Zero-waste lifestyle A contemporary solution to climate change | BY Tasneem Shafiq

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Zero-waste lifestyle A contemporary solution to climate change

ACCORDING to the United Nations definition of Climate Change; it refers to the long-term shifts in weather patterns and temperatures.

These changes may be natural, but since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change.

Primarily because of heat-trapping gases produced by burning of fossil fuels (like oil, coal and gas).

Almost every ecosystem, animal and tree contribute in creating the climate of planet earth. Currently global warming, extinction of species poses a serious threat to the climate.

The most promising step we can take at time to protect and restore nature is to adopt Zero-waste style in our life.

The name might sound like no waste are supposed to be produced by adopting this style, but what it actually means is to minimize the consumption.

It is a method which has a set of waste prevention principles. This solution encourages redesigning of resource life cycles and reuse of products.

The goal of zero-waste is to create a norm where no waste is sent to the oceans, incinerators or the landfills.

Zero-waste in an ambitious goal to divert 90% of waste from landfills and incinerators by 2040 using a “whole system” approach to evaluate and manage the flow of resources and our wastes.

All resources must be conserved by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, the packaging, recovery of products and materials without burning or discharge to land, air or water that might threaten the environment or human health.

This movement promotes the recycling of products. Fewer resources are supposed to be required by using this lifestyle to meet our needs.

The main purpose is to redefine the current production and consumption system, in which resources are taken from Earth and then dumped into toxic holes in ground.

Zero-Waste is an ethical, economical, efficient and visionary goal, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use.

Zero waste lifestyle promotes a sense of sustainable fashion among youngsters, encourages responsible shopping, refrains from buying non recyclables, cuts down single use plastic and encourages healthy eating habits and avoiding overconsumption.

It also involves composting kitchen leftovers and carrying steel water bottles and lunch boxes and avoiding polystyrene cups/plates.

It includes the use of 5 Rs which are explained below.The 5Rs:

1. Refuse: Say no to what you don’t need.

The first step to a zero-waste lifestyle is to prevent the waste from entering your home in the first place.

This involves saying “no” to promotional samples, junk mail, single-use disposables such as bags, straws, cups, and cutlery, or any short-lived form of unnecessary items.

2. Reduce: Letting go of things that are no longer of use and donating or selling.

It also means only focusing on necessary purchases.

Reducing what you do need implies getting clear about what you need and being mindful about your purchasing decisions.

3. Reuse: Switching disposable items for reusable and permanent alternatives. It is about repairing instead of throwing/ replacing products and switching single-use items by permanent alternatives.

This includes replacing plastic bottles with stainless steel water bottles, for instance, using fabric bags, bamboo toothbrushes, or buying unpackaged foods among other solutions. Also buying second-hand and visiting antique stores.

4.Recycle: It comes as the last option after refusing, reducing and reusing. The reason is, nowadays, we consume and dispose at a higher path than we are capable of recycling.

As a result, many recyclable materials end up in landfills, shipped to developing countries, or in WTE incineration plants as they couldn’t be recycled.

5. Rot: It involves composting your own household waste or take part in a composting program for organic waste. Compost makes great soil, which can be used for plants.

Extreme consumption can lead to production of waste and drain earth of its natural resources.

Try to adopt a minimal lifestyle to preserve resources for the future generations. Whether it’s reducing waste, saving energy or being a conscious consumer, small actions can make a big difference.

Save energy and water for a sustainable future. The alarming rate of pollution and climate change urges the world to move from luxuries to necessities.

Every inessential product we purchase costs a heavy sum to the environment. While it’s impossible to create zero waste, there are many ways to reduce consumption that can benefit the planet.

People in the movement prioritize recycling and reusing products and goods rather than purchasing single-use items that clog up landfills and contribute to climate change and global warming.

Every country should be taught about the significance of smart consumption. To promote the implementation of zero waste management, it is necessary to manage the limitations existing currently.

The developing countries require help both with education and introduction of waste collecting, sorting, and recycling activities.

New Zealand is one of the first countries to adopt a national goal of achieving zero waste policy.

A number of companies are now embracing the zero waste concept including Hewlett-Packard, Kimberly Clark and The Body Shop.

Cradle-to-cradle (C2C) strategies are at focus on designing industrial systems so that material flow in closed loop cycles.

The earth’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees since the late 19th century.

—The writer has remained associated with the Institute for Strategic Studies and ISPR

 

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