Introduction to Zero Waste Lifestyle

Introduction to Zero Waste Lifestyle

Going zero waste is not only about resolutions. It’s also about habits that are there to stay! To ensure that they last over time, take care to implement them gradually, according to your rhythm, your limits, your context and your mental load! Because thousands of imperfectly zero wasters have way more impact than one perfectly zero waste individual. We invite you to read these caring lines to get inspired by our open-minded vision of zero waste 👇

What is zero waste?

Let’s first unpack the “zero waste” term ♻️ Although its use is becoming more and more widespread, the false sense of perfection of not producing any waste that sticks to it repels some people. Yet, zero waste shouldn’t scare, but rather inspire and bring people together! Let’s get one thing straight: we cannot produce zero waste (even the most iconic zero wasters do, including the RoseCitron team 😉 ). The idea with the movement is to minimize the footprint we leave on this planet and move towards zero waste by adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle. different nuts in 3 small kitchen containers

And how does an eco-friendly lifestyle materialize 🤔 By habits that are implemented one at a time and that reduce the amount of waste we produce. The idea is not to adopt a habit and then abandon it as soon as we implement a new one. Progressive, cumulative and instinctive are three key words that define the process. ➡️ And yes, we advocate the term “process” because it’s about continuous improvement and doing your best. Doing your best, without comparing yourself ❌ without beating yourself up ❌ without guilt ❌ without sickly striving for “perfection” ❌ and without cluttering your mental load! No pressure, just fun! And fun is contagious! Intuitively, you might think that investing yourself in your zero waste habits could put pressure on your loved ones. But it’s exactly the contrary: a good dose of benevolence will inspire them much more than it will make them feel guilty.

Our story with zero waste

Everyone’s road crosses the path of zero waste in very unique circumstances. The encounter between zero waste and Roxanne, founder of RoseCitron, was just like zero waste, i.e. gradual: 

lady who prepares a cream with her ingredients“Even before zero waste was widely democratized, I was influenced and then inspired by Bea Johnson, recognized as the mother of zero waste, who started all the movement in California as early as 2013 📍 While some were intimidated by her drastic approach deemed inaccessible and not reproducible, I was immediately turned on. I was finally hearing about concrete zero waste stuff applied to different spheres of daily life.” – RCG

Just goes to show, it’s always possible to take inspiration from the great role models! 💡 The trick: take some and leave some! Take what inspires you and leave what intimidates you. And you’ll see, what intimidates you today will push you to excel tomorrow.

And Roxanne continues with the rest of the story:

“In Quebec, there was also my encounter with Les Mauvaises herbes 🌿 (previously known as Les Trappeuses). I was interested in what they were doing, in the recipes they were sharing and in the tips they were giving. I recognized myself in the way they approached zero waste: simply, humbly, unpretentiously, and in a spirit of community.” – RCG 

And if zero waste has the wind in its sails today, it is because it is a movement that brings together. An inclusive and collaborative movement that recognizes everyone’s input to improve practices and bring in new tips. The RoseCitron team had a first glimpse of this community at a small conference at Café Le 5e in 2017, before they met it, with stars in the eyes 🤩, at the first edition of the Festival Zéro déchet the same year. Festival-goers, organizers and panelists were proud to be part of such an event that put zero waste on the map. Yes, we had heard about it before, but this event legitimized and democratized the movement, bringing together newcomers and long-time enthusiasts. With this festival, which has now become an annual event, “the individual approach of zero waste has taken on a collective dimension.” (AQZD)

RoseCitron’s stats

For the RoseCitron team, the beginning of the year rhymes with waste reduction record… Well, it doesn’t really rhyme, but you get the point 😉 It’s very concrete and encouraging for the team to start the year with key numbers that give the motivation to continue carrying the zero waste movement! In 2021, RoseCitron’s bulk products alone, available at several refill stations, saved:

  • 23991 tubes of toothpaste
  • 12100 tubes of deodorant 
  • 7306 facial products pots

And that’s not all: in 2021, our deposit system enabled 587 product pails to be reused. 183 liters of water were saved through the solid products sold.

Amazing, right 😱 The whole team would like to thank you for opting for bulk product fills and being part of the solution. If the trend of the past few years continues, we should be able to smash these numbers in 2022 💥

Our best zero waste tips

Going zero waste is based on the following motto: Consume better, consume less. Here are the best tips that can influence your initiation to zero waste or that can enhance your already started process:

👉 Buying in bulk. With bulk grocery stores popping up across the province and the supply growing – more and more producers are making bulk a personal mission -, buying in bulk is becoming easier. Never lose sight of your buying power and your relationship with your local merchants. The addition of customers who suggest they add a bulk section to their business increases the chances of implementing these adjustments!

👉 Make your own products (have a look at our DIY section to plunge into this universe).

👉 Refuse certain packaging (plastic bags, disposable utensils, straws, plastic bottles, overpackaged cosmetics, promotional products, etc.). Whenever possible, carry around a few essentials and let retailers know why you are refusing their packaging.

👉 Develop manual skills (small woodworking 🛠️ sewing 🧵 cooking 🍳 etc.) to extend the life of products, but also to sharpen your resourcefulness and creativity, which will prevent you from buying new items to achieve your goals.

👉 Encourage local. Prefer a local product to an imported product, regardless of sector! Farmers’ baskets, local designers, and local artisans are all ways to buy local!

👉 Prioritize second hand – thrift stores, friend swap nights and goods exchange groups are sustainable alternatives to new stuff.

💬 And the list could go on, there are as many as you are!  

🚀 And then, does it give you the missing boost to get started on zero waste? Does it give your approach a new lease on life? Where will you start? Whether it’s buying in bulk, making your own products, refusing certain products, reducing at the source, repairing your goods, do it at your own pace! The important thing is that zero waste is more than a resolution that fades away in February. Because no, zero waste is not about deprivation. Think of it as a way to live your life more simply and to align it with your personal values and with our collective aspirations.

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