Zero waste is something of a buzzword nowadays. Conjuring up images of smiling bloggers holding a jar filled with a year’s worth of rubbish in it or maybe it’s your favourite Instagram account that signs off with #zerowastejourney.
The truth is that zero waste is important and it’s something that we all should be thinking about participating in. The future depends on it. Literally. But what does a zero waste life look like? Will your small compost heap in your garden flat really make all the difference? We’re here to answer all your questions and delve deeper into the world of Zero Waste.
What is zero waste?
Let’s start with the most important question: what is it? To put it simply, zero waste means we aim to send nothing to landfill. We reduce what we buy, reuse as much as possible, send little to recycling, and compost what we cannot. Easy.
Unfortunately, the real answer is that it’s not so simple. For zero waste to be an effective solution, the way we see resources as waste needs to be redefined. Just as it’s not right to say that plastic = bad, zero waste needs to be approached with nuance and a whole lot of planning.
Changing the way we think about waste
At the moment, our society mostly works in a linear way. We source materials, we make things, we sell things, and then we throw them away. But this isn’t sustainable. In order to move towards a more eco-friendly and long-lasting method of production, ultimately, we need to change the way we think about waste.
Instead of viewing our rubbish as waste, we need to look at it as a valuable resource. Nothing in nature is “rubbish”. This means adopting a circular method of producing “stuff”. Rather than throwing away materials at the end of their life, we should see how we can reuse them. Now, this won’t be able to happen for all waste products. After all, some things are thrown away for good reason, such as being toxic or harmful. However, the goal would be to phase these kinds of materials out altogether.
Adopting a zero waste lifestyle
That’s all well and good but where can you start? You may have heard of the three R’s but if you want to move towards Zero Waste, it’s all about the 5 Rs. These are the five ways in which to reduce waste. You start with the top and if you can’t do that, move on to the next. So let’s introduce the 5 R’s!
Refuse - say no to what you don’t need. That’s single-use plastic, plastic bags, non-biodegradable bin bags, plastic razors, coffee cups etc. Thankfully, more and more reusable options are out there so just say no.
Reduce - Do you really need another pair of leggings? Or what about the latest iPhone when yours is still working fine? Reducing the new things that you think you need is a good way to start your journey to zero waste.
Reuse - obviously this will be a personal favourite as a reusable deodorant brand but it’s actually easier than you might think. Start with buying second hand, that can be clothes, furniture, even plants!
Recycle - You know this R well. It shouldn’t be the first option but if you can’t refuse, reduce, or reuse it, try to recycle it.
Rot - Whatever's left, usually food, compost it! You don’t need a garden to compost, you can do it in your city flat. Plus, did you know our refills are 100% compostable?
Don’t be disheartened by what might seem like a giant mountain to climb. Although it’s true that changes need to happen in big industries, everyone can make a difference. Your reusable bag and Fussy deodorant aren’t a waste of time! Just think, every week you put your bins up and for most of us, that’s a full wheelie bin of rubbish. Now imagine how many bin bags that is every year and times that by the population. That’s a lot of waste ending up in a hole in the ground. So believe us when we say, every little bit counts. But you aren’t going to get there alone...
Designing For Zero Waste
While consumers can make individual changes to their everyday habits, we need to move towards responsible production and not just consumption of products. And this is where design and innovation comes into play. We need to move towards products that are reusable, durable, and organic rather than disposable, cheap, and synthetic.
When designing Fussy, our challenge was to create a high quality, eco-friendly natural deodorant that actually worked. That meant no rubbing creams under your armpits, no cardboard tubes that you can’t get wet, and no complicated recycling instructions. And did you know our refillable deodorant offers a carbon reduction of 81% compared to a usual disposable product over 12 months! Who wouldn’t want to refill? And the even better news is, it’s not just Fussy doing it’s bit. Lots of brands are innovating in the space.
But our guilty secret...we’re NOT a zero waste deodorant
Yep it’s true. We’re not zero waste. Just being honest. And we’d be wary of any brand that claims to be entirely zero waste. The truth is the manufacturing of any cosmetic or personal care product causes some wastage during the process, it’s standard part of any manufacturing process. And although Fussy isn’t entirely zero waste, principles of zero waste are what guided our product development. It’s why we designed a case in one, durable recycled and recyclable material that’s designed to keep not throw away. It’s the reason our refills are made from waste sugar cane and are 100% compostable. And it’s the reason all of our packaging is made from recycled materials. So yeah we’re good. But we’re not zero waste.