making less waste

Top Tips for Trimming Your Trash and Living Sustainably

Tips for learning to reduce your waste

We know that we produce far too much waste today. 19.8 tonnes of waste per person per year in the United States. This is why it is high time to reduce our waste and the pollution it creates.

Obviously, you will think: what can I do about it, me, a regular average citizen? But small efforts multiplied by 7.7 billion inhabitants on the planet is a lot. So there are no small ideas. If everyone does their part, we are convinced that we can achieve great things! A small act here can have consequences on the other side of the planet. And we must help our planet.

That’s why today, we’re giving you the top tips to start or continue to reduce your waste.

The advantages of becoming a zero waste family

Even if you only see constraints for the moment, it has its advantages! Already, being a zero waste family – or almost zero waste – is swag. You follow the movement, and the good one. But of course, beyond the trendy effect, it means first and foremost taking care of your loved ones and the environment.

The impact on your life

So yes, it will take effort. Yes, it will take you a few more minutes per day. Yes, it will change your habits… But for a good cause! First, by consuming better and less, you will have better health. No more harmful products and other plastic packaging in your home. Choose zero waste stores, this will help you in your approach.

Plus, you’ll feel good in your sneakers! Because participating in the collective effort, doing good deeds and having strong convictions makes you happy.

The impact on the planet

It’s very simple: you will help make our planet less sick. And right now, it’s more than a priority. There is already far too much waste produced to add new ones!

1. Think recycling and reuse

This is our first tip, probably the simplest. The idea is to avoid – or even ban – overconsumption. To do this, simply favor reusable products, and therefore buy fewer of them.

Also buy recyclable products! Ecological objects that will not end up in an open landfill or on our beaches. Obviously, you will generate less waste… but there will still be some, at least at the beginning. Sort your waste, to allow its proper treatment and transformation.

2. Consume responsibly

Second tip for you: buy quality, in reasonable quantities. Basta the slashed prices to buy more. Stop waste and opt for a change in consumption patterns. Buy less, but better products that will last you longer.

This also applies to food. Consume organic and local products. Better for the planet, but also for you!

3. Recover kitchen waste

Compost! We are talking about your food waste here. Bring them value by transforming them into a real feast for small insects which are essential for biodiversity. We see you coming: no, I can’t do that. But even people who live in an apartment in the city center can do it! Numerous reports now prove to you that it is possible even for city dwellers!

4. Opt for the menstrual cup and buy less

Well, for this one, these gentlemen are not concerned. We talk about it in our dedicated article: the women’s cup is a good way to reduce waste. Have you ever calculated how many sanitary products you have thrown away since your first period? Surely a mountain! With the menstrual cup, put an end to it and, what’s more, prioritize your health and comfort.

5. Adopt Oriculi to buy better

Also called an ecological ear cleaner, this stick will replace your cotton buds…for life! Not bad in terms of Zero Waste, right? And what’s more, it prevents the formation of blockages. Get the Oriculi for your whole family! It is suitable for both adults and children.

6. Zero waste = zero waste throughout your home

Zero waste is not just limited to one room in your home. It’s a way of life to develop throughout your home. And you will see, you will save! Concretely, what does that mean? You can reduce your household waste and make your own, less abrasive products. Or donate your clothes, sell them or recycle them rather than throwing them away.

7. Choose zero waste stores

Who says living Zero Waste, says buying Zero Waste. For this, many brands are emerging little by little and offering this type of alternative. For American residents, there is even a zero waste map which locates all the Zero Waste shops! Great, right?

8. A gift to give? Opt for a Zero Waste present

And why not convert your families and friends? There are many zero waste gift ideas available today. Whether it’s beauty, fashion or accessories, many brands are getting into it. Some brands offer zero waste boxes and eco-friendly ready-to-wear brands… The choice is yours! Of course, another thing that works is Do It Yourself gifts. Economical and ecological, the perfect combo!

9. Get inspired by Zero Waste books

Finally, our last tip for you: the zero waste guide. You won’t have trouble finding some. These are works that flourish in bookstores. A good way for you to glean advice here and there to facilitate your zero waste transition.

As you will have noticed, there are several ways to start reducing your waste drastically! And this throughout your home. You can therefore more and more easily become a Zero Waste pro and lead your family in this transition! No need to want to do everything at the start. Take it little by little and soon you won’t be able to do anything else.

environmental certification

Green Seal of Approval: Harnessing the Power of Environmental Certification

An organization may decide to adopt, to integrate safety, quality and/or environmental criteria into its products or services, an approach allowing it, ultimately, to certify its products or services for sustainability. The certification of a product or service offered by an organization is proof that the product or service meets previously established specifications. The certification of a product or service results in the delivery of a label, which is a sign of identification of quality meeting a set of criteria defined in specifications and controlled by an independent third party organization and approved by the public authorities.

As official signs of recognition, we can cite ecolabels which attest to the environmental benefits of the products that carry them. Each country has its own procedures.

The NF Environnement mark certifies that the products on which it is affixed have a less negative impact on the environment, while guaranteeing a quality of fitness for use at least equivalent to that of other similar products on the market. It concerns both the product and its packaging. It is a voluntary brand, based on a multi-criteria ecological approach applying from the extraction of raw materials to the elimination of products after use. It applies to products intended for consumers as well as intermediate products. Pharmaceutical and agri-food products, services and the automotive sector are temporarily excluded from the scope.

Regarding the methods of evaluating the impacts of a product on the environment, the best known of which is life cycle analysis (study of the impacts of the acquisition of raw materials or the generation of natural resources to their elimination final product): ISO 14040 standards, ISO 14041 standards, ISO 14043 standards; the labels or certificates affixed to the product after such an evaluation:

  • ISO 14020: its objective is to present the principles to be applied for the development and use of an environmental marking or declaration
  • ISO 14021: it presents the vocabulary, assertion, symbol and graphic aspects linked to this type of declaration. It also provides a general evaluation and verification methodology
  • ISO 14024: it presents the recommendations for official ecolabels
  • ISO TR 14025: this ISO technical report presents the state of the art at the international level on type III labeling practices (quantified environmental information on the product life cycle, given by a supplier)

Do not confuse label and CE marking. The CE marking is not a mark of quality. It is a regulatory marking, mandatory for products covered by a European “New Approach” directive. It guarantees compliance with regulatory requirements in terms of safety and health and gives these products the right to circulate freely in America. The conditions for affixing the CE marking are defined in each directive and only involve the intervention of a third party for products presenting serious risks. As compliance with standards is not made compulsory under the “New Approach” directives, CE marking does not necessarily attest to compliance with European standards.

Quality management system

An organization that wishes to adopt a quality approach based on an existing framework generally turns to ISO 9000 standards because they are applicable to all sectors. There are other quality standards but they concern specific areas of activity and apply to control and testing laboratories, the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, clinics, public assistance, etc.

The ISO 9000 standards were developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), a global federation of national standards bodies from some 140 countries whose mission is to promote trade in goods and services and to develop cooperation in the areas intellectual, scientific, technical and economic. These standards are presented in more detail below.

Quality management consists of coordinating the activities of a structure towards compliance with customer requirements and expectations. According to the approach defined by the ISO 9000 standards, it is first necessary to clearly identify these requirements and expectations and then define the objectives that the structure sets in terms of quality. The objectives are then deployed at the level of the structure’s various processes and monitored using quality indicators.

In order to embark on the path of continuous improvement, the structure monitors these quality indicators, analyzes the data, and carries out corrective and preventive actions. This approach is naturally accompanied by a formalization of processes (written procedures specifying what must be done) and a definition of organizational and technical interfaces (who does what).

Environmental management system

The certification of an environmental management system is based on two standards:

  • certain standards from the ISO 14000 series
  • the federal regulation

In both cases, the recommended environmental management system consists of the following steps:

  • first step: take stock of the situation and see what the impacts of an activity are on the environment, including regulatory compliance
  • second step: define a course of action with regard to this inventory (improvements to be made, means to be implemented)
  • third step: define the organizational, human, financial, legal and communication means that will make it possible to achieve these objectives
  • fourth and final step: set up a control and monitoring system, making it possible to avoid deviations or improve the system if there are changes in the organization or the activity carried out

The key to an environmental management system is to constantly ask yourself: is the state of the place always the same? Should we update it, adjust the policy and actions, revise the objectives? Environmental management is based on a logic of continuous improvement in order to constantly progress in achieving environmental performance.