Zero Waste Lifestyle | Christelle Cristina | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (49m)
    • 1. The What & the Why of Zero Waste Living

    • 2. Refuse

    • 3. Reduce

    • 4. Reuse

    • 5. Recycle

    • 6. Rot

    • 7. Zero Waste Perfection & Privilege

    • 8. Our Story

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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to reduce your waste. I will cover what the Zero Waste movement is all about, as well as the 5 principles at the core of the movement: refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. I will also touch upon Zero Waste perfection & privilege.

Meet Your Teacher

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Christelle Cristina

Environmental Educator


• Permaculture • Sustainable Living • Zero Waste •

Permacrafters is an online Eco School that offers 8 courses on various sustainability topics to over 6,000 students worldwide. The school was founded by the French environmental educator Christelle Siohan and the Peruvian crafter Cristina Rojas. Together, we enjoy crafting our own body care products, cleaners, herbal medicine, and we love to forage, ferment, grow our own food, and thrift just about everything. The guiding ethics and principles of permaculture help us in designing our crafts and our lives.





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1. The What & the Why of Zero Waste Living: everyone, I'm crystal from Perma crafters. Welcome to this class on zero waste living today I'll be talking about what zero waste movement is all about. The five principles at the core of this movement, which are to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rots. And in that order, I'll also be talking about privilege and barriers to reaching the 100% 0 waste ideal Gold Perma crafters, as our name suggests, is built on the ethics of permaculture, which are to care for the earth, care for people and share fairly. And one of the most important principles of permaculture is to produce no waste. So permaculture is an ethical design system for sustainable human culture, and it's inspired by nature's designs and in nature there is no waste. It's a cyclical system. So everything in this natural system is continuously recirculated, becoming food for various organisms at different stages, so trash cans and landfills do not exist in nature. But the world we live in today has this throwaway culture with waste as an end product. But waste is an artifact of human existence. So in our current society, resource is air extracted and sent to the landfill but this produced no waste. Permaculture principle asks us to break ourselves out of this culture of obsolescence and consumerism by valuing resource is. So what is waste In the zero waste movement, waste is generally referred to as trash. It's essentially anything that ends up in the landfill or any non biodegradable item that accidentally slash on purpose ends up out in nature. So the goal in the zero waste movement is to get as close as possible to having an empty trash can and to send nothing to the dump. That doesn't mean they get to stockpile useless items at home just to save them from the jump, either. Reducing what you don't need to simplify your life is definitely part of going zero waste. Recycling is also part of the equation, but only as a last resort, and I'll get to that in a moment. So when someone says that they are zero waste, they generally mean that generating no waste is their goal and that they have gone to great lengths to minimize their trash and that they send close to nothing to the landfill. So in permaculture, the produce no waste principle also refers to material ways like trash as well as wasteful energy systems like wasteful water usage or wasteful usage of resource is and general. So it's really easy to be wasteful when there's an abundance of water and oil. But these practices don't take into account the long term consequences. So really, the zero waste ideas and produce no waste ideas overlap. So in this class, when I refer to waste, I will mostly be referring to material waste that is trash. But I will also bring up wasteful uses of resource is when it's pertinent to do so. Yeah, there's been a huge push to reduce waste, and that's because the environments will data are terrifying. According to the E, P A is 2013 data, the average American generates £4.4 of unwanted materials per day, sending £2.9 of trash per day to the landfill and recycling or composting £1.5 of materials per day, only 34% of the total unwanted materials. But guess what? That data does not include human waste. We send £3 of our feces and urine to the landfill every day as well. We don't even taking that into consideration. But more on this topic later, this trash that ends up sitting in our landfills often leaching pollutants into our waterways, contaminating our groundwater. Our aquifers are soil causing odor pollution and generating greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide. As for our recycling process, much of it gets shipped abroad because the U. S. Does not have the appropriate recycling facilities and capacity available to recycle the amount of electron, ICS, plastic and other recyclables that we end up generating. So as a society we are addicted to these wasteful habits that continue to drive consumption . So when we buy new things, it reinforces our sense of freedom and affluence. But we're supporting the extraction of new environments where resource is, which causes unnecessary deforestation and mining, which in turn leads to more greenhouse gas emissions, biodiversity loss and this giant domino effect on our planet. So as soon as the items that we buy no longer serve us, we send them to landfills and we call for new environmental resource is to be extracted for us to replace what we just sent to the dump, and so goes this dysfunctional cycle, and often we also litter and littered waste eventually finds its way into the sea and littering an improper waste management. It's so pervasive worldwide, there are oceans are suffering the consequences. So unless this waste is managed properly, the Ocean Conservancy estimates that we will have one ton of plastic for every three tons of fish in the sea by 2025. And this plastic is already found its way into our seafood and into our tap water We're eating it were drinking it. 94% of household tap water in the States is contaminated by micro plastics, so it's a really heavy subject, and I only needed to hear it one time to know that I needed to do something about it. And I think that turning your sadness and anger about this into concrete actions for change is the best way forward. So I'm sharing some solutions with you here in class. I am inspired by the movers and the shakers out there. I love hearing your ideas. I I love hearing your projects about how to tackle waste, so I think that with our voices and our actions, we can co create a world where waste is a thing of the past and that we really find value in all existing resource is. So with that being said, let's tell right into the principles of living zero waste. 2. Refuse: Theo zero Waste movement is founded on the five ours, which are to refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle and rots and Onley in that order. So we'll start with refuse first our, which is refused access to refuse what we do not need. So when you transition to a zero waste lifestyle, you'll try to avoid purchasing things that will create waste. But it's not only about what you purchase, it's also about what's offered to you for free. So even if you don't buy wasteful products, waste can enter your life when you accept freebies at a conference, when you accept a swag bag when you're running your race, or when you accept a free plastic shampoo and conditioner bottles at your hotel or when you didn't even leave your house. But you found that your mailbox was full of junk mail, so these wasteful items can come from so many places. And when we accept these unnecessary items were essentially approving their production were saying that we tolerate the environmental impacts that are associated to this item and that we're OK with a carbon footprint that it's responsible for. So by accepting, we are complicity in a practice that has led to the pollution of our waterways, of our ocean, of our environment. So when we not and we're like all right, well, take what was being offered. Test were reinforcing these wasteful practices. But we don't have to keep accepting these unnecessary items into our lives. We have the power to refuse them without coming off with a jerk on, by refusing things that we don't need were decreasing. The demand for those natural resource is. And when we refuse, especially when our voice joins the voices of many others. In this movement, it stimulates. Our hotels are foot race organizations are conference organizers to find solutions that are respectful to of the earth's resources and less harmful to the environment. But I recycle that's awesome that you're recycle, and I will talk about recycling. But not yet. In the zero waste movement, recycling is last resort. It's not our first line of defense, and that's because recycling takes up a lot of energy, water and sometimes chemicals, depending on what you are recycling here. So let's talk about freebies so you might wonder. Well, how can I refuse something that's so kindly and generously being offered to me for free. Um, you know, you don't need it. It's just a pen. You've got a 1,000,000. But, gosh, it's so cute. And it's free. So it's practice. Hey, good luck on the back. Oh, no, thanks. I'm good. Is that a cigarette? Yeah. Thanks. I'll take it. Thank you. That was not so good. So let's try that again. How? Cook. Example. Plastic cups. Really Do not accept the environmental destruction associated to this wasteful practice. That was to the point. But let's try again. Would you like a free coffee cup holder? Rubik's Cube. A credit card protector. All right. Thanks. So simple and easy. Most times you just mosey on. Sometimes, though, you might be met with a curious person. Have enough stuff. I'm good. Thank you. Know that being might be the kind of person who wants to explain yourself? Why not? Oh, I'm trying to lighten my load. Reduced my plastic consumption. Thanks. So So this one explains the reason behind your refusal without being too judgy. And depending on who you're talking to, you could get no reaction because it doesn't matter to them or a positive or negative reaction where you're trying to save the turtles or something. Yeah, I actually I love turtles. I've been reading about the plastic pollution in our oceans, and so I started realizing I could do something about it. You really like refusing this swag is gonna make a difference. I just know it's the right thing to do. And if my daily actions come help out even just a little bit, that's what's important to me. I'd rather know that I'm doing something. You might feel depressing. Toe have an interaction like this. Even if I stay positive during the conversation, it can still make you feel alone in that moment. But you're not. Gosh, you are so not alone. There are so many of us who are making these decisions every day who are changing mindsets about the value of for three sources. That's just one type of interaction you might get. But you might also get something like this. Oh, I'm trying to lighten my load, reduced my plastic consumption. Thanks. So I have my sister's into trying to reduce her waist or whatever separately. So the water bottle It's cute, isn't it? I found it in a store, so those kinds of reactions and interactions are what you hope for. Sometimes you won't be offered the option of singing. Yes or no Items will automatically be given to you, so you need to take preventive measures here, so maybe you receive junk mail. I once became a member of and specified that I only wanted email communications. But shortly after that, I was receiving tons of unsolicited mail from other environmental organizations, and it turns out that I had sold my name to other organizations. Apparently, it was done with my consent. Many groups like them use this practice of selling your name and address, and you end up with lots of mail in Switzerland, where I live now. Advertisers, for the most part, respect your postbox signs that will say no junk mail. But in the States, it can really be a war to try to get off mailing lists or just to make sure that advertisers don't randomly put ads into your mailbox, you have to really go out of your way to call or write each advertiser individually. It could be really frustrating. So do your best to refuse. But in terms of junk mail, this might be a step that you'll want to take later on. So if you live in the States, most restaurants you'll go to will automatically give you straws in your water. In France and Switzerland, straws, for the most part, are just not a thing. So it's a non issue. But if you live in a place that's crazy about straws, here is how to prevent that from happening. Endurance. Yes, I will have a water, please, Noyce. Uh oh. And no strider things easy peasy, lemon squeezy. So of course you might have a forgetful waiter who brings you a straw anyways, and that's okay. You know, people can be caught up in her habits, and life is not always perfect. And that's okay. So the final thing to refuse in advance our receipts so most places will print out a receipt automatically, even if you tell them in advance. Because it's just kind of how the machine works. And when you refuse to take, it just ends up in the landfill. So just know that by refusing it you're still using your voice and your tipping the scale in favor of electronic receipts. So here in Switzerland, you have the option at the Coop Grocery stores to register with them online to ensure that none of your receipts are printed and that all the receipts are sent to you electronically . So all you have to do is present your customer card at the check out, and the machine will just automatically know to not print your receipt, and it'll send it to you by email. So if this habit program is not available, your story you can write, the manager started petitioned. Your voice can make a difference here. The other things they could refuse are unsustainable practices, so you can refuse single use items like plastic bags, plastic bottles, plastic cups, plastic straws, disposable forks, disposable knives, saran wrap, disposable wet mop pads, plastic packaging and so much more So plastic packaging might be hard to refuse if you don't live near or have the budget for a farmer's market or a bookstore. But you certainly can do your best based on your situation, and use your voice to share your disapproval with your story. They use plastic packaging. You can also refuse business cards and pamphlets. Just take a photo of them instead, their money, things that are easy to refuse, and we'll talk about how you can best prepare yourself to refuse items by having things like reusable water bottle, reasonable Tupperware and the right gear with you in your bag later on. So sometimes it could be really awkward to refuse something that's being offered to you, and it could come off as rude. So in these situations, I encourage you to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But I do not want you to feel like a failure if you gave in and accepted the item. I am not perfect at the refusal thing. I'll refuse in advance. If somebody asked me if they could get me a gift or my daughter a gift, then I'll let them know. You know, my ICO guidelines. But for instance, the other day I was offered a plastic key chain with my daughter's picture on it, and it came in this plastic gift bag from her day care. It was a gift for me on Mother's Day, and it was really out of my comfort zone to say no to that particular gift, and I am okay with the decision of accepting it. I use the plastic key chain every day. And my intention of reusing the plastic packaging that came in did not work out of my busy life. But I do my best in many other areas, So I'm gonna keep bettering myself every day, getting more confident every day and encourage you to do the same. It's okay to not always refuse. Just do what's, uh, what feels good for you. But so go out of your comfort zone. You get it? 3. Reduce: second R stands for reduce its Step two. So you want to reduce what you need, but you can't refuse. So this are is really about reducing needless consumption. It's all about lightening your load and the planet's load. So when you reduce your consumption, you are unnecessarily extracting new environments where resource is from the earth and eventually sending more trash to the dump. So this next our reminds us to, you know, to refuse and that purchasing things new should be a last resort. So if you're questioning whether or not to buy something, I want you to ask yourself these questions. The 1st 1 is, Do I actually truly need this or am I being convinced that I need it? Because marketers and advertisers are just so good? And maybe it's not something that I need, but something that I want. The next question is, do I already own something like this, that it's functional or that could be fixed? That could take its place? And finally, can I find this item secondhand? So let's look at several examples, so maybe it's a new phone that you're looking at purchasing, so I'll bet that most of you I need a phone to function in today's society. It's probably a necessary part of your job in your life but doesn't need to be the newest model. Or can we spare some environmental resource is and continue using the old phone we have or , you know, fix our broken screen or purchase a secondhand phone from online or from elsewhere. So marketers obviously need to make money, and they will go to great lengths to make sure that that happens and convince us that we need their newest products. But most of the time we can actually do just fine and get what we want by being resourceful . And I found over the years that by reducing my exposure to these convincing advertisements on TV and in magazines and by reducing my shopping sprees, I feel so much more content. I don't feel like I'm constantly missing out on the next best thing or that I'm too this or too that or that I'm not enough. This no shopping sprees kind of used to be my default activity when I was a teen, and now I would much rather go hiking or swimming or explorer museums or volunteering. I guess like I touched more value to experiences over things. And I also have to admit that I really enjoy scavenging and thrift stores and giving a new life two items that were once discarded. Even in the zero waste community, there are zero waste influencers who sort of veer away from the first to ours of zero waste , which are to refuse and to reduce. So you might find marketers who try to convince you that you need new bamboo utensils to be part of the zero waste movement because their compostable and they won't pollute the waterways and they're cute. But before jumping on the band go utensils. How about Step One? Refusing and using your existing silverware instead of extracting New resource is or going to a thrift store to get utensils there and giving them a second life to save them from the waste stream. So the zero waste movement is going mainstream, and I think the fact that we're seeing this practice of kind of pushing new products before second hand products just goes to show how difficult it is to stick to our core values and make a living in our current linear economy. but there's no such thing as zero waste consumerism. So that's why I really want to emphasize this reduce principle. And if you really are at an impasse, then go ahead and consider buying it new. And then at that stage, you always want to look for the most eco friendly option available. Whether it's packaged free, local recyclable, compostable, low carbon production, nontoxic, etcetera. So the second are basically to reduce. Reminds us that purchasing new is the last resort, and there's no limit to your create creativity here. In terms of food, you can grow your own food. You can get second hand food by dumpster diving. You can buy food from companies like in perfect produce that salvage ugly food that was thrown out by farmers. Or you can go out and do whatever is within your comfort zone and whatever is also within your ability, so the second are to reduce. It's not about making yourself miserable either if you want a gorgeous new necklace, but you already have 20 necklaces. No one is stopping you from buying a new necklace, but purchases should be about quality over quantity, so I encourage you to ask yourself how much you love that necklace? Is it gonna enrich your life or, you know, are you gonna be wearing in five years? And if you want to take it further, what is it made of? Was it produced sustainably? You know, maybe you want to venture into second hand shops so that decisions about buying items that will please you will be easier to make. So there are certain things that you have to buy new that just cannot be purchased secondhand, or I wouldn't want a purchasing secondhand. So depending on your situations, food will probably fall into that category where some purchases you'll make once in a blue moon like you want to purchase a new menstrual cup or new cloth pads, Oreo purchase, brand new sex toys and brand new condoms. For safety reasons, I purchased a brand new car seats, one of the only things that I ever purchased new for my daughter like, really care about car safety. And unless you know the exact history of a used car seat, then you're kind of taking a risk. You want to buy new bike helmets for the same reason because you can't always tell by looking at them. If they've been in an accident or if they're protective qualities have been damaged. Or maybe for financial reasons. You'll want to buy a new computer or a new camera if your livelihood depends on it and that you really need the warranty. So not everything can be purchased secondhand. But I encourage you to look there first. It's really fun. So there are other ways you can reduce your consumption as well. More generally, by choosing to take your bike by choosing public transportation by carpooling instead of driving your car, maybe you want to think twice before printing paper. Maybe you don't need a home that's quite so big. Or maybe you'd enjoy, you know, a smaller home that's more adapted to your needs. So we talked about reducing consumption, so I want to talk about reducing what you already have. So what? I left for college 13 years ago. My room was so full of junk, I'm talking magazines that were never read bus tickets, old socks, junk mail receipts, broken decoration that I was like all I'll fix this by never did more tote bags that you could ever use, and just so much stuff, and since then I moved 25 times in 13 years, and I grew accustomed to having few things and just bringing the bare essentials with me. And I found it super liberating toe. Lighten my load. But even if I don't own that much stuff, it's really funny how quickly papers and books and gifts come just pile up. So whenever I move, I find that it's the perfect time to decide what stays and what goes. And this is the trick that I use if I'm sorting through my belongings. So if there's an item that I'm hesitant about keeping, for instance, I might think. But it was so expensive, but it was a gift. How can I get rid of this that I ask myself two main questions that help me determine whether or not to keep it. The 1st 1 is When did I last use it? And then do I actually like it? If I haven't used it in over a year, and I hesitate about whether I like it when the item is off to find a new home, and I find for myself that having less stuff has helped me realize what is actually meaningful in life and to attach value to experiences over things. And I think when you choose quality over quantity that is keeping items that you really need and use, you begin thinking twice about bringing new items into your life. So when you let go of items that don't serve you by donating or selling them, you're also supporting the second hand market you're allowing others to use. Environmental resource is that have already been used and extracted. Now, in terms of gifts, I have to say that I am no longer afraid of re gifting. You're probably gonna receive a lot of gift in your life and a lot of them. You're not gonna necessarily like them knocking your cup of tea. And that's OK. The person who gifted you didn't want to add clutter to your life at inconvenience to your life. So in my book, it's better to pass these items on to someone who will really love it rather than have it sit in a closet for a decade. So I'm really honest and consider it about re gifting. Obviously, it's easier to re gift a pizza cutter than to read gift of personalized necklace with your initials engraved on it. So this use your common sense here and use your tax to decide appropriately that in terms of sentimental items, I'm really big on capturing memories. But I also realized that I am more than my possessions or a certain things that would be painful to part with, like 25 diaries from my childhood that I keep or a collection of stones from my pregnancy altar on. Then there are certain things that were passed down to me from my grandparent's, so I decided to keep several of my absolute favorites, especially the smaller items. But I don't need to keep every last sentimental item to feel connected to my grandparent's . That's what diaries and memories Air force. So I guess I invite you to reduce what you don't need, but not to make yourself miserable. Either. This process should be about lightening your load and not the contrary. And then, in terms of items that didn't make the cut, you can donate them or sell them items they're no longer of use to them. Condemn it would be valuable to someone else. So if you're looking to make a little money. You can put your items up for sale on Craigslist on E Bill, they eBay. You could have a garage still to sell them or sell them at a flea market. You can sell your nice clothes at Plato's closet if there's one near you. Otherwise, you can donate your stuff directly to friends, to family or to your local thrift store. Like the Salvation Army, you can also join or host a swap party where folks will bring closer items that they no longer need and you can swap with them. All of this is generally for free. Either way, you're allowing environment Resource is that have already been extracted to have a longer life and spare them from from other ones to be exploited. What about items that are too big to be transported to charity? There's lots of charities like Salvation Army that will pick them up for free. So all you have to do is schedule a pickup time in terms of items that are broken and no longer functional. You don't have to send them to the dump straightaway. You can look for second hand stores like the scrap exchange, and Durham is amazing. They will take your random objects and then Crafter is an artist will gladly take them off your hands. So to recap, it's all about lightening your load and in turn, the planet's load. So the sexual was really about reducing your consumption by valuing existen resource is before extracting new ones and looking at unnecessary purchases in your past consumption and giving those resource is a second life by sending them into the second hand market that's reducing the demand to extract you re sources. 4. Reuse: reusing is the next our on our list, and it includes repurpose ing and repairing. So reusing is all about using items that have already been produced in order to reduce unnecessary consumption. And the needless extraction of new environmental resource is so when you're reducing your also giving items a second life instead of sending them to the dump, which would create more trash. So, for example, you might reuse old spray bottles or cleaning containers when it's safe to do so. To transfer your own homemade cleaning products into them, you might re use a glass jar that contained pasta size to store nuts in them instead, so they're recycling it. Or you can reuse lip balm containers to put your own D I y lip dominant. So valuing existing items is at the center of this principle. Because, you know, before buying new, you want to see what if what you're looking for can be found second hand through your friends and family. Craigslist, eBay, garage sales, flea markets, swap markets, thrift stores, consignment stores remain on the side of the road. You can really look everywhere, so this reusing principle also values reusable items before disposables. So, for example, you can ditch single use plastic bags and switched to reusable tote bags. Ditch plastic bottles switched to a reusable one. Ditch disposable batteries. Switch to rechargeable ditch. Single use coffee cups switched to reusable mug ditch tissues switched to handkerchiefs. Ditch single use tampons and pads. Switched to reusable menstrual cup and cloth pads, which disposable diapers switch to cloth pads. Ditch paper towels. Switch to cotton rays, which dryer sheets switched to air drying and wool dryer balls or D i Y cloth dryer sheets . Which toilet paper switched to a Today attachment that Saran wrap switched to reusable bees . Wax wraps ditch the parchment paper switched to silicon match or just olive oil ditch. Single use coffee pods switched to a French press and so on and so forth. So are you getting excited about all the things you're gonna buy? If you are, Remember to refuse things that I mentioned that you may not need and remember to reuse. Resource is that already exist, so reusing also includes repairing. So, for example, if there's a hole in your shirt, learned how to sew it back together instead of throwing out the shirt, maybe your heel busted on your boots. There was a time when I would have just dish my boots and I would have gone off and bought new ones. But now I will first figure out how to fix it. And if I can find a cobbler, Jerry cobbler know if your bike brakes, there might be a bike repair shop near you that can repair your bike for an affordable price. Many products, though, like electron ICS, could be tough or too expensive to fix because of planned obsolescence. So they're designed to become obsolete after a short period of time, either because they're no longer functional as technologies change or because they're just no longer fashionable. Why fix your computer when it's more expensive to fix than buy a new one? So these are issues that we tackle as a society. So do your best. Repair what you can and support repair shops when it's within your budget to do so. So read using also refers to repurpose ing, which is using an item for a purpose other than its original intent. So repurpose ing is to put something to the next best use. So we repurpose an old shelf into a garden bed for a balcony, for example, we repurpose old clothing or household items to craft our own cleaning gear. You can use a toothbrush as a scrubbing tool or old socks to make a kitchen scrubber. You know, in our conscious cleaning wanna one class. We also teach you the cleaning value of items that would otherwise be discarded, like using wood ash to make laundry detergent cam booted vinegar to make a cleaning spray or coffee grounds toe deodorize your fridge. I mean, there are a lot of ways toe repurpose. You could get real creative your folks. Reusing is also about sharing to reduce unnecessary consumption, so cars, homes, specialty tools, offices, special equipment often remain unused for long stretches of time. So you conjoined a car share or a car rental. Instead of owning your own private car, you can rent your apartment or your couch, even for several days online. When you don't need it, you can even run offense office spaces. You can rent space, specialty tools or specialty equipment from local schools or local stores, local universities, eso. When these resources air freed up for others to reuse, it lessens. The demand for the development of new unnecessary resource is so that's it for reuse onto recycling 5. Recycle: recycling is the next our on our list, and there's a reason that it has not appeared sooner. Recycling is a last resort. It is not our first line of defense, and that's because recycling is not a perfect nor a harmless process. So hopefully, if you follow these ours an order, you actually shouldn't be left with much to recycle. So recycling is often seen as the classic ICO friendly action. It's an overemphasized strategy, so don't get me wrong. Recycling is wonderful and it's necessary, so definitely recycle what needs to be recycled instead of sending it to the dump. But just know that it's not the end all be all so. The first point that I want to mention is that recycling requires energy from transportation and from machinery requires of water and sometimes chemicals, depending on the process. So some recycling centres will also create air pollution and water contamination. It's still less damaging than extracting. New resource is to produce the same materials. But as I said, it's not a harmless process. The second thing I want to point out is that not all materials could be recycled and not all materials can be recycled indefinitely. So if you had to choose materials to recycle, it would be aluminum and glass because they could be recycled indefinitely without using their quality over time. So paper can be recycled about five times, and then it could be composted at the end of its life cycle. Of course, this doesn't apply to all types of paper, like glossy paper or paper that contains toxic ink. Then there's plastic so plastic can be recycled. But again, not all kinds of plastic, so where you live will further dictate what kinds of plastic can and can't be recycled. And like paper, plastic can only be recycled so many times, so the problem is once plastic can no longer be recycled. It takes years to degrade, so it can take 10 20 years for plastic bag to degrade and 450 years for a plastic bottle to disintegrate. So that's why plastic that ends up in our oceans causes so much pollution cause it piles up and it doesn't degrade. Another point about plastic is that most cheap, single use plastic like utensils, straws, even toothbrushes are difficult, if not impossible, to recycle. So just because of material has a recycling logo on. It does not mean that it can and will be recycled at your local facility. Then there are blended materials. So let's say you have a milk carton or something was made out of paper and plastic, so those could be particularly hard to recycle. It is often cheaper for recycling centers to send them to the landfill instead of recycled them. Cycling centers will always do what makes financial sense, so actions you can take to improve your recycling would be toe. Learn what can and cannot be recycled in your area. That will ensure that you don't contaminate your recycling bin. So again, don't assume that because something is labelled recyclable that is recyclable in your local facility. So to make sure you'll want to contact both your municipality and then double check the information with the local processing facilities that your municipality mentions because sometimes the communication can be broken between the two. The municipality might not be aware that the processing facility doesn't recycle plastics that are too contaminated by food, or that they are not accepting any more plastics for the year because they're just totally overloaded. So if you want to make sure to recycle properly. This is the way to make sure that even your odd items like your batteries, your light bulbs and your used clothes are being taken care of. Appropriately, that sounds like a lot of work. It is. It's a pain that our municipalities and processing facilities don't have easily accessible information for the most events. For most of us, we often kind of assume that everything's taken care of. But a lowing li send items off to recycling facility that will in turn end up at the dump, and we don't even know. So this knowledge will help you make sure that you're not contaminating the batch of recyclables that you send off to be recycled. So make sure not to put in items that cannot be recycled, like biodegradable cups that look like plastic were cheap plastic packaging that can be recycled. It also means cleaning your recyclables to ensure that there's no leftover food on them. You know, if a batches contaminated, recycling companies will make a decision that makes financial sense. Instead of sorting through that mess, Another action that you can take is to buy recycled products. So after refusing and reducing, of course, so this kind of creates a market for them, which funds recycling efforts. So in the states, only 34% of our trash is being recycled or composted, with only 9% of our plastic being recycled. And until just recently, the U. S. Was exporting 1/3 of its recycling, half of which was being sent to China to be processed there. But since January, China has banned the import of all U. S. Paper and plastic recyclables from the states that have a 1% or higher contamination rate, which is essentially all of the U. S is recyclables. So we can only assume that our recycling rates are gonna drop in future years, since we can no longer send the majority of our plastic recycling another recycling to China and the US just doesn't have the capacity to process that amount itself. So we can do better by refusing, reducing, reusing, recycling and letting rot in that fifth. Are is what I'm about to get into. So when we do, those things are personal. Trash production will come closer and closer to zero as a right of recycling nears 100 6. Rot: final R stands for rots, and it refers to composting. So many things can be composted, including our food. About 1/3 of our household trash in the states is food, and when we compose, we turn what would otherwise be waste into a resource. So in the states is a lot of food waste. About 40% of our food is thrown out, and when food is not composted ends up in our landfill. And when food sits in our landfill without the appropriate microorganisms and without oxygen produces methane, which is a greenhouse gas, which is even worse than CO two. So instead of having food, take a valuable space in our landfills that can be recycled through composting. And composting is the process of turning organic matter in this case, food into a wonderful dark, rich substance called compost, which enriches soil for plants to thrive and eliminates the need for chemical fertilizers. So to create composed, you typically makes your food leftovers with a carbon source at a 1 to 3 ratio, you would mix your food with carbon rich materials like wood chips, newspaper or straw, for example, and you want to make sure your compost receives enough air and water for the organic matter to decompose. And when your composting properly there's no stench and like letting your food rot in your trash can. That would create stench. But composting does that, so I'm not gonna go deep into composting today. I plan on delving deeper into that later on. But some ways to compost your food include having a worm bin indoors were a composed on your balcony or a local composting facility they could drop your food off at, or a composting service that picks up your food, like in Chapel Hill, where used to live or many cities in Switzerland. Here, you can put your food scraps out every week for pickup. You can also easily set up a composting bin in your backyard if you have a backyard. You can also add many things to your compost other than food, like tea bags like nail clippings like your hair even or dust bunnies and lots of other things. Finally, the last thing to compose are your feces and urine L. And this is a big topic that often ignored in the zero waste movement, probably cause it ain't cute and unless you live in a house that you own, it might not be possible to implement, but composting your human waste is huge in the permaculture world. And there's a great book on the topic that encourage you to read is called A Human or Handbook by Joseph Jenkins and human or, of course, a short for human manure. There is a great quote from that book that says that the world is divided into two categories of people. Those who shit in their drinking water supplies and those who don't. According to the W H. O. There are 844 million people in the world who lack access to basic drinking water services . 2.1 billion people don't have access to safe running water in their homes, and at least two billion people are using a drinking water source that's contaminated by feces. And by 2025 the W H. O estimates that half of the world's population we'll be living in water stressed areas, and yet we defecate and urinate and our potable water so sure we waste a pound of food per person per day in the States. That's a giant problem but we weighs close to £3 a day of feces and urine. So, according to Jenkins, we as individuals send £1000 of human or to the landfill every year. Only 1/3 of open dumps in the states have taken appropriate measures to prevent leaching into our waterways. So our feces and urine, they do not have to be wasted. In fact, that could be safely composted and turned into a valuable resource instead of polluting our environment. And Jenkins tells us that worldwide the value of agricultural nutrients and human or are well over $20 billion we're flushing away this valuable resource, and we're paying so much money to keep up this luxurious standard of going party in our drinking water. You know, if you take into account the entire process of flush toilets, it takes £2000 of water to flush £1 of human waste. I personally think that it is time to rethink her sanitary systems, so composting toilets in and of themselves are very easy to set up. They allow you to compost your feces and your urine and return that compost to the earth. I've seen apartment buildings in Geneva with composting toilets. I've seen countless composting toilets at Earth festivals, in permaculture centers, in natural building schools, on farms, in fancy ICO hotels and many, many more places. Several of my friends have even built their own composting toilets, and not one has had a foul smell like those classic porter parties do their completely different than those nightmare porter parties. I'm gonna have to leave it at that for today, but we will delve into the nitty gritty of D I Y comp listing for both your food and your human or at a later date. And please don't go mixing your feces and urine into your household compost until you're completely informed. Us how to go about it is crucial to do so safely, so if folks can compose their poop, you can start by composting your food Help. This has inspired you 7. Zero Waste Perfection & Privilege: briefly mentioned earlier. The terms are a waste really is an ideal. So unless you live outside of mainstream culture, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to be 100% 0 waste that is entirely free of trash free of wasted resource is I've met people who live in isolated ICO villages who still are entirely zero waste when you take absolutely everything into account, but who certainly come near it. So, apart from perhaps several isolated indigenous tribes left in the world, be completely zero waste is kind of an ideal for the time being, although necessary in the long run, however, you can still be near zero waste, and your gold could be minimised. The wasti create in your life, of course, how close you can get to the zero waste. Ideal is also dictated by your conditions. So the more privileges that we have, whether it's time, money, education, health, location, community, the easier it will be to make choices that create less waste. So no matter your situation, I want you to feel empowered to make better choices for the Earth and for your health. Let's talk about one of the big challenges you might face, which is money. So the good news is that the changes that will be making from single use items to good quality reusable ones will save you a lot of money in the long run. So more good news is that the second and third ours reduce, then reuse will save you even more money. So you won't be spending your dollars on unnecessary items, and you will be supporting the second hand market. You'll be buying things for a fraction of their original price. So you know what really might be more challenging if you're living. Check to check is having the cash that you need to switch from the single use item to reusable items. So, for example, a pack of 36 tampons it costs around seven bucks you might use, on average, about four bucks of it in a month. And a new menstrual cup will cost around $25 sometimes up to $40 so you might not have the wiggle room to spend that extra 18 to $33. Maybe you do. Maybe that's the only change they will be able to afford that month if you're tight. So if you can make those changes as you can afford them because they will pay off and you will end up saving more money in the long run. So I think, financially, really take everything into account. The toughest piece of the puzzle for many people is food, so you might live in an area where fresh food is consistently wrapped in plastic at grocery stores and there are no affordable options. So farmers markets and zero waste stores tend to reflect the true cost of production and shopping. Their supports local businesses, but it might not be affordable for you right now. So if that's the case, do what you can. Keep in mind that glass and aluminum containers are better than plastic in terms of recycling. And do not beat yourself up about not being in a situation where you can't make perfect choices. You could always start a petition to your local grocery store and use your voice to demand change in food packaging. The next challenge you might face is location. You might be living in a food desert where it's hard to buy affordable, healthy food. There might not be a farmer's market or a bulk store or a package free store that's accessible to you. So depending on where you live and this happens, a lot in Switzerland currently at grocery stores is that you have T o. You have to choose between organic produce wrapped in plastic for pesticide grown food that's packaged free. Or I have also found drink grocery shopping that there is for peanut butter, the choice between a glass container of palm oil, peanut butter or a plastic container of pommel free peanut butter. So you won't always have the perfect options for you. So do the best with what you got here. Your community is also important as well. I'm lucky that I've mostly lived in communities and around family that were supportive of my environmental goals and also inspired me to do better. So if you live in a community that's alienating you because of the zero waste habits, then the isolation and just not feeling understood about such an important subject it can feel heavy. So the good news is that there's a great online community out there to bridge the gap. If you're in a situation like this journey to zero Waste group on Facebook for instance, is a great place to start with community often comes education, so you might not know that there is a zero waste alternative to Saran Wrap. For example, into your friend tells you about bees wax rap. Or you might not realize that you're contributing to micro plastic pollution when you're using your microfiber cloths until someone shares an article with you about micro fiber pollution. So your choices won't always be perfect. And that's OK. We're all in this together. We're all learning as we go. We're all trying to make positive changes as we go along. Finally, health issues could be another challenge to being 100% 0 waste, and that is a okay. Health always comes first in my book. I recently had open heart surgery and the way their world currently works. It would have been impossible feat without plastic and without single use medical gear. I required medicine that came in plastic bottles, and I unwillingly generated a lot of trash while I was in the hospital, and I definitely felt bad about it. But sometimes you do not have the physical ability to be adamant about your beliefs, love reducing waste, but I am not a diehard zero waste of the n type of women when it comes to my health. If you need medical help, take care of yourself. Zero waste comes after that. In my opinion, you can make your own zero waste herbal medicine and your zero waste kombucha band AIDS to minimize your waist. Those are great options. I love those options. Just do your best. You know, sometimes you need medical assistance that will generate waste. You might also have a physical disability that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get to the farmers market. Teoh, get your zero waste produce like on Saturday mornings. Zero waste stores that I have been to here in Basel aren't actually easily accessible by wheelchair, so all of these things might limit your ability to be 100% 0 waste. There's a whole lot more on the topic of health, but I'm going to wrap it up here for today. So just remember to do what you can with what you've got our voices and our actions that matter for so many of us in the zero waste community, and it is really heartwarming to see to see us all making big impacts by speaking up and changing our habits. So thank you so much for watching Please spread the love share this class. I hope that you enjoy this intro Deserve ways living and I will see you soon For more zero waste talk. 8. Our Story: Hi, I'm for itself and then routine. And we are the permanent authors from a crafters is an online school that offers courses on environmental topics you wish you had learned about in school growing up, like how to reduce your exposure to toxins in your home, how to care for the environment by reducing your Trash or your waste. And probably most importantly how to cut through the greenwashing BS for MOOC officer was born out of a friendship between myself and we felt we met on a beakers or 9A I2, the plaza in Burma culture that we saw with teaching. And I'm an environmental educator with a background in natural resources management, sustainable development, permaculture and urbanism. And I was teaching this eight week permaculture class there. And we were introducing topics like natural building, worm composting and foraging, and permaculture is an ethical Design System for sustainable human culture. And it was created as a response to Earth's diminishing resources and energy and had never heard of permaculture WHO Divina skew much thoughts to environmental topics. I come from a very different world. I used to work in business management and middle. And when n mess this up, disk key, I need to go out and we had so much in government. It's true the moment Christina step foot in the class, she had this infectious smile and it was just impossible not to get close to her. And she's also this incredibly creative DIY lover. She was constantly coming up with new crafting project. It's really inspiring. Chrysostom, a butcher bless changed, hug you the word. She shared her fat that opened my eyes to environment, that crisis. But noting away that I left me hobbyists, he didn't gorge needs to get out of my comfort zone to find creative solutions to environmental Berlin's until even for positive change. Not for perfection. Whose cell made environmentalist IM Sawyer, people of all backgrounds, as you can see, that's initials promotion for boasted environments are crisis, makes so much slums elicits no going back. And after that class, we decided to combine forces and share our permaculture and crafting skills through online classes that would be available to anyone anywhere in the world. So now we offer courses on growing sprouts and micro greens at home on green cleaning minus the green washing BS on 0 waste living and how to reduce your trash. And following the Zero Waste theme, we also teach about Zero Waste menstruation, stairways, body carrying cosmetics and herbal remedies for common ailments as well. He feels so grey fur further, sponsor first courses on blurring MOOCS, began weights of 11 new ones for you that can fermentation as the Ysom EGL bartending and so much more so thank you so much for being on this adventure with us. We hope that you'll keep enjoying. 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