Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is another way citizens can help out Mother Nature. The zero-waste lifestyle is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource lifecycles on a personal level by reusing or rethinking about the products we consume. The goal of this lifestyle is to ultimately decrease the amount of waste going to landfills, incinerators, or to non-intended areas like the rivers and oceans. This process is designed to mimic nature and the way resources are naturally cycled.
Question. Have you ever wondered if going zero-waste is actually sustainable? The zero-waste lifestyle helps individuals live more sustainably by reducing their overall waste outputs. However, there are some important areas of sustainability that are missed in the zero-waste model; specifically in terms of our diets. A sustainable food system is a collaborative network that combinations specific components in order to enhance a community’s environmental, economic, and social well-being. Here are three simple ways you can have a sustainable diet while going zero-waste too!
1. Location, Location Location!
Where were your food products produced? Sustainable diets begin with supporting the local economy. This is important as it reduces your carbon footprint and keeps the local economy strong by financially supporting small grocers, family farms, and orchards. The great part about the zero-waste lifestyle is that this philosophy is known worldwide and products are manufactured all across the globe to support it. With the worldwide zero-waste movement, finding local producers and products to support sustainability and this lifestyle is simple. Local farmer’s markets are a great example.
2. How’s it “growing”?
How was your food grown? Certain farming practices are known to be sustainable while benefiting the soils, flora, and fauna around them. A rule of thumb to sustainable diets is to eat locally, seasonally, and preserve your harvest. Another eco-friendly option is to choose organic foods. Organically grown produce has higher nutritional value and is created without the use of pesticides and chemicals. However, organic certification is complicated. For starters, the certification process is costly and doesn’t cover monoculture farms. So even without certification, your food products may still have been grown in a way that protects the ecosystem and is healthy for you. If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is contact your local growers. Another solution is to grow it yourself. Gardening can be relaxing and rewarding. Do your research to find a community garden in your area or plant indoor herb plant garden. For example, the most eco-friendly foods include garden-grown peas, onions, and beans; all of which are easily grown in your own backyard!
3. Good things come in small packages.
Does the food you buy need all that packaging? Focus on food that has reduced packaging. With the zero-waste momentum, there are many sustainable options available at grocery or bulk stores that allow consumers to buy little to no packaging at all. Plus, bringing your own reusable bag helps with this overall mission. Then there is the “convenience-packaging” options. Just say no to these products as they are usually overpriced and have unnecessary packaging. For example, peeled eggs on a Styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap. All we have to say is – why? Most fruits and vegetables come with barriers, like shells and peels, to protect them naturally. It’s important to remember when purchasing products, what will happen to each component at their end-of-life. Purchase smart and sustainable!
Have you adopted a waste-free or sustainable lifestyle? We are looking for stories to inspire others to join the momentum. Let us know! Send us a direct message on our social media @LoraasYXE. We are also hosting an Earth Day giveaway contest that will help with your sustainable and zero-waste goals. On our social media from April 15th, 2019 until April 21st, 2019. Contest winners will be chosen on April 22nd, 2019. For contest details visit our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!