By Andres Peña
The pursuit of Zero Waste has become a common practice in people’s lives as a way to reduce the waste they produce.
Before we dive in on ways you can incorporate zero waste in your life, here are a few reasons why it's worth considering:
• Every year U.S. businesses use around 21 million tons of paper every year
• It takes 500 years for average sized plastic water bottles to fully decompose
• Over 100,000 marine animals die every year from discarded plastic
• The US itself produced 38.5 million tons of trash in 2018
• Although 75% of America’s waste is recyclable, we only recycle around 30%
Even though it may look like a big step to take, there are a few ways you can incorporate it in your life over time:
Pack your lunch
This will not only help the environment as you avoid take out containers, but it’s also a great way to save money!
Use water fountains and reusable containers
Choosing water fountains over plastic bottles is a HUGE way to reduce the plastic production, also, there are a ton of options for reusable containers like metal or glass, which will keep your drinks at the right temperature.
Use public transportation or carpool
Even though public transportation is not fully developed in a lot of cities throughout the US and other countries, carpooling is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, save money and build new relationships (win, win, win!).
Avoid printing or do it double sided
More and more it’s common to see digital options for everything we do, however, if you absolutely need to print, make sure you do it double sided or keep that pice of paper and reuse it another time.
Choose real plates and silver ware
Some office spaces have real plates and silver ware which allows employees to reduce their plastic or styrofoam consumption. In restaurants, when dinning in is not an option, try taking your own food recipients, that way you can take your food anywhere you want without having to create any trash.
Shrink your energy footprint
Remember to always unplug the electronics you’re not using, even when not used, if they’re connected, they are using power!
Cut back on packing waste
In the Amazon era is hard to say no to packaging, but sometimes buying local can be a good alternative and a great way to support your local businesses.
Recycle and compost
Even though recycling is not the best option since a lot of countries recycle a very small percentage of the trash they produce, if your community has a good program for recycling make sure you are a part of it. Also, compost! It’s great for gardening and it’s yet another way to get rid of those food scraps.
Being stewards of the resources that God has given access to is a big task. As the church, the practice of taking care of the environment not only has a great impact on the ecosystem, but on the people who live in it too. When everything comes back to loving God and loving people - this is a beautiful and practical way to love our neighbor.