Zero Waste: It’s Not Just A Trash Story

In almost 3 years of living a zero waste lifestyle, I have had time to see my definition of the term “zero waste” evolve. Indeed, if I embarked on this change of life, it was mainly to reduce my waste and my environmental impact linked to my trash.

In the end today I realize that the word zero waste means so much more, it is much broader than simply being interested in your trash and what it contains. Be careful, I’m not saying that it’s bad to only be interested in your trash, because in the end everything starts more or less with that and it’s already HUGE!

I’m simply saying that as my zero waste journey progressed, I expanded on the definition I had of my lifestyle. Moreover, at the start of each of my conferences, I like to clarify what zero waste is for me in order to make it clear that it is not just a story of trash, but that it is good more. Often, the people present have attitudes that are consistent with the zero waste approach, but don’t even know it, because for them zero waste = bulk shopping only!

It’s a shame that the term zero waste has been limited (often in the media) to the household aspect of “bulk shopping for the home”, because adopting a zero waste attitude encompasses so many other things!


reduce your production of waste going to the trash (to be incinerated or buried) at home by shopping in bulk and/or without single-use packaging

when purchasing products not available in bulk, favor reusable or recyclable packaging (remember to recycle correctly)

adopt a composter for all organic matter, a fair return to the Earth (some localities offer them!)

consume differently by choosing quality products, good for the planet, preferably local and organic, seasonal and coming from a small producer to whom the money will go directly

reduce waste production also outside (picnics, trips, outings, gifts, etc.)

adopt sustainable rather than disposable

try as much as possible to no longer buy new, but favor recycling, second hand, repair, second-hand in order to preserve natural material and not waste

lend, borrow or rent instead of buying (books, tools, etc.)

when purchasing new, invest in quality things, made in top working conditions for employees and the planet and if possible made in France

no longer waste food by learning how to use leftovers and cook your peelings, for example

reduce or stop your consumption of animal products and especially meat/fish (animal farming represents 20% of CO2 emissions compared to 2% only for civil aviation according to the UN)

adopt a more minimalist attitude by surrounding ourselves with essential things that make us happy and not fall into the abyss of excessive overconsumption

take an interest in issues related to the environment in order to have the most keys in hand to act as best as possible

support and encourage initiatives implemented on a small or large scale in favor of the protection of the environment and its inhabitants

favor more ecological or slower modes of public transport (bicycle or on foot for example)

do not waste water, electricity, gasoline, gas… resources that are not eternal

change electricity supplier (for example Enercop) to say no to nuclear power and yes to sustainable energies (wind, sun, etc.)

raise awareness in a non-anxiogenic way among those around us who are interested in these issues in order to find solutions to the problems together.

Of course this is only an exhaustive list (I probably have to skip a lot of them!) and it is complicated to respect all these criteria 100% without potentially generating frustration or stress. The important thing is to do what you can, what you want and to be happy doing it. No frustrations, this way of life is nothing but happiness and kindness for oneself, the planet and its inhabitants!

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