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What is better? Low Impact or Zero Waste Living?

30th November 2021

As part of living a more eco-conscious lifestyle, you will be faced with many changes to your lifestyle. For me, one of the most biggest decisions to make was whether to go zero waste or low impact. Personally I find going completely zero waste quite daunting! So I opted to try and reduce my impact by making a few small, but necessary swaps.

Zero waste living and low impact living are both rooted in eco friendly practices. Each aims to preserve the Earth’s natural resources and protect the quality of life for future generations. I would like to mention that in our current global economy, it’s not possible to be 100% waste free as there will always be a form of waste in some capacity.

Image Credit: Pinterest

What does “zero waste” mean?

The zero waste movement started in the early 2000’s It transformed from the dreams of “No Waste” recycling activists into a fully-fledged way of life for people around the globe.

Fundamentally, the zero waste movement has one goal: to stop waste from piling up on Earth through waste prevention and resource lifecycle changes. The aim is to reduce the use of anything that creates waste – including the use of things such as single use plastics and non-compostable items. Those who live a zero waste lifestyle make swaps to zero waste products like reusable cotton pads, toothbrushes and soap bars.

And that’s why the other aim of zero waste is to create a circular economy. If we manufacture products with resources that can be renewed, recycled, and easily composted, it will stop the growth of landfills and the plastic lakes floating in our oceans.

What does “low impact” mean?

The aim of living a low impact lifestyle is to reduce your ecological footprint, through daily actions and habits – including switching to dairy-free food options, eating less meat (or opting for more plant based meals). Longer-lasting choices, things like limiting air travel, choosing to walk short distances over driving, also play a role in the low impact movement As with zero waste living, you try to make changes to your consumption and make more eco-friendly swaps, but with low impact living, the reduced impact from the vast number of small changes made build up over time and hopefully encourage more low impact behaviours!

For low waste living is about seeing the whole picture and making as many positive choices as you can.

Which is better for me?

The wonderful thing about low impact vs zero waste is that you don’t have to choose. In fact, you can practice zero waste principles as part of a low impact life. The two concepts definitely go hand in hand. We can all make changes in some shape or form and no matter how small or large, they will make a positive impact. If you are unsure about which is right for you

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