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About the Lingo


Bulk: When I talk about bulk, I’m not talking about Sams or Costco. I’m talking about buying loose products to put in your own containers. It’s an excellent way to buy an ounce of something or five pounds of something. Did you know 40% of food in US goes uneaten? By buying bulk not only are you cutting down packaging, but you can control exactly how much of something you’re bringing home. In turn you can control how much you waste. 

PZW: Pre-Zero Waste days. 

BYOC: Bring your own container.

Recycling: A process to change waste into something new. It’s to reuse useful materials and give them a new life. It also reduces energy from creation, reduces air pollution from incineration, and water pollution from landfills. 

Upcycling: A part of the recycling process. It reduces the use of new raw materials by using the whole of an old material for a new purpose and to give it more value. Like taking an old tire and turning it into an ottoman. However, I find a lot of these projects to be undesirable or unnecessary. Depending on how the product is formed or what it becomes it may go to a landfill in the end. 

Downcycling: It’s another part of the recycling process. Materials are broken down into component elements and they’re separated based on usefulness. Some are discarded, and others are used to make products of lesser quality or value. Plastic water bottles are recyclable, but they’ll be turned into a speed bump or park bench. After that product has deteriorated, it will go into a landfill. It can’t be recycled after that. 

Precycling: A prevalent idea in this blog that anyone can practice. It’s reducing waste by eliminating it. You are stopping the problem before it’s created. 

Up-Waste: This is the waste used in creating the product before it gets to the consumer. I try to take up-waste into consideration for all my purchases. Being a functioning member of society, the only way to avoid up-waste is to move to a cabin in the woods and grow all of my own food. In this blog I focus on what I can control as a consumer.

Waste: For the purpose of this blog we are talking about things that end in a landfill or cannot be fully recycled. This has to do with my waste not up-waste. “adj. (of a material, substance, or byproduct) eliminated or discarded as no longer useful or required after the completion of a process. noun. material that is not wanted; the unusable remains or byproducts of something.” – dictionary

REFUSE what you don’t need.

REDUCE what you have.

REUSE what you can.

RECYCLE or compost what you cannot.