For a sustainable life: how Zero Waste works

by tine sintermann on March 24, 2021

Waste - a worldwide problem of modern consumer society. Disposal and recycling are difficult and laborious processes. Our resources are limited, and at the same time the mountains of garbage are growing, plastic floats in the oceans and microplastic blows with wind and rain around the globe. A sustainable lifestyle for all is necessary for the survival of the planet and its rapidly growing population. The simple formula to counteract: Produce less waste!

Zero Waste at Home - how it works

Having an eye on moderate consumption

Avoiding waste - it’s simple and difficult at the same time. The idea is simple, but even those who consume little can hardly avoid it, e.g. packaging waste: Everything seems to be indestructibly shrink-wrapped, at least twice. Or electronic devices (with shorter and shorter half-lives): they inevitably end up in the trash - in the best case scenario, in a designated e-waste container or at a recycling center. Therefore: consume less in general, consume more consciously, focus on sustainably produced furniture, clothes, cosmetics. This downsizes not only your garbage can, but also reduces your personal CO2 footprint. Take a conscious look when something ends up in the trash again - what would have been the alternative?

 

Consuming more consciously

  • When shopping, avoid plastic and expensive paper bags. Take your own bags with you, use reusable fruit and vegetable nets, as they are now tolerated and sold in most supermarkets.
  • Go for fresh, unwrapped fruits from local farms, either at the supermarket or at the farmer's market. Especially organic products are more and more offered without plastic packaging. Avoid packaged vegetables with long travel distances. The same goes for sausage and cheese: buy it preferably at the fresh food counter.
  • Always the latest craze? Question your consumption habits when it comes to your gadgets and gear. Does it have to be another new smartphone or tablet? Is there real added value in a new purchase? The raw materials for smartphones and computers are mined under the most difficult human and ecological conditions and are often recycled under unhealthy conditions.
  • When it comes to clothes, fast fashion doesn't seem to go out of fashion: Buying, wearing, throwing away - after only one season. Due to cheap wages and transport routes, clothing has become a cheap disposable product that is consumed in tons. Nevertheless, they are not suitable for longer use, resale or clothing donation because their half-life is too short. So: Keep your eyes open when choosing your clothes! Isn't any closet too full anyway? Does it really have to be the umpteenth pair of sneakers in blue?
  • Shelves, cabinets, chairs - in the past, furniture and furnishings were purchases for several generations. Nowadays fashion and taste change faster and inexpensive furniture sometimes doesn't last more than one move. Therefore: Consume with a sense of proportion and rely on sustainable and environmentally friendly production, such as with plastic- and pollutant-free furniture from D3CO.

 

Do it yourself - it's easy

  • Shampoo, shower gel, soap - the countless plastic bottles piling up in bathrooms are yesterday's waste. Look around for products in glass bottles, in tab form and with cardboard outer packaging. More and more manufacturers are changing their way of thinking!
  • Make your own cosmetics and cleaning products! There’s a whole DIY movement on the Internet, where you learn how to mix creams, soaps or cleaning products in your kitchen with just a few simple ingredients. Guaranteed free of toxic substances, microplastics and palm oil!
  • Tap water can also sparkle! In many countries tap water is clean and healthy and can be drunk without any problems. If you prefer sparkling water, best use a home soda maker. If your water contains too much lime, you can use an additional external or built-in water filter. But what about reusable bottles? The problem is, they also have to be transported, cleaned, and disposed of after a certain period of use.  
  • Get smart! Consume consciously  and rely on suppliers who can label their products, clothing, furniture, cosmetics, with sustainability certificates. Did you know that expensive is not always better? Even famous fashion brands have their goods produced under low wages, precarious working conditions and harmful substances.