Are you hearing more and more about zero waste around you? This new mode of consumption is, in fact, very popular recently! Many people are turning to this lifestyle to preserve the planet and adopt an ecological approach.

If you are looking to know the meaning of this eco-responsible approach, here is a complete presentation of zero waste.

Definition of zero waste

To explain simply what zero waste is, it is an ecological approach which aims to change your consumption habits in order to reduce your waste production. The goal is to no longer throw away trash at all, or at least in very small quantities.

Zero waste aims to preserve the environment in the face of the accumulation of waste generated by our over-consumption.

This practice particularly targets the unnecessary waste omnipresent around us and single-use products that are thrown away after a single use. This same rubbish which requires exorbitant production costs with devastating impacts on our planet Earth.

The appearance of Zero Waste and Béa Johnson

It was in 2013 that zero waste really started to gain importance. Faced with a society of overconsumption, this movement has stood out. And it is precisely Béa Johnson who made this possible and accessible.

So if you don’t know her yet, know that from now on, she will become one of your references! Béa Johnson is none other than the woman who democratized the zero waste movement. So if you have to remember one name, it’s this one.

Through her blog entitled Zero Wast Home, or through her numerous appearances at conferences, Béa Johnson has succeeded in sharing her values and principles with as many people as possible.

But it is in particular thanks to her famous work “Zero waste, how I made 40% savings by reducing my waste” that she has influenced thousands of readers around the world by telling how she is launched into zero waste.

To quickly tell you the story of this emblematic figure of zero waste, she was born in Avignon and then moved to the United States with her partner and her children.

While living in America with her family, the economic crisis hit them hard. She, her husband and two children had to move to a smaller apartment and adapt their lifestyle to drastically reduce their expenses.

During this move, the family stored most of their items in a storage unit due to lack of space. They therefore decided to adopt a minimalist lifestyle with zero waste.

In her book, she talks about her change in life and explains how she went about achieving zero waste. She also mentions 5 principles which have been used almost everywhere to explain the zero waste approach.

The 5 principles of zero waste

To effectively launch into zero waste, Béa Johnson’s 5 principles are a very good basis!

1. Refuse

The first thing is to refuse what is offered to you if you don’t need it. To give you an example, this could be flyers in the street, gift gadgets distributed during events, napkins and straws given in restaurants, and many other things!

The idea is to simply say no on a daily basis when you encounter these situations. It may seem pointless, but believe me, it’s still less waste in your trash.

2. Reduce

Look at what you have around you and ask yourself if you need all of this. Reducing your unnecessary possessions allows you to sort out your home to move towards a minimalist lifestyle. In particular reduce the use of plastic.

You must surely collect several pans, cutlery, books, clothes and other accessories that you will no longer use… What do you say about getting rid of them? List what you no longer or almost never use and find someone who will make good use of these objects to encourage second hand!

3. Reuse

It is high time to say stop to single-use items: paper towels, cups, cotton swabs, wipes, etc. These are many items that you continually throw away and repurchase! Prioritize washable and reusable.

To reuse the products you already have, you can be creative. Take the example of your old t-shirt that you no longer wear. Why not turn it into a tea towel?

You can also discover the many products from committed brands on my ZeroGaspi website. I present to you different reusable products to replace your everyday products. With a few products to incorporate into your routine, you will quickly see your trash contain much less trash!

4. Recycle

If you find yourself faced with products that you cannot refuse or reuse, you can turn to recycling.

Zero waste allows you to throw away considerably less waste, but it is possible that from time to time, you don’t really know what to do with trash. To recycle effectively, think about selective sorting and the recycling means that your municipality provides. This zero waste gesture is important!

5. Compost

Finally, the last principle of zero waste mentioned by Béa Johnson is the transition to compost.

Compost is a great way to create your own natural fertilizer. And believe me, you can throw away a lot of things: hair, fruit and vegetable peelings, coffee grounds, egg shells, wilted flowers, etc.

You may be thinking that this is impossible for you because you are indoors and you don’t have a garden. Please note that today you can easily find very effective indoor composts to compost directly in your apartment without having bad odors!