I can’t keep emphasising how important no waste living is. Even if we cannot achieve it so easily, we can still try to transition to a low-waste living, till we reach our goal. How can we do that?
There are plenty of ways to engage in low-waste lifestyle. First of all, you can start buying unpackaged food in bulk. No extra plastic and packaging, which is great, isn’t it? If you are in and around Luxembourg, there’s a store coming up soon, dedicated to selling unpackaged goods only, called OUNI, which means ‘without’ in the local language.
Then, you can actually start buying LESS. You can change from an impulsive buyer, with a tendency towards overconsumption to a conscious consumer. You can buy only what you NEED; there’s nothing more simple than that. How do you define the word ‘need’? Well, you do need an item, when you are sure that you will wear it continuously. Let’s say, more than thirty times at least. How does that sound? It’s a great criterion, I believe. While choosing what you need, it’s also wise to go for quality; opt for something that will last for more, and then you can give it to a friend, a member of your family, if after a couple of years you don’t feel like using it any more.
Swapping plays an important role in Circular Economy. I am a huge advocate for circularity, and many others out there. Circular Economy is the most sustainable thing you can think of. You buy stuff and when you don’t need them any more, you can pass them on to those who do. Or, you can rent stuff instead of buying. Again, if you happen to be in Luxembourg, there is an online toy shop called KOUNI TOYS, where you can rent toys for as long as you want, then send them back and rent different ones and so on so forth.
Or, companies could not be selling you stuff, but services. For instance, they will sell you the use of a washing machine, i.e. 300 washing cycles. They still own the machine, they are there to fix it if anything goes wrong, and they will take it back once you will be done with you 300 washing cycles.
Upcycling is a form of circularity. You are using existing items to repurpose them, to give them new functions, to transform them into something new. Which means that you prolong their life cycle, instead of disposing them. You have understood that I love upcycling clothes and the last ‘Upcycle your T-Shirt’ workshop I’ve held at the DIY Festival at Rotondes last Saturday -an event focusing on building communities and promoting sustainability – made me seriously proud. So many ladies came over, smiles and all, full of creativity: they transformed old t-shirts into beautiful necklaces. A ridiculously easy process: you just need a pair of scissors and your imagination. You can check online for dozens of ideas and examples. And then, you enjoy wearing your creation and you have a clean conscience, because you saved the environment from one t-shirt that would potentially end up in a landfill.
So, what are you waiting for? Start using your imagination and reduce, reuse, recycle (waste), or repurpose, reclaim -you can use any word you like; keep it circular: stay true to From-Cradle-to-Cradle concept and keep closing the loop!