What is zero waste ?
Definitions vary, but in general, zero waste doesn’t really mean “zero.” It goes beyond what we send to landfill, including recycling, energy, water, and food waste. Typically, zero waste is an industrial term for a consumer movement encouraging manufacturers to eliminate single use items and non-biodegradable materials. The aim is to push towards a circular economy and increase demand for package-free products or reclaimable packaging. People blog and post about it to heighten awareness about unsustainable consumption and affect change.
– Ariana, Paris To Go.
Imagine winning a zero-waste badge just for switching to a different kind of brush ! They look much prettier in the bathroom. Imagine how cheap these brushes can get when the factories in China that make bamboo chopsticks get into the business … Let’s increase the demand for them and the markets will start to price them better. ( Costco sells them if you live in America. )
This is an Indian apothecary find. This powder is called triphala. It’s an Ayurvedic remedy that was suggested by my elderly relatives who lives in my ancestral village. They have been using it for decades. A few of them are in their 90s and have lot of their teeth intact. So why not ! I tried the baking soda DIY tooth paste and disliked it. This powder tastes tangy and is good for health if ingested. ( In India, you can find it packaged in cardboard boxes or in bulk near farming communities. I apologize for showing a non-scalable solution. )
( My husband doesn’t care for any of this. He uses toothpaste and a plastic toothbrush. My house guests are glad that there is toothpaste in the house. )
Please do not take my advice on the tooth paste. This is something that I am doing for now as a experiment on myself. It may be quack science that I am promoting. Try at your own risk.
What-about-ism(s) I heard this week :
” what about the factory in which the toothbrush got made ? Did the factory use plastic at all? ” ( good question )
“what about the plastic inside your laptop? you are not zero waste” ( Not zero waste. Am low waste. )
“what about the leather shoes you wear ? You have lots of shoes. ” ( Guilty as charged. But everything else I do cant be clouded by the shoes I own ! )
“what about the plastic cap on that glass bottle ? ” ( now, now, you are just picking on me. )
” What about all the plastic parts inside your car ? ” ( errr … you are right. )
” What about the plastic brakes on your bike? ” ( blank sad face )
” Please don’t do this to your children. These are the kinds of children who grow up with no immunity and fall sick all the time. They build resistance by exposure to plastic. ” ( I wanted to punch him in the face )
“If you want to make a change, do what the likes of Bill Gates is doing. Donate a lot of money. That makes a difference. Who cares if you save one plastic tooth brush from being made? ” ( Absolutely. Its a life goal. )
” I know a single mom on minimum wage. She can’t do it. What about her? ” ( She is not the problem. I am. )
” I cant do any of this. Being nice to fellow humans is what matters the most. I am a good person. ” ( Plastic pollution hits the underprivileged humans the most. )
The word got out that there is a woman trying to avoid plastic. It’s making folk around her go defensive. The thing is : it’s alright that I get criticized. Please propose better solutions that you have acted upon. I want this problem tackled from all possible angles. But understand that I am struggling too – not just to do these swaps but to come in terms with my failures.
Also, where can I sign a petition to change the term ‘zero waste’ to ‘low waste’ ?