“Zero waste” in 2022, what does that mean (for real)?

“Zero waste” in 2022, what does that mean (for real)?” /></p>
<p>CHRONICLE – Being zero waste certainly does not mean the same thing today as it did in 2017. The movement has evolved enormously over the past five years, but not necessarily for the better…</p>
<p>The zero waste movement in Quebec had its heyday between 2016 and 2019… A three-year period where mentalities were destined to change. I had also co-founded the first Zero Waste Festival in North America with 10 other citizens. We felt a real citizen uprising where individuals were ready to review their consumption… </p>
<p>But the problem is that the zero waste lifestyle was too restrictive. It was Béa Johnson, the popess of the movement, who popularized it. Californian of French origin, she completely changed her way of life after the financial crisis of 2008. Having become the superstar and icon of environmentalists, she traveled around the world to show everyone that she was able to throw no waste. or almost, that his family of four filled a single 500ml glass jar a year…</p>
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Béa Johnson and her little jar of annual waste/Photo taken from her Zero Waste Home Facebook page

If you want my opinion, overconsumption or radical zero waste, it's the same problem: the performance trap.

And it's not unifying at all. Deprivation leads to radicalism and judgment of others.  

For the anecdote, I was already invited by a person who said they were zero waste (because yes, they were defined by their way of life!). That night, this person wanted to eat tofu. Well, can you believe she asked me to leave with my packaging so she wouldn't put it in her tiny trash can?

That's when I realized that for me, reducing my food waste was more important than reducing my waste.  

At first, the fashion was to get lots of zero waste accessories to buy your good conscience… I myself fell into the trap by becoming this over-consumer who is very proud to be able to spend on objects and accessories, which I don't had never used before, which promised to transform my daily life.

The key is to first analyze what you throw away the most. For me, it's food packaging. Although I consume in bulk, I would be lying to you if I told you that bulk meets all my needs. The vast majority, yes, but not all, and not in all seasons. For example, in the summer, I buy my fruits and vegetables at the market, with little or no packaging, and I go and fill my jars. Winter is another story… And when I'm on the road on a lecture tour, I'm unfortunately not able to prepare my lunches for several consecutive days.  

Then I tried the sphere of hygiene. I regretted having bought organic creams and deodorants, oriculis or washable ear picks, toothpaste, toothbrushes, products to make cosmetic products myself. The truth is that it always felt good to consume. But despite my good intentions, I realized that I was wasting even more raw materials…  

So I needed to take a step back. I admit that I even regressed! But I needed it to determine my limits and my needs.  

I never thought one day of adopting the bidet, the washable wipes, the metal razor, the washable tissues… but now that I have made the transition at my own pace, I can't live without them.  < /p>

What about my other garbage? Well, I assume that I am not perfect and that on my own, I cannot change the habits of big companies. I simply choose not to encourage them so as not to create demand.

Decluttering and degrowth are now accessible to me. One day at a time.  

With the pandemic, we have seen a frightening setback. I've lost count of the number of people who have said to me, “Hey, if planes keep flying, empty, so they don't lose their flight rights, do you think I'm going to save the world by using my bike to do three blocks away and drinking from cardboard straws?”

The moral of this story? In 2022, zero waste is not about refusing all the waste around us or lecturing people who buy packaged consumer goods… Obviously, the best waste is the one we don't make. not… But we must not forget that the more we transform our daily habits, the more we will become aware of doing things differently… And this is how together, we will understand what changes we want as a society, and what we want to demand from big corporations and governments.

And to come back to the micro jar of waste that goes around the world… I can't say that I find this approach very consistent. 

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