British housewife Rachelle Strauss has set up a useful and interesting website – myzerowaste.com – to encourage us all to dramatically reduce the tons and reams and cubic miles of needless, planet-choking, polluting, non-biodegradable waste that we generate every day, week and year.
Strauss and her husband and daughter are serious waste-reducers. They’re into using and re-using, recycling and repairing and they’re certainly into letting manufacturers and shops know when they’re covering products in yards of totally unnecessary plastic packaging.
The myzerowaste website is a hotch-potch of tips, discussions, recommendations, links, articles and personal accounts about waste reduction. Whatever your question on reducing waste you’re likely to find answers on this energetic, sprawling, content-filled site. There are a thousand and one tips here for getting more value from your weekly shop, getting more use from household appliances and generating less garbage from your family’s daily activities and consumption.
Given that the average family in the west wastes about 1000 dollars each year on food alone – perfectly good uneaten food that goes into our garbage bins and is then buried or incinerated – it’s clear there is plenty of room to reduce waste and get better value from household budgets at the same time.
Myzerowaste.com features: news about advances in ‘green’ packaging; articles about supermarket practices, good and bad; campaigns you can join on waste initiatives that interest you; stories from website users who have reduced their families’ waste; contributions from celebrities who back various recycling campaigns and an awful lot more. There’s even an article called “Recycling Your Cat” (which, personally, I didn’t want to look at. My cat stays where he is for now, unrecycled. I haven’t finished with him.)
Strauss explains her family’s approach to waste and consumerism on the site:
We consume according to our needs and the needs of the environment we live in
We only consume goods that have recyclable, compostable or reusable packaging
We only consume goods that we need and reduce waste to a minimum
We send a strong message to producers that we won’t be responsible for their waste
We shop seasonally and locally, supporting local trade and fresh foodstuffs
We reject all convenience items with packaging that cannot be reused or recycled
Myzerowaste.com is well worth a look next time you think about reducing the mountains of rubbish society generates and getting better value from the dollars you spend on food, clothes, appliances and other products.