What is zero waste?

Updated: Nov 17

Hello, our fellow entrepreneurs and small business owners!

Have you heard of the term zero waste? If not, where have you been!

Zero waste is yet another environmental buzzword, but what the heck is it?

Zero waste is a rising sustainable lifestyle in which people attempt to not generate any waste. Of course, this is aspirational, because not generating any waste at all is incredibly difficult if not impossible. This lifestyle is obviously unattainable in today's modern society, however, it is the constant challenge of producing as little waste as possible. Zero waste is built on principles such as reducing how much is purchased, or only buying what you need, reusing everything as much as possible, recycling the excess, and composting any leftover food scraps. Some popular zero waste practices include not purchasing plastic, buying reusable items instead of disposable ones, buying second-hand items, and recycling paper, bottles, and cans.

Zero wasters hope is that this sustainable lifestyle can drastically reduce the negative impacts of global overconsumption, waste, pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions if it is widely adopted. Even if this lifestyle does not eliminate all of the waste that a person produces, in theory, it can drastically decrease the overall amount. The same idea goes for businesses as well.

As entrepreneurs, we know it can be extremely difficult to avoid producing waste. Depending on which type of small business you own, waste is constantly being produced throughout all of your business operations. Even if you don't create any products in your business, we all order products to run our business, and there is an abundance of packaging. Here at Banks Sustainability, we are far from zero waste but we do think of it as a long term goal to always strive towards even if we know we may never reach it. We want to generate as little waste as possible in our business operations.

Zero waste is not an easy lifestyle or business model to begin or commit to, but if you are someone who cares about the future of this beautiful planet we live on and all the life on it, perhaps beginning to work these zero waste principles into your life is worth considering. 

Are you considering transitioning to a zero-waste lifestyle or business model? Would you try to incorporate any zero waste principles into your business? Please let us know in the comments!

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