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What Zero Waste Means, and Why It’s Critical to Sustainability

You’ll see a lot of brands (and products) that claim to be ‘zero waste’. What does this mean? Why has this concept been created, and why should you switch to zero waste? Fait avec Coeur is an environmentally-conscious company that sells sustainable beauty products, and in this blog we want to talk about zero waste.

Let’s go over what the term means, why the concept is important, and then we’ll go over some brands that are doing it right, like the Zero Waste Face Cleansing Truffle. Find out why it’s the perfect addition to your skincare routine.


The Meaning of ‘Zero Waste’

While the term is pretty self-explanatory, it’s also quite complex in some ways. The Zero Waste International Alliance defines it as: “The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.”

In simpler terms, it’s a practice in which you don’t just look at the amount of waste created when you throw out a product or its packaging – you consider the product’s entire life cycle, its environmental impact, and the amount of natural resources it uses.

However, the term is defined in various ways, and a lot of people choose to just take into consideration the amount of waste they actually throw out. This is likely because it’s something they can control more easily. So slowly working towards that goal is fulfilling - and that’s completely okay!

“We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” - Anne-Marie Bonneau, the Zero Waste Chef.

So, let's do it imperfectly, together!

Why Do We Need to be a Zero-Waste Household?

Now that you know what the term means, it’s time to discuss its importance. Why has this concept been created, and why should you adopt it? To answer that question, let’s look at some statistics that show the state of the global waste management crisis:

  • Canada currently leads the world in waste creation – with its estimated waste generation being over 1.3 billion metric tons annually. That means each resident contributes a stunning 36.1 metric tons of waste annually.
  • The USA comes third on the list, contributing 292 million tons in 2018. This translates to just under 5 pounds of waste per person per day.
  • 8.3 million tons of plastic is discarded into the oceans every year, of which about 70% sinks to the bottom, 15% floats, and the remaining 15% washes up on beaches.
  • As of 2015, an estimated 269,000 tons of plastic was found to be floating on our oceans.

As you can see, the situation is dire. What makes the problem worse is the fact that most of this waste is made up of plastic, which is almost famous for its indestructibility.

What this means is that plastic does not biodegrade (well it does, but it takes centuries to happen). So what we’re looking at is a garbage problem that keeps expanding that will remain in place for centuries to come.

In the meantime, the plastic we are dumping into our landfills and oceans has become problematic. Marine creatures swallow it, or get caught in it, and die a slow painful death. Birds feed pieces of plastic to their young. Plastic is ruining our once-beautiful beaches. In landfills, it is leaching toxic chemicals into the soil and into our underground water supplies.

There isn’t a lot we can do about the existing plastic waste. Scientists are working towards a solution, but if they do come up with one, it will be decades before it becomes a viable option. By that time, the problem will have increased exponentially. All we can do right now is cut back sharply on the amount of waste we create – and that’s where zero waste comes in.

A zero waste household would ideally throw out nothing that cannot be composted, recycled or otherwise saved from the landfills. If we all adopted this policy, the amount of waste being generated annually would go down drastically. It’s easy to blame the government or to blame big-name brands, but in the end, it’s up to all of us. We have the power. So let’s use it.


Six Brands That are Getting Zero Waste Right

While a lot of companies claim to be zero waste, many fail the test. But there are some brands that are doing it right, with sustainable beauty products that set a great example. We want to encourage you to use products from brands that are genuinely doing some good, so here’s a handful of brands to get you started on your journey to becoming a zero waste household:

Thoreau Labs

Thoreau is a new brand on the market who have formulated a completely zero-waste face and body bar. The ingredients are minimal, organic, contaminant-free and vegan, and the bar itself is hydrating enough for the face, and it foams up beautifully, perfect for shaving. Their bars come in compostable paper, and they ship in compostable bags.

NOTO Botanics

NOTO is all about sustainability and conscious identity. Their products are made with locally-sourced ingredients, most of them housed in reusable and recyclable glass bottles. The packaging they use is recyclable, biodegradable, and locally sourced. They are Fair Trade Certified, and the few products that are made from plastic (wash bottles and applicator sticks) are made from recyclable plastics. Definitely a brand to look out for.

Kate McLeod

This brand really goes above and beyond. They sell Body Stones®, which are solid alternatives to traditional plastic-encased lotions. You can keep the stones in their beautiful bamboo canisters. Refills come in organic, unbleached linen cloths that can be reused as washcloths. We go through dozens of bottles of lotion a year, and switching to something like Body Stones means you’re buying a lot less plastic, while their bamboo canisters can be reused for years.

Kjaer Weis

Pronounced ‘keer wise’, this company was founded by a Denmark-born makeup artist who wanted to provide her customers with a product that’s not only ecologically conscious, but also luxurious. So she did – with beautiful metal compacts that can be refilled with blush, bronzer, highlighter, eyeshadow, and more. Their products, packaging and shipping materials are all either recyclable, refillable or compostable.

XO Balm

One product with many uses, the XO Balm, can be used on your skin, lips, nails and more. It comes in a handy metal case that can be reused to store items once it’s empty, and the wooden scoop that comes with it is completely biodegradable. The balm comes without any extra packaging so as to minimize waste – and the concept of a multi-purpose product itself reduces waste to a large extent.

DEW MTY

DEW MTY's Bloom Jelly Serum Bar is an innovative skincare product that replaces your serums, lotions, oils, and moisturizers - eliminating the need to buy other products. This potent little bar is packed with sustainably sourced ingredients that treat skin concerns from fine lines, to redness, to pigmentation, and more, and comes in a recyclable aluminium canister. DEW MTY are a true force to be reckoned with.

At Fait avec Coeur we aim to help brands that are doing great things for the environment. These are just six brands, but there are many others that create minimal waste, have reusable products, and follow ethical practices.

We always do our due diligence on every brand that we recommend to our readers to ensure it’s completely ethical and cruelty-free, so you don’t have to do any additional research.


The Zero Waste Truffle by Fait avec Coeur

At Fait avec Coeur, we think environmental issues deserve a lot more attention than they are currently being given. Whether it’s by launching new products, promoting brands that sell sustainable beauty products, or by educating our readers, we strive to do the very best we can to educate, inform and bring to light the problems humanity is facing.

The Zero Waste Face Cleansing Truffle is one of our original and innovative products. Without having any negative impact on the environment, our truffle gently and effectively cleanses the skin. We offer three "flavored" truffles (but don't eat them!), each of which can be used as a mask, or to cleanse.

  • Oatmeal Nourishing Cleansing Truffles – Containing shea butter and jojoba seed oil, these truffles nourish your skin and leave it feeling cleansed without breaking the moisture barrier.
  • Green Tea Calming Cleansing Truffles – For when your skin is feeling extra stressed or sensitive. It can double up as a gentle makeup remover.
  • Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Truffles – Use these once a week for skin that feels fresh and purified.

Using the truffles is easy! Before going to bed, wet your hands with lukewarm water, squeeze the truffle into a paste, and massage it gently into the skin. Keep adding water to emulsify the paste and remove dirt from your skin. To use it as a mask, leave it on for 10 minutes, then remove with lukewarm water.

These truffles come in plastic-free paper packaging that you can dispose of without feeling guilty. When shipping our products we use minimalist packaging, which reduces the stress placed on our landfills, and cuts down on the amount of trash being tossed into our oceans.