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What is Zero Waste

Zero Waste Living

The term Zero Waste started out as an industry term for manufacturing processes that resulted in no or minimum waste. It can be achieved by feeding waste back into the manufacturing process in the form of raw material or fuel. Manufacturing that operates “zero waste” is central to the concept of a circular economy — an economy based on reuse and recycling of waste to generate new products.

Over 10 years ago the term Zero Waste was adopted by French blogger Bea Johnson in the US to describe her efforts to reduce her family’s waste. She blogs about her efforts at zerowastehome.com. Nowadays “Zero Waste” is typically used to describe a way of life or thinking that has waste minimisation on an individual or household level at its heart.

Although the term “Zero” is used in “Zero Waste”, it is impossible for an individual to produce no waste at all. For this reason “Low-waste lifestyle” or “Low-impact lifestyle” are more accurate descriptions of what is commonly known as the Zero Waste way of living. But “Zero Waste” is catchier, I have to admit.

What are the 5 R’s of zero waste?

Refuse what you do not need - even if it is free!

Reduce what you cannot refuse - reduce your consumption foremost!

Reuse what you have already!

Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, reuse or repair!

Rot the rest - compost everything you can by giving back valuable resources to Mother Earth (-: