Zero waste, how to avoid generating waste

To stop climate change and take care of planet Earth, how we produce and consume food is essential. This is what the United Nations Food Organization (FAO) warns.

Of the total annual CO2 emissions, 34% comes from the food industry at the production, marketing and consumption stages according to FAO data. By weight, this equates to about 18 billion tons of carbon dioxide per year.

Although the picture is bleak, different movements are emerging around the world to reverse the situation. This is the case of reducing the consumption of animal products, buying local products “Km 0”, reducing waste “Zero waste”

The aim of these trends is to generate the smallest possible environmental footprint during the food process, avoiding, for example, the generation of waste, in particular plastics, and food waste.


What does zero waste mean?

This current applied to the food industry is possible to implement by putting into practice some basic rules such as avoiding the use of plastics and single-use containers. This is achieved, for example, by buying products in bulk and bringing your own container, preferably glass.

You can also replace plastic straws with cardboard, bamboo or metal.

If the fruit is a little “overripe”, the idea is to rethink the recipes in order to take advantage of it. If this is not possible, offer them to animals such as pigs and chickens and, as a last resort, compost them so that they return to the soil.

Other zero waste formulas

From Zero Residue, they have compiled the following list with other gestures that you can take on a daily basis to minimize the impact of the environmental footprint:

  1. Bet on a long-lasting sunscreen. Each year, between 6,000 and 14,000 tonnes of sunscreen are dumped into the seas and oceans, seriously damaging the fauna and flora of the marine environment. Algae, corals and fish are among the living beings affected by the proliferation of chemicals in the water. This is why we can change the traditional protection for a natural sunscreen, respectful of the environment and our skin.
  2. Say no to plastic bottles. If as soon as you go out you feel the need to buy a bottle of water, why not take it home? There are endless Zero Residue alternatives, such as stainless steel bottles, the best option because it is a very hygienic material that does not retain odors or flavors.
  3. In summer, it is possible to save water. Avoid wasting this source of life with easy daily gestures such as taking a shower instead of bathing and shortening these showers, or turning off the tap when you are not using it or using the washing machine and the dishwasher at full capacity. load and with the ECO program.
  4. Replaces plastic bags. Make a habit of saying no when someone offers you a plastic bag to store your purchases. This does not mean that we have to carry the items by hand, for this there are reusable bags that will save us more than a hurry. There are organic cotton nets for storing fruit or cotton fabric, among other options.
  5. Yes to coffee, no to capsules. Coffee is needed at any time of the year, but in the summer it keeps us awake on hot afternoons. However, did you know that every year 7 billion coffee pods are thrown away around the world? An excellent Zero Waste alternative is to opt for a reusable coffee filter made of GOTS certified organic cotton fabric. It is machine washable and will last you for many years.
  6. Forget plastic in cosmetics and personal hygiene. If you are traveling or moving, or even if you are staying at home, opt for solid shampoos, solid soaps, plastic-free toothpastes, cloth pads, menstrual cups, etc. There is a wide range of products to become zero waste in this regard, while taking care of us. For example, Armonia Cosmética Natural, whose packaging is 100% recyclable and its formulas respectful of the environment. In fact, they are made of aluminium, which is the second most used metal in architecture, transport and now also in cosmetics, due to its great malleability, resistance and ease of reuse, since the aluminum is completely recyclable indefinitely and without losing its qualities. . In addition, Armonía shampoos are made from 96% natural ingredients and have a vegan and sulfate-free formula. When it comes to personal hygiene, using a menstrual cup instead of tampons or pads will also significantly reduce your environmental impact.
  7. Save money and take care of the environment with cream or solid deodorants. It is a product that we use daily and more so in summer when we sweat due to high temperatures. However, those that come in aerosol form are more complicated to recycle, so we can replace them with more sustainable alternatives.
  8. There is life beyond aluminum foil or plastic wrap. They are other kings in terms of disposables. They are used to wrap sandwiches and other snacks that we take to the beach or to a picnic in the mountains knowing that their lifespan is very short. But there are other options like reusable and biodegradable sandwich and snack holders, with a button closure, ideal for transporting the sandwich. Also very interesting are the waterproof and malleable beeswax wraps suitable for taking snacks and other small foods with you.
  9. Reduce the use of tissues or towels. A great option is to replace traditional napkins with cloth napkins, so that your picnic or beach day’s waste generation is almost zero. When you get home, just throw them in the washing machine and they’ll be ready for the next excursion.
  10. Compost organic waste. Although we try not to waste food and always cook just enough for each moment, it is inevitable that there will be leftover food. This is the case with potato skin or mandarin zest, to give two simple examples. The solution to this waste? Composting, a technique by which organic waste is transformed into fertilizer that we can use for our plants.
  11. Take advantage of the good weather to buy in bulk. Enjoy the sun and forget the conventional supermarkets with their artificial lights, where you will find everything wrapped in disposable plastic. Walk the streets and return to convenience stores, the market and bulk stores.
  12. Take the train or the bus. Summer is synonymous with travel. This is why the train or bus is more efficient and pollutes less than traveling with your own vehicle. A bus emits 68 grams of CO2 per passenger per kilometer, while driving your own car would represent around 105 grams of CO2. In addition, there are alternatives like traveling in a shared vehicle.

The FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) estimates that the direct economic cost of lost or wasted products is €900,000 million per year.

With some of these actions it is possible to avoid it, it is a matter of commitment and organization.

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