Zero Waste and Net Zero. What do they mean?

Zero Waste and Net Zero. What do they mean?

Aug 26th, 2021

As more and more people, countries, and organizations take a firm stance against climate change, more and more terms appear on the horizon that describe those actions. Terms such as Net Zero and Zero Waste. But what do they mean? What are the differences? And what are the good terms that we should use?

In this article, we explore two terms and see what they are all about. Let us start with Zero Waste and Net Zero.

Zero Waste

Zero Waste can be defined in a variety of ways. Often communities and countries around the world have their own definitions and perspectives on how Zero Waste can be applied to their contexts.

Wikipedia tells us that Zero Waste is a “set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.”

Perfectly correct. However, according to us, the most complete definition of Zero Waste is given by our partners at the Zero Waste International Alliance.

They explain that Zero Waste is “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.”

Read also: Start Creating Your Own Zero Waste Kitchen

Net Zero

By now, most of us have heard the term Net Zero. But what does it exactly mean?

The most simple explanation states that we reach Net Zero when the amount of greenhouse gasses produced equals the amount of greenhouse gasses that are removed from the atmosphere. Net Zero is also referred to as carbon neutral.

Canada, for example, has set a target of being Net Zero by 2050. The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act will establish a legally binding process to set five-year national emissions-reduction targets for 2030, 2035, 2040, and 2045.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether these emission-reduction targets will be met.

Net Zero is also a popular term used in the construction economy.

The World Green Building Council defines Net Zero buildings as highly energy-efficient buildings which generate or supply the energy they need to operate from renewable sources to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions.

A new report states that every building on the planet must be ‘net zero carbon’ by 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C. Clearly, the building industry has a steep climb ahead to reach these goals … as do we all.

We encourage businesses who wish to reach Net Zero to take a look at our website and reach out. With access to a global network of Zero Waste and resource management professionals, HSR Zero Waste provides a range of commercial services that will help you meet your Zero Waste aspirations and resource management needs.

Read also: Construction and waste

Earn your Zero Waste Certificate today!

If you are ready to take your Zero Waste knowledge to the next level, then you can register for the Zero Waste Fundamentals Program.

This self-run course consists of 5 sessions, a mix of video classes, mini-quizzes, exercises, and additional resources. It is specifically designed for those who are looking for more in-depth knowledge on Zero Waste and aims to provide a solid foundation of Zero Waste practices, policies, values, and concepts.

After completion, you will be able to actively identify, support, and advocate for Zero Waste, achieving a Zero Waste Canada official certificate of conclusion.

It is time to delve into this new way of living and start your journey toward Zero Waste.

Registration is open and we hope that you will join the wonderful global community of Zero Waste Canada Zero Waste enthusiasts!

Register here for the Zero Waste Fundamental program. You can also download the course handbook.

Don’t forget to share this post with all those who care for their environment and are ready for a new challenge.

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