This is the fourth and in my opinion the last step of zero waste lifestyle principles. But in reality we have to include the recycling as the last step. Even though recycling is a lazy way of being environmentally friendly, it still is one of the only ways for some essentials. More on that in Step 5.
Ok let’s get into the fourth step then. This step is all about using your skills or developing new skills, recruiting friends and family to create new stuff from things that you already have or things that you consumed but left behind packaging, left overs and so on.
What do I mean? So instead of chucking anything out, including chucking into recycling bin, keep it and think of a purpose to use it or another way of utilizing it in your life that doesn’t clutter your life but repalce the thing that you might need to buy instead.
For example, instead of chucking the milk cart out into recycling, keep it and make a watering can for your garden or use it as self bidet for your bathroom.
Or instead of donating low quality clothing to charity shops, keep them and make rags or toilet unpapers that go well with your hand held self bidet.
I have to mention that low quality donated stuff get tossed into landfill by charity shops (or op shops). In this fast fashion day and age, people think that it is cheap, I buy it and wear it once and then donate it so those less fortunate than me can enjoy it further. WRONG!!! First of all thanks to cheap clothing and power of credit, the middle class abundance and consumerist culture, most people are doing what you do and the mountain of clothing that get tossed away in this way is mind bugling.
Second, those shopping in op shop are looking for something of quality and not something that they have to toss in a week as they don’t have access to unlimited credit like the middle class.
Hence, op shops have to cut they loss and get rid of the stuff that won’t get sold from the beginning not wasting their valuable and limited time and resources on sorting, cleaning, presenting and storing/shelving them.