Are you familiar with the Zero Waste movement? For those of us who love this planet or are budding environmentalists – including all of us on a shamanic or Earth Medicine path – Zero Waste is one of the ways we can strengthen our relationship with Mother Earth.
What is Zero Waste? Per the Zero Waste Canada website, it is:
🌿 a philosophy, a target, and it is a call to action that aims to bring an end to the current take, make, and waste mentality of human society. Zero Waste addresses the entire social system of how we make, consume, and dispose of our “stuff”.
We can decrease our waste with some gentle first steps into this movement when we purchase food and cleaning products:
🌾 Start by rethinking what you are cooking and what you are using for household and personal cleaning. What can you make yourself? What can you cook using only fresh local seasonal ingredients, organic dairy and proteins, or dried items such as beans, legumes and herbs? Do you need commercial cleansers, or can you make your own with basics such as Castile liquid soap, baking soda and vinegar?
🌾Buy non-prepackaged foods at the supermarket — instead, select from the bulk food section for baking supplies, grains, herbs, etc and fresh items from the produce section
🌾Take your own bags and containers for filling where permissible. Many shops now support that. Many have programs where you can refill when you bring back the original container or if you bring in your own clean container for filling (here in Vancouver, Canada, The Soap Dispensary is a great example of this)
🌾 Shop at bulk food establishments and local farmers markets
🌾 Consider growing your own veggies or joining an urban farming collective for weekly boxes of fresh seasonal items… and consider taking your first steps into ethical foraging, and home canning and preserving
🌾Compost your food scraps, either in your own composter or through programs in your municipality
When we make sustainable choices, we benefit not just our planet and our generation but the next generation… and the next.
There are many ways to move towards Zero Waste, using the traditional 3Rs of Reduce Reuse Recycle …and these expanded 8Rs:
- (and last resort) Recycle
What can you do today to move towards Zero Waste in support of Mother Earth?
What am I doing? I now make most of my household and personal care products. I buy clothing that is ethically produced and made from sustainable materials. We buy very few packaged foods and these items decrease daily. We shop at local farmers markets, and eat seasonal items. And I recently joined a local group that is creating a community permaculture garden nearby which will be a place for community sharing, learning, and harvesting.
And this is just the beginning… Using the Zero Waste mindset, we can review our work space, home office, the clothing we buy and more.
We can each make a difference, and our collective efforts can make a huge difference!