Zero Waste Week Challenge August 12-18

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Before we dive in, I want to recognize that indigenous people and low income people have been on the zero waste train out of necessity for a long time. While this is becoming something trendy in our society right now, there are people who have been doing it WAY longer, without getting a pat on the back.

WHAT IS ZERO WASTE? Well, there are a lot of different definitions, but most of them lead to the same conclusion: zero waste means avoiding the use of any products that will be sent to the landfill or disposing of items that are designed for reuse, like recyclables or compost.

WHY ZERO WASTE: It is impossible for me to care about the health of myself, my family, and my community without considering the health of our planet.

We live in a throw away based society. Capitalism has encouraged consumers to buy things that have a short life cycle so we continue to purchase from them. They market convenience above all else, without considering the long-term impact waste has on the earth. Out of sight, out of mind!

Except, we’re getting to a point where we cannot ignore the changes in our health and the planet. Everything we throw into our trash is sent to a landfill, where it inevitably breaks down and gets into our water system. A study on the persistence of pharmaceutical compounds and other organic wastewater contaminants in a conventional drinking-water-treatment plant found that some prescription and non-prescription drugs, fragrance compounds, flame retardants and plasticizers, cosmetic compounds, and a solvent were found in drinking water once they had gone through the water treatment process. While the levels were lower than what’s permitted in our drinking water, there are no studies showing the long-term impact of regularly consuming them via water intake. That’s fucking scary, and while we can't necessarily prevent the use of prescription drugs by people, we can be more intentional about the quality of the products we're buying. 

HOW TO ZERO WASTE: I’m kind of a newbie to this. When I was feeling REALLY good in 2017, I made reducing our household waste a top-priority. After the holidays, I was hit with one of my biggest flares yet (thanks for nothing, grains), and had to start choosing convenience over the planet in order to keep going. After that, I kept coming up with tons of excuses “I’ll do it after vacation” and then it was “I’ll do it after this test” or “just one more iced coffee in a plastic cup and then I’ll stop.” Welp, the time has come, and I’m ready to not only do this myself, but also encourage others to join me!

I’ll be sending a series of emails to help you prepare for the Rooted in Healing Zero Waste Week challenge. Personally, I want to use this week to help me get a grasp on the things I’m throwing away on a regular basis and how I can be more thoughtful about my consumption.

WHAT ABOUT BEAUTYCOUNTER? Promoting a healthy environment is central to Beautycounter’s mission. Beautycounter uses a Life Cycle Assessment tool called Compass (Comparative Packaging Assessment) to calculate the cradle-to-grave impact of the majority of our packaging materials. We use LCAs to help us understand the trade-offs between using glass and other materials. We know that glass is a preferred material because it's easy to recycle. However, shipping and producing glass results in carbon emissions. By utilizing LCAs, we can compare the overall carbon footprint of different packaging options before making key shipping decisions. We can also assess the global environmental impacts of different types of packaging, including water and energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and water toxicity.

If you're ready to join me, enter your email address below. We're going to have a lot of fun! 

Let's do this! 

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