Today, globalization and commercialization lead to the production of gallons and tons of waste every day. The zero-waste concept, introduced in the 1980s by Daniel Knapp, is the complete recycling of products to create minimum waste. The used and discarded items that are considered waste by one person are converted into useful resources for another person.
Generally, dumping waste in landfills, burning it, or burying it are the most popular methods for dealing with it. But did you know that that does not solve the problem completely? Either way, even if you wish to care about the environment, you would unconsciously pollute it. So then, how can the zero-waste concept help to deal with this problem?
The idea and its working
You must have heard about the 3Rs of sustainability- reduce, reuse, and recycle. The concept of zero waste works on this same age-old technique.
It typically has the following five steps:
- Reduce, meaning lowering the amount of waste that is produced.
- Reuse, meaning repetitive use of the same materials.
- Recycle, meaning the generation of new products by the use of already used materials.
- Recovery, meaning recreation of energy from the waste.
- Disposal, meaning safe disposal of waste to landfills.
In the zero-waste concept, all the above steps are taken to make sure that the least amount of waste goes to the landfills.
How can the Zero Waste Concept help to save the world?
Conservation of resources
On the industry level, the zero-waste concept helps to maximize recycling and reusing of products, ultimately reducing the total wastage. As a result, it helps in the conservation of nature and its precious resources by lessening the number of raw materials used by the manufacturers to produce goods.
When you start living by the zero-waste concept, you will be able to save a lot of money.
This is because:
- First, it consists of opting to buy things that can be used for a longer period without getting damaged. Therefore, you don’t have to go around shopping for them over and over again.
- Second, easily recyclable products often cost lesser than the ones which are not.
- And lastly, when they do get damaged, they can be easily reused and replaced.
This ultimately helps to increase sustainability by using less toxic and more durable materials, all while saving you a lot of money.
Amidst all the problems of global warming, increasing pollution, frequency of diseases, and shortage of water, the zero-waste concept is not just the solution but also a big challenge to help save the earth and increase sustainability. It is a very broad term that covers the aspects of material wastage and time and energy wastage. In all cases, the final goal is the proper management of resources to use them completely by causing little harm to the environment and nature.