The 7 Facets of the No-Waste Mindset
Ardent ‘waste watchers’ are guided in their purchasing and consumption by underlying principles which we have codified and call, “The 7 Facets of the No-Waste Mindset”. This mindset, which is guided by zero waste principles, can help anyone to reduce needless waste from their lives no matter where they live, no matter if it’s a one-person household, an extended family or more.
The No-Waste Mindset acknowledges that we lead busy, on the go lives today. We rely on the power of technology, smart design, and efficient use of materials and resources to live better. We put our trust in favorite brands that are aligned with our zero waste values.
Get inspired to align with each ‘no-waste’ facet by linking to the stories and tips submitted by the members of our WeHateToWaste global community.
Reduce, Reuse, Refill
It starts with what you buy — or choose not to buy. Of course, don’t buy anything you don’t need. And when you do buy, go for ‘less quantity and more quality.’ Think about it, wouldn’t you rather show off your few prized possessions rather than a mountain of cheap and meaningless stuff’? There’s a reason why durable is better than disposable and reduce and reuse (refill, too) come before recycle on the road to zero waste.
Share Rather Than Own
It’s great to own stuff, but sometimes you just need access to the stuff (and let someone else deal with the maintenance and the storage). Think about all the things that you own that don’t get used day to day, week to week, or even year to year. Others could use them when you’re not and vice versa. It’s a new trend called the Sharing Economy, and it’s being facilitated by the internet — and it’s making lives easier, better, more affordable and with a lot more community for millions around the globe.
GETTING THE MOST FROM PRODUCTS AND YOUR HOME
Respect Energy, Water and Other Resources
Alot of the stuff we buy consumes water, energy, paper, and other resources. Cutting down on wasted resources — when we brush our teeth, do the laundry, or print a copy begins with new habits and innovative designs.
Did you know that about 40 – 50% of all food ready for harvest in the U.S. never makes it to a table
? A lot of this waste occurs from farm to retailer, but consumers can do their part by taking pains to carefully preserve food, reinvent leftovers, and eat all their spinach!
The average home in America has more than doubled in size since 1970, and there are more cars than drivers. When homes have more space than necessary, stuff tends to accumulate. How many people do you know who no longer use their garage for a car? Having just as much space as you need challenges you to use that space wisely, and to live smarter, smaller and closer to work and play. (Want to read more about this? Check out David Owen’s tips for living smaller, living closer and reducing gas miles HERE
Repair and Repurpose
Within products and packaging are embedded materials and energy that will go to waste if you dispose — even recycle or compost — prematurely. Don’t get rid of something before its time is really up. Opt for repairing rather than replacing or get those creative juices flowing and find a new niche for an item. Get in the spirit of D.I.Y. to save money and achieve zero waste!
Recycle or Compost
Ban the trash can! Compost the food scraps! Make sure products are sent to the appropriate place when their useful life is over. That torn newspaper blowing in the wind on a park bench could have been placed in a recycling bin. That leftover apple carelessly tossed in the garbage could have been deposited in a compost container. When a product can no longer be used for primary or secondary purpose, capture the materials and energy embodied in them by recycling or composting, rather than disposing of them in a landfill. That’s the key to getting to zero waste.
AND ONE MORE…
GROW THE MOVEMENT
All of us are part of the solution. And each one of us has an important role to play whether it be as a green mom, policymaker, product designer, storyteller, or anything else.
Do your part:
- Share your ideas
- Be a role model
- Teach children and others in your community
- Try out new products and practices and share your experiences
- Advocate to industry and government
- Keep learning. Never stop asking questions.
Learn how to GET INVOLVED in our community.