Are you interested in living intentionally, healthier or just an overall more environmentally conscious lifestyle? Then you are in the right place. Together we will learn about what it means to appreciate the world around us, reduce our waste, and even our own possessions. If you are a scientist yourself, a science enthusiast, or just someone that just accepts that science was that thing you took some classes in, hated it, and moved on with your life, this is also a place for you, too.
So what even is zero waste?
According to the Zero Waste Alliance, zero waste is defined as “Zero Waste is a goal that is ethical, economical, efficient and visionary, to guide people in changing their lifestyles and practices to emulate sustainable natural cycles, where all discarded materials are designed to become resources for others to use. Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them. Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health.”
That could be a mouthful, but really the zero waste movement is about moving toward a “circular economy”. Currently our things go straight to the landfill once we are done with them, but what if, instead, we used our finished materials to create completely new things?
To learn more, I suggest checking out The Story of Stuff video and Cradle to Cradle is a book about what a circular economy would look like.
Long story short, forget what you know, “zero waste” is not about perfection, or creating ZERO trash. The movement welcomes you and your imperfections.
What is minimalism?
Taken from The Minimalists, The minimalism movement is “…a tool to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important—so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom.” In our current world, we are taught that buying things will fill a void in our lives (this is actually covered pretty well in that Story of Stuff Video I talked about earlier). “Once I get a house, a new car everything will be easier, better etc”. We hear it all the time, or at least I did from my parents. “If only we had a little more money..” is a common one. To me, the minimalism movement is about retaking control of our lives from debt, and consumerism, and yes “stuff”, in place for inner peace and content. The minimalism movement is big for the reduction of material possessions, but there’s a lot more to it, and I hope to write about these things on my blog.
What do these movements have to do with each other?
The minimalism movement, although separate, overlaps with the Zero Waste movement. People have different opinions on this, but mine is that you can be minimal without being zero waste (you own 100 items but one isn’t a reusable plate to eat on so you use disposables to “save time”) you can also be zero waste without being minimal (you save every jar to avoid putting it in a landfill, or you own more reusable bags than you will ever have the opportunity of using) and then there is an overlap. By reducing your material possessions, you reduce how much will eventually wind up in a landfill. You only own what you need, so resources aren’t being wasted by your consumption.
I also connect with the idea of intentional living through the minimalism movement. When you are conscious about your everyday actions and your impact, you also make the connection to how your daily actions impact the planet.
You write about science, too?
In a way. As environmentalism becomes a hot topic, the more I see “quick solutions” or the “next big thing”. I dig more into those 30 second videos to really see what the new developments are. I also enjoy writing about ingredients in different products that may be controversial. However, the name Zero Waste Scientist is really just because of me! I am a scientist and I write the blog!
Who even are you?
My name is Tara. You can read a little more about me on the About Me page. But in short I write and run the ZWS.