News published on 04/07/2019
You’ve probably heard about it during a friendly conversation, or you just encountered it by scrolling through your Instagram feed : the breakthrough of the zero waste trend certainly did not pass you by. But what’s behind this term that can maybe be a bit hazy ? Follow the guide !
This subject isn’t new on social media. #Globalrecyclingday, #trashchallenge, #onestpret… numerous movements were set up these past years to raise awareness about selective sorting of waste and preserving the environment. The growing impact of social media allows these movements to gain strength and to really mark the spirits at a bigger scale. The #onestpret movement, launched during one month last November, assembled for example 120 famous Youtubers and Instagrammers. The latter has challenged their followers for them to also take action to preserve the planet and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. But what’s really behind the generic term « zero waste » ?
What’s zero waste?
You maybe think that getting into a zero waste takes time, money and that it’s reserved for these dirty hippies and other originals living in autarky in the deep end of the countryside ? Well, you’re wrong ! Zero waste is reachable to everyone and can take different forms daily. The most important thing is to develop the will to change. Because before being a trend, zero waste was a state of mind and a way of life. Most often, zero waste followers choose this way of consuming after an awareness : it’s urgent to limit our ecological footprint in order to preserve our planet.
The 5 principles of zero waste
Refuse : everything we don’t need, for example, every plastic bag or paper towels. The idea is to say no to disposable objects.
Reduce : the use of products we don’t need to maximise the limitation of our overconsumption. Eating local and start homemade cooking are part of the many solutions.
Reuse : objects by giving them a second life. It would be better to choose reusable or secondhand products as possible.
Recycle : what can be recycled. When possible, going to a collection point can be a good solution.
Compost : every other waste.
These examples give a slight overview of all the actions that can be taken. However, there’s still a lot more tips to limit our ecological footprint and to adopt the zero waste way of consumption !
The balance between aesthetic and added value
Numerous instagram users decided to link both their passions to nourish their feed and to raise awareness. First of all, the idea is to pass a qualitative message respecting the codes of this social media, that put the accent on the colors and the heavily worked images. The challenge for the Instagrammers is to find the right balance between the aesthetic of their photos and the quality of the message to deliver. On this social media that is mainly based on the image, the interesting messages linked to a pleasing visual are more likely to be heard. So, when we search for #zerodechet, #zérodéchet et #zerowaste, we can often find pictures of jars, reusable tissues or plants, everything through clean, colorful and geometric posts.
This phenomenon, which exists since many years, became a « trend » on instagram thanks to the conveyed messages on social media and to the visibility that influencers allows to obtain. The numbers speak for themselves : under the #zerodechet, 448 000 publications were put online. 33 000 posts for #zérodéchet and not less than 3 millions for its english version #zerowaste.
In view of the urgency in which our planet is in, influencers, always more numerous, decide to take advantage of their visibility and influence to draw strong messages to their community, with which they’re very close to. The idea is not only to « win money » thanks to instagram, but also to inform their followers to operate a real change at an even bigger scale. The influential instagrammers know that they can have a strong impact, even when it’s about subjects less glamorous than fashion or travelling. That is in fact why some influencers explore the coaching industry in order to support those who wants to adopt this new way of consumption. And their followers, curious and listening, give back to them well !
And brands in all that ?
Instagram users are not the only ones to take the zero waste path on the app. Numerous brands have also decided to follow this trend, especially those who make eco-friendly products or those turned towards the zero waste way of consumption. So, it’s not rare to find some posts of brands when searching for #zerodechet, #zérodéchet and #zerowaste. These hashtags represented a good way for the brands to put forward their products and to be discovered by their consumers. So do not hesitate to subscribe to these hashtags to know the best tips to preserve the planet daily !
- Michelle MBANZOULOU @YOÔ