Zero waste doesn't mean producing or consuming nothing. It's about carefully and intentionally designing, producing, and consuming without waste as an end product.
Shifting how things are made
The term zero waste is referring to an industrial model of design and manufacturing called a circular economy (zero waste). This is where we design products from the very beginning without waste as an end product. Currently, we live in a linear economy, where we design, manufacture and consume with waste as an end product.
A circular economy resembles how nature works. For example, the leaves from a tree are designed to be reabsorbed back into the ground once they fall. Those nutrients can be put back into the circle to be used again and again without harm to the planet.
Living the CIRCULAR MINDSET
A Circular Mindset is a notion of adding value back to the things we use, the communities we live in, the food we eat, the people that create and make what we use, and the resources we must use from the planet in order to create, make, and live. It's also about taking ownership of what we have. It's a mindset and lifestyle reflective of how the earth designs, creates, utilizes, recovers, and balances its own systems.
A Circular Mindset is also about bringing awareness to an ignored conversation about our material misuse, the environmental impact our throw away culture has created on the planet, and how we can simplify our wants and needs and bring value back to our communities. It's about starting conversation, inspiring each other, and living by example in the middle of our current toss-and-go culture. Until we move our global infrastructure over to a circular-based economy, trash is going to happen. Until then, each one of us can make less waste. Do your best, start small, and voice your consumer opinion! Change won't happen until we speak up and use our consumer power as much as we can.
When we apply the circular mindset to our everyday lives we discover how to slow down, simplify, redirect our consumer wants and needs, and put meaning and value back into our belongings, communities, and our environment.
Below are the three of the main thought processes of a circular mindset:
Less is more. When we simplify we become less overwhelmed and less distracted. Simplicity gives us space and freedom from our belongings and it adds meaning and value to our experiences.
Let's invest back into our local communities by creating sharing programs, community food gardens, composting options, and engaging our family and friends to rethink their trash footprint.
By understanding our true wants and needs we discover the value of ownership rather than consuming for convenience alone. Intentional and mindful consumerism helps us focus on products that are lasting and reusable.