How to Start Zero Waste Living

The zero waste movement can be daunting at first.  How can one not generate trash?  How can one fit an entire year's trash in a jar?  Fortunately, this is not what zero waste is about.  Zero waste is an industrial term that attempts to produce in a way that results in everything getting reused at the end of its life cycle. In the end, the goal is that nothing gets sent to the landfill. This is similar to the way nature uses everything up into its own system.

The challenge with our society is that we live in a linear economy. Not everything is designed to be reused again. We live in a one-time, disposable system. The goal of personal zero waste is to try to consume in a way that is circular.  What does that mean?  When you purchase something, try to think of what happens to it after you are done with it.  The goal then is to change the way you consume to eliminate how much of it goes to the landfill.  Zero waste is a journey and everyone is on a different lane.  Don't get too caught up about the trash in a jar, instead, start small.  The infographic below shows a few of the small steps you can start zero waste living. Change begins with you!

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Start with taking a look at your trash. What do you dispose of the most? Can you find an alternative that does not involve single-use? A few things to consider: get reusable grocery and produce bags to reduce plastic bag use, purchase a reusable water bottle (I personally use this insulated stainless Klean Kanteen), get yourself a reusable coffee mug (try this Stanley cup which was rated #1 by Outside Magazine),  say no to plastic straws, opt to use reusable utensils instead of plastic ones and as each item in your home gets used up, start replacing them with sustainable options.


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