure vegetables, pure meat, cheese, and other stuff like that without wrappers, and put them in jars or other containers that we always have with us. Just doing this will drastically reduce waste.
If everybody in America made the choice that the Johnson family made and started to live that way, environmental damage will decrease a lot. They live in one of the wealthiest counties in America. So, if they decide to do it, then it is plausible that everybody can. We shouldn’t forget that there is a recession, compelling people to cut back on consumption. Therefore, we must get the Johnson family story out in the media. Even if people start to slightly lower their waste, it becomes addicting.
And there is a way to get everybody to do it, through the children. There is an instinct in children to constantly keep changing their lives and trying new stuff. It would surely be exciting for them to scan through the garbage bags and try to see how they may reduce it. And they will keep pressuring their parents on reducing waste. Therefore, doing this will not only be good for the environment, but it might also be exciting and mentally healthy.

As time passes, it will be more important for people to live zero waste. Why not adopt the practice now?

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