Zero waste is a fairly simple concept to understand. It is a philosophy that encourages a less wasteful, low-consumption lifestyle to reduce the products and materials we throw away on a daily basis. The idea is that nothing you use ends up in the landfill. Zero waste means different things to different people, and sometimes recycling is an accepted action with a zero-waste lifestyle, especially for those new to it, but seasoned zero-wasters prefer to have nothing to toss out at the end of the week, whether it’s recyclable or not.
Zero waste emphasizes the idea that reduce and reuse come first for a reason, and recycling should be a last resort rather than our go-to for incredibly high consumption rates. While true zero waste is impossible since we need clothes, computers and phones, glasses, dishes, etc. to live, the idea is that we reuse and repurpose as much as possible. So, here are a few of the ways you can lean toward a zero-waste lifestyle too:
Ditch the Single-Use Products
Non-reusables like plastic straws, plastic cups, disposable coffee filters, paper towels, plastic cutlery, disposable coffee cups, plastic bags, and more will drastically the level of trash in your garbage can at the end of the day.
Purchase Second-Hand As Much As Possible
One of the easiest ways to reduce the number of products that are thrown away is to purchase second-hand items as much as you can. Visiting thrift shops, shopping online marketplaces for used items, and browsing yard sales are simple ways to find great used products that work just as well as new ones.
Avoid Plastic Packaging
More than 50% of your garbage every week is due to packaging from food you purchase in the grocery store. Many products in our shops have two or more layers of packaging that all head to the landfill without fulfilling any important purpose that can’t be accomplished with reusable jars or biodegradable packing. Buying fresh and in bulk with personal containers drastically reduces your daily garbage.
Do Your Best
The most important part of going zero-waste is to do the best you can when making conscious decisions about the waste produced by your habits. Even if you can’t reach zero-waste status, every small change helps. For all of your environmentally-conscious recycling, use appropriate bins and dumpsters.