Should you go zero waste or recycle?

Recycling has been a trend for many years. I remember when I was a teen in France, that ecology at that time was all about recycling. Teachers use to show us videos about how we could recycle paper, glass, and of course, plastics.

My first experience of actual recycling was at my parents' home when the company in charge of collecting our garbages provided us with a two-compartment bin. One side for the recycling and the other one for the rest. At first, it was not easy for us because we had to learn to recognize what could be recycled and what couldn’t, but we get along and managed to change our habits to recycle more and more.

Many years later at our house, we had two bins and every time our recycles were collected (twice a week), our bin was full :)

There is a new trend that we hear more and more, “zero waste”

Today recycling is part of our daily routine even though some of us still have to improve and recycle more, but there is a new trend that we hear more and more about; “zero waste”.

Zero waste means that we aim to send nothing to landfills. Reduce what we use, reuse, recycle what we can’t reuse and, compost as much as possible.

Should you go zero waste or recycle?

Zero Waste:

You might be shocked to learn that is the US, only a fraction of what we put into recycling bin gets recycled. Also, many recyclables are placed in the wrong bin, which contaminates everything else so it usually ends up in a landfill instead. We need to recycle, but more important is reducing the waste we make. Try to buy items with less packaging (like this soap), use a resusable bag for shopping (don't take a plastic bag that you will trash 5 minutes later, I've seen this many times...), drink from refillable water bottle like the one we have on ClosiistIt is not an easy task to reduce your waste, but the more you do it, the more you will get used to :)

Recycle:

There was a time when plastic was not recycled at all. Today in the US, almost 35% of waste are put out of landfills. It is significant but we can and have to do more!

Reducing waste is important as we just saw, but recycling is also a priority. Recycling is one of the three R’ in helping the environment: reduce, reuse, recycle. Closest has a lot of products made with recycled materials, like those bracelets made with recycled fire hose, or this bookmark made from recycled computer motherboard.
Recycling cuts the needs for raw materials, which helps to save our forest and water supplies. Also recycling is good for the economy, in the US, recycling accounts for 750 000 jobs and keeps growing!


Is there a correct answer to this?

Well in Normandy where I came from, there is an expression that basically says “maybe yes, maybe no”. I think you got it, there is no correct answer to the question “Should you go zero waste or recycle?” In my opinion we should work both ways and go zero waste as much as possible and recycle what’s left.

What do you think? Feel free to comment below.