The Rubbish Diet – Can the average person lead a zero waste lifestyle?
I do think about this quite often, I have to admit. Because every can, every latte, every flapjack or Sainsbury’s meal deal I am always left with the waste of. In London we are quite lucky, because there are “plastic”, “paper and card” and “general waste” bins dotted around the place, so it is possible to still be conscious of recycling when not at home.
But we are human beings, and we produce a lot of waste. The average person is responsible for 592kg of waste each year. That’s eight of me! And trust me, the world does not need eight more of me.
In the UK each year we produce enough waste to fill Lake Windemere. I mean, that’s a lot. I’ve been there. It takes about ten minutes to drive down just one length of it.
I’m sure you’ve all read one fact or another about recycling and Carbon footprint, and have been made to feel sufficiently guilty about the whole thing, but I am not here to make you feel guilty. I am here to call you to action. Something genuinely must be done to reduce, or even eradicate the amount of waste we are producing. Why, when we can recycle most things and all food and garden waste is compostable, are we still producing so much waste?
A glass, plastic, and paper and cardboard bin and a compost bin are all it takes to drastically reduce the wastage of a household. But really leading a completely zero waste lifestyle does take a bit more effort. Buying food in bulk, to avoid lots of unnecessary packaging is one thing – this can easily be done with dried goods for the food store, and buying refillables is another clever solution – with coffee, tea, and even milk this is easy. Spending a little more time thinking about packaging and what you will do with the packaging of the product after it has been used, and then knowing where to put it afterwards is so important.