10 easy ways to build a Zero Waste Community
In the community we live in today, you’ll find trash lying around everywhere. We have made use lumps of landfills where all the trash from our household is collected. A lot of things that we throw away can be used again, to sometimes by others but when these things end up in the landfills, they lose their value. All these things become is harmful toxins for birds and a pollutant to land. And we are responsible for this. Because of the things we do on a day to day basis, we are killing thousands of animals and plants. We do not consider the amount of toxins we are letting in the air or the amount of waste we produce each day. All this has am impact on our ecosystem. Our ecosystem should be our responsibility, and it’s time that we take control of it.
What can we do?
Recycle the E-waste
Rent bicycles for traveling
Use menstrual sups or cloth pads
Use eco-friendly water bottles
Donate old clothes
Take a bath instead of a shower
Install energy efficient sources of electricity
Use metal straws and jute/ cloth bags.
Buy rechargeable batteries
1. Recycle the e-waste
We have all had our phones broken, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve had it broken more than once. What we usually do is throw it away but there is a better solution. Though the phone may not be working, there may be other things inside the phone which may help other people. Electronics also have a lot of metal that can be redesigned and used to make different things. One of the best examples of this is, Bayou with Love. Bayou with love is a company started by actress, Nikki Reed. They use metals from laptops, phones and other gadgets to create their jewelry. At first Dell partnered up with Nikki Reed to redesign and use these waste metals.
2. Rent bicycles
Traveling is something we do on a day to day basis and most of us own cars or motor cycles but these are neither good for the environment or us. They only make us lazier. One of the best solutions for this problem is to rent a bicycle. Riding a bicycle is one of the most healthy and sustainable options that there is. In Surat, you’ll find bicycle stands where you can rent a bicycle for as long as you want. Like Surat there are many cities that have this facility. By doing so you’ll be reducing a lot of waste and avoid polluting the air.
3. Use menstrual cups or cotton pads
Now this only applies for females. One of the worst things that is used by women is pads. Normal pads, take about 400-800 to biodegrade and we use at least 8 pads a month, you can only imagine how bad that is for our planet. To reduce the amount of waste in your house and what ends up in the landfills you should use menstrual cups or cotton pads. Both of these are washable, therefore reusable. By doing so we would be helping ourselves stay away from toxins that come with the pad and help the environment as well.
4. Read E-books
In world full of gadgets this is one of the simplest things we can do. As an IB student all my students are online which not only helps me keep track of all my documents but it also reduces the paper waste. Each year about 1 billion trees are cut just to make paper. By doing most of your work online, you’ll already be saving many tress. We all have tons of books at home that we used once and never used again, we can’t do anything about them but we can change our habits. Instead of buying paperbacks or hardcopies, it is always good to read e-books.
5. Use Eco-Friendly Water Bottles
One of things we mostly commonly use are water bottles and that goes without saying that most of them are made of plastic. I don’t need to tell you the harmful effects of plastic, you already know them, so it is better if you use eco-friendly bottles. The stainless steel Hydro Flask is a good example of an eco-friendly water bottle that people should use. It is good to use metals to store your water, especially copper bottles because they are advantageous for the health and can be reused many times till it turns rust. Even for parties, don’t order small plastic water bottles, use a big container and glasses as an alternative.
6. Donate things you don’t need
Donation can be one of the best ways remove things that you don’t need or can’t fit into. It helps remove all the extra stuff from your closet and give it to people who are in need of it. There thousand of children and families who don’t have basic supplies and by donating old clothes, stationary, or toys you’d be helping them. Helping someone else, it may also make you happy. So next time, instead of throwing away all your old clothes or toys, give to people who are need of it. Just because the product has lost its value to you does not mean that the product may not be of value to someone else. Some of us are more privileged than the others, and sometimes it good to use our resources to help others.
7. Take a bath, Not a shower
This may seem odd but it is quite simple. Most of time we are not sweating or extremely dirty. We don’t always need tons of water to clean ourselves. Sometimes about 1 to 2 buckets of water is enough. Of course sometimes taking a bath may be the impractical solution, for example after sports but we can always take a shower then. The purpose is to reduce the amount of water we use. When we are in the shower we use a lot more water than when we take a bath. This may be inconvenient for many people, but we can all minimize the usage of water in our own ways.
8. Install energy efficient sources of electricity
Installing solar panels, or a source of wind energy can be quite costly but they only have benefits. They are good for the environment and the eco-system. They will also reduce the pollution and other global warming factors. We tend to waste a lot of electricity. Take it from me, on several occasions I forget to turn of my fan or my air conditioner. We all forget sometimes and it wouldn’t harm us to be more energy efficient. It may cost a lot at first but them it become cheaper than the electricity you use.
9. Use metal straws and Cloth bags
We have all been handed plastic bags when we do shopping for groceries or stationary but a better option would be to carry your own bag. Make a cotton bag or get a jute one instead but use a bag that is good for the environment and does not add up to your waste. The advantage of these bags are that they can be reused and you won’t need to throw all the different bags you get from the market. Plastic straws are again one of the most harmful things for our eco-system. Many underwater organisms dir because of the consummations of plastic straws. They can even end up in someones respiratory system. There have been many instances where straws have been stuck inside a turtles nose. These straws can be quite dangerous. Our use of plastic straws could end up taking the life of an animal. The best alternative is to use a metal straw which is again reusable and easy to carry.
10. Buy rechargeable batteries
We need batteries almost everywhere, in remotes, in gadgets and plenty other things. What we usually tend to do is throw away the batteries and use new ones instead but buying a recharge battery would help reduce your waste and it would help the eco-system. When batteries end up in the landfills, they tend to release harmful metals such as mercury, lead and cadmium into the environment. When recharge batteries are reused and recharges they contribute less waste to the landfills. Recharge batteries are also recyclable. But they have more benefits than just the environment. These batteries will save you some extra money as you won’t have to but many batteries again and again.
These are just a few solutions that one can implement in their lives but we can do so much more. It’s our responsibility to create a better planet for the youth. Instead of cutting trees, grow them. Don’t tell your kids to get off their gadgets, adapt to a new lifestyle without paper. Change the way you live. Think creatively and innovative a new plane to create a ‘ZERO WASTE COMMUNITY’. Follow the Nine R Strategy to improve your life. To improve the living conditions and to give the youth a better place to live in.