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- The 6 R’s of Zero Waste: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle, Rot

Refuse:  Refuse to accept what you do not need

Reduce:  What you do need

Reuse:  Repair, Rethink, Return, Rescue, Repurpose

Repair: Instead of throwing away

Recycle:  It's about recycling less

Rot:  Help it turn back into dirt

The Story of Stuff

The Zero Waste perspective looks at the entire life-cycle (extraction to disposal) of the products we buy and encourages buying less; using reusables; and buying items where disposal of them leads to reusing, recycling, or rotting. Annie Leonard best explains this life-cycle process and the unsustainability of our disposable consumerism. This video will broaden your awareness and thought process when you make your next consumption choice.

Money Savings

Shopping Zero Waste style means buying in bulk as much as you can by bringing your own container. Most packaging is all about the marketing and costs companies money for the material, design, and manufacturing where the cost directly goes to the buyer.

Here's a price check I did on rice in a package and bulk:

A 2lb bag of organic brown rice on sale cost $3.34 a pound. Not on sale it would have cost $4.19 a pound.

In bulk the same rice cost $2.69 a pound. I see these price differences all the time.

Another aspect of the Zero Waste lifestyle is about making your own products whether it's cleaning, beauty, or food products. An example is deodorant. You can make your own deodorant for about $1 or less and in the store the same deodorant in a smaller amount costs about $8.69.

Use the internet as your resource and start looking up what you are out of to find a recipe. Most products only take a few minutes to make, last for months, save you money, and are healthier for you.

The last idea about money savings is that you end up buying less. Then what you do buy is more durable, lasts longer, and can sometimes be repaired.

Prepare to save money!

Save your time for the more important things in life

Zero Waste to me means not wasting your time as well. Some rules to think about implementing in your strategy are:

* Touch it once. This means when you pick something up, put it where it belongs the first time you pick it up. Sometimes we pick something up and set it down halfway to its home because we were distracted. This takes more time to deal with items.

* Everything has a home. If you can't find a home for something, reevaluate if you really need it in your life or can you use something else in its place.

* Look for multipurpose items. In the kitchen and around the house, do you really need all those specialty items that you only use once or twice yet have to sift through to find things, constantly clean, and organize over and over again? Keep the items that can be used for more than one purpose to minimize clutter.

* Simplify. If you find yourself constantly cleaning and organizing things, reevaluate if you really need them and simplify.

* Establish your process. During your Zero Waste journey, focus on the process. Every change you make needs to become habit and it's easier to establish a habit if you establish how to solidify it by creating a process. Whether it's how to remember your shopping bags or to-go bag, establish your process and practice it.

Now get ready to enjoy more free time for the important things in life!

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Heather Guevara On KNYO 4/26

Presentation by Heather Guevara at Fort Bragg City council