I read a few weeks ago that Wales is almost halfway to becoming a ‘zero waste’ society. With 48% of their household garbage being recycled, they’re doing better than almost any other Western country.
Reducing one’s impact on the environment is one of the key aims of minimalism (and minimalism is a key tenet of Escapology), so my partner and I got to thinking about how we could nudge our own household closer to the zero waste target.
We were already casual recyclers of the usual materials (plastic, glass, paper, cans), but we were still producing a bag of miscellaneous garbage every week. These are the steps we took to further minimise what we send to landfill:
– We checked the details of what can be recycled in our neighbourhood. It turns out that Tetrapacks (milk and juice cartons) can be recycled but we’d always ignorantly binned them. So now we recycle those.
– Our area has no municipal compost programme and we have no garden, so a sizable portion of our waste has been vegetable matter. My girlfriend’s parents, however, live in an area with a compost programme, so we keep it all in a Tupperware box, which I then carry to their house on our weekly visit.
– I never used to bother recycling small pieces of paper like bus tickets and grocery receipts. Fiddly, innit? But now I do.
– We’ve committed absolutely to reusable grocery bags. We never accept a single-use plastic bag from a shop now. Ever! I hate carrier bags. When they’re not suffocating babies or choking sea turtles, they’re hanging forlorn and muddy in a tree. Let’s stop using them.
The only things left in our garbage at the end of the week are non-recyclable plastic wrappers, beer bottle tops, and egg shells. It can be squished down to the size of a tennis ball.
Garbage management is not going to help directly in your escape, but looking after the environment will help us all to live in a better world. Like they do in Wales.