Is Zero Waste just for the young and affluent?

pouring_granola_into_jar.jpg.662x0_q70_crop-scaleThe conversation surrounding Zero Waste living needs to embrace everyone, including those who live with disabilities and low incomes.

Many online commenters complain about the fact that Zero Waste blogs tend to be run by primarily young, affluent females who have the time and money to run around town, visiting numerous stores in order to source their favorite local, organic ingredients in fancy glass jars and stainless containers, before heading home to DIY everything from bread and yogurt to toothpaste and body wash. (I realize I, too, am guilty of giving this impression.)

For many, Zero Waste has become synonymous with privilege and wealth because there is so little online discussion about how people who do not fit those categories can possibly attain Zero Waste standards. This is hardly fair. Just because someone has very little money or lives with disabilities doesn’t mean they don’t care about the environment, nor have the willpower and desire to implement waste reduction in their personal lives. More bloggers should be asking, "How does Zero Waste benefit people with disabilities and low incomes? Is it even realistic for those with limited physical access and tight budgets?"

Ariana Schwarz addresses this topic in an excellent article called “Is Zero Waste Unfair to People with Low Incomes or Disabilities?” Schwarz believes that Zero Waste is not ableist or discriminatory toward the poor. In fact, it provides great opportunities to improve quality of life.

Read more here.