In a new series coming to RTL Today, we will be providing advice on how you can reduce household waste - from plastic to packaging and beyond.
First thing first: going zero-waste is intimidating, and it's really difficult. It's not something you do overnight, and while an admirable goal, explicitly setting out with this as an immediate target is likely setting yourself up to fail. Going zero waste means that you will have to give up many, many of the little things that can take a day from bad to good, or good to great - there are tonnes of foods you wouldn't be able to eat, and other treats you'd have to miss.
So that's not the aim of our guide, though it will help you on the way there if that is your goal. Instead, over the next several weeks, we will be publishing a weekly column where two of our contributors - former intern and current translator Zara Castagna and editor Martin Jonsson - will share with you their own experiences in reducing waste, and tips and tricks they've picked up along the way. A personal guide to reducing waste, if you will.
Why reduce waste
With climate change and the environmental impact of our consumption a big part of contemporary discussion, chances are you very aware indeed of why reducing waste is a good thing. It's worth remembering that the average person in Luxembourg produces 52kg of plastic waste per year, well above the EU average of 31kg. Earlier this year, Greenpeace launched a campaign to highlight the importance of reducing waste. It's also important to note that a lot of packaging cannot be effectively recycled, if at all.
The principles of reducing waste
You may be familiar with the basic principles of reducing waste already. In order: refuse, reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle.
The idea is that you should start by refusing to accept or purchase something with unwanted packaging, to the extent possible at least. If unavoidable, try to reduce the quantity you buy. Then, reuse the unwanted element rather than throwing it away. If that's not an option (or has been done a time too many), can you repurpose it for another use? Only after these steps should you recycle, which is a last resort rather than an immediate solution to the waste issue.
About the series
The series will progress from room to room, looking at how you can easiest reduce waste in each room of the house. The first few instalments will focus on what we personally found to be the easiest: the bathroom. From there we'll move to the kitchen, through to other living spaces. We'll also have instalments on where and what to buy, and much more. If you have any requests for something you would like us to answer, feel free to drop a comment below.