What is a Zero Waste shop?
With the recent BBC documentary shining a light on the growing sea pollution problem, there are more people than ever who are concerned about how they can help. Many people are turning to zero waste shops but what is one and can it really help?
A zero waste shop, in essence, is a plastic-free shop. However, a good zero waste shop not only promotes plastic-free products but every single product should be eco-friendly. Want to support non-leather industrious? Want to use products that plant trees? Or how about if your zero free products not only don't use plastic but actively take plastic out of the ocean. A Zero waste shop is the most eco-friendly way to shop.
But why should you use one, are they really cracked up to the hype and what do they do? Here is our quick guide to them. 8 Benefits of Zero waste shopping... (9 Mins)
1. Take Plastic out of the Ocean
95% of all plastic ever created is still in existence today.
The majority of the plastic that you have ever used is still in circulation today, whether its in landfill sites or somewhere in the ocean. In fact, More than 90% of refuse found on beaches is plastic.
Its just not being recycled. So what can we do?
When you shop, make sure that your product takes plastic out the ocean and re-uses it for something purposeful. For example, choose a clothing line that actively takes plastic out the ocean, shreds it down until it's a soft fibre that can be used in clothes. Imagine if everyone did this if everything you bought took plastic out of the ocean? What would that do for sea pollution...
2. Plant A Tree. Save Our Rainforests.
We lose 3.5 to 7 billion trees to deforestation each year
A number so big our brains struggle to put it into context, so let's try to understand it a little more. Snap your fingers. In that second 1000 trees were completely wiped out. In fact, every second 1000 trees are wiped out.
Wood seems like a sustainable product, chances are, you would never hear someone say "be careful with that it doesn't grow on tree's" because well you know...
But what if it's not being replaced? We are taking that much out of the environment that it's not even being close to being replaced. Shop for products that guarantee they are being replaced. All these products have a tree planted everytime they are bought.
Why does it matter? Trees are vital to sustaining life, from supporting millions of animals and ecosystems including human life to reducing and in the long run reversing global warming effects through photosynthesis.
3. Stop The great garbage patch.
It’s similar to our first point but a whole lot more specific. See when we think of ocean plastic we think of it in some far away place, however, it could be right on your shore.
The Great Garbage Patch or Great Pacific gyre plastic (GPGP) is the biggest collection of ocean plastic in the world and is located between Hawaii and California. The GPGP covers an estimated surface area of 1.6 million square kilometres, an area twice the size of Texas or three times the size of France. What's the weight of it I can almost rhetorically here you ask?
80,000 tonnes, which is 4-16 times more than the last few estimates and it's only getting bigger and at a remarkably quick pace. When you shop make sure that the products you buy contain little to no plastic, just by this one small habit you can make sure you're not adding to sea polluted areas like the great garbage patch
Every time you shop at zero waste shops, shops that don't use plastic you stop it from getting bigger. But you can do more, you can support products that actively take the plastic out of the ocean and repurpose it for something better…
4. Making all this plastic stuff requires energy.
It feels like everything we do has a negative impact on the environment. Often there are consequences we don't think of; for example, all this plastic not only fills our oceans and makes environments uninhabitable but it requires energy to make all of our products in the first place. Where does most of this energy come from, well as we are told time and time again from sources that contribute to global warming.
This can be solved by buying products that come from recycled materials, for example, this T-shirt uses recycled cotton from the textile industry that is respun into brand new T-shirts.
5. Zero Waste Items are often Longer lasting
What is happening to all this plastic waste? Well, some ingenious people use it in their products, for example, in some countries the local government or councils use it to tarmac their roads. What's the advantage of this? The downside of plastic is that it doesn't biodegrade quickly, in fact, that’s an understatement. However, this downside has a silver lining, as a product that reuses this plastic you know will last a long time. At the same time because of the low price of recycled plastic, it cuts down on cost. Could this be goodbye potholes?
6. Discover great alternatives that may just be better.
A Zero Waste shop can expose you to many great alternatives to help you become more eco-friendly. Not sure about giving up leather? There are some beautiful alternatives to leather that may just be better without affecting the environment.
Ever heard of waxed canvas? Did you know it was created 200 years ago as a way that Scottish sailors could keep dry from the elements and not ruin their clothes whilst being exposed to the unforgiving North Atlantic winds?
Designed to be durable and waterproof did you also know it ages like leather? That’s right every year that passes means it will look even better. Making it just one of the many great alternatives to leather
7. They Protect wildlifeEvery Year wildlife goes extinct, unfortunately, because of us and our habits. Our desire for the latest stuff often, unknowingly to us destroys their habitats. Still uncertain?
Earlier this year the Scientific American documented the Bramble Cay melomys—a tiny island rodent species that few people had ever seen or heard of became extinct because of rising sea levels and climate change read the full story here…
Is this the first of many species becoming extinct or will we slow down even stop this from happening...
8. You will look dope.
No matter how selfless we are feeling, how altruistic our intentions, it’s always a great motivator when there is something in it for us.
See sustainable products not only literally take away plastic waste, plant trees and recycle old discarded products into something new and beautiful. There is another plus to sustainable fashion.
Its crazy unique and almost always last longer. Every time you buy a sustainable product and your friend compliments its a chance for you to tell the S O N D E R story
There are so many benefits to ethical shopping and using zero-waste shops if everyone could use them it would not only put a huge dent in sea pollution, among other things, but depending which zero shops you choose could even reverse them.
You may also start to feel inspired to help clean up the planet and are wondering what else you can do? It’s a bit daunting this eco-friendly stuff and everything seems to have an impact on everything and you don't really where to start?
Here is our guide "25 eco friendly tips from the experts" to help get you started.".