——Reference from NICOLE GALLUCCI
What is zero waste?
Chances are you've heard the words before, but you might not know the whole deal. A zero waste lifestyle isn't simply about eating clean and purging your plastic belongings — it involves adopting a more thoughtful, minimalistic approach to living.
"Zero waste aims at eliminating as much trash from the household as possible," Bea Johnson, blogger, and author of the bestselling book, Zero Waste Home, said. "What it ultimately does is translate into a simple, richer life based on experience instead of things."
1. Keep "The 5Rs" in mind
Over the years, we have compiled a list of 100 tips to help people reduce their household waste. But "The 5Rs," as she calls them, are the five rules she thinks anyone looking to start a zero-waste lifestyle should start with. refuse what you do not need. Reduce what you do need. Reuse what you consume. Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse. And rot (compost) the rest,
2. Learn to say no to the little things
Whether it's a business card at a meeting, a straw at a restaurant, a plastic bag at the store, or a disposable pen from a conference, recognizing and denying waste — no matter how small — is crucial. We can think about next time someone hands you something, you just think. Do you really need it?
3. Start eating real food
When it comes to the kitchen, Anne Marie Bonneau — who runs a zero waste cooking blog called The Zero-Waste Chef — advises people to cut back on processed foods and reach for the natural stuff. "Start to eat real foods like fruits, vegetables, and anything that doesn't come in packaging,"
4. Try using less of everything
"I use very little dish soap, laundry detergent, body soap, and toothpaste," Jonathan Levy, a zero waste project manager in Los Angeles, California, explained.
Levy, who used to work in supply chain management at a retailer warehouse, sought out a zero-waste lifestyle after seeing massive amounts of waste produced in the warehouse daily. "Most consumer products are designed to dispense or encourage you to use way more than you actually need," he said.
5. Join zero waste communities for support
To stay motivated and open to learning helpful tips from others, seek out zero waste communities for support — whether online or in person.
"I follow a lot of zero waste accounts on Instagram and am a part several groups on Facebook," Monica Rosquillas, who runs the sustainable living blog, Girl For A Clean World, said. "They provide a daily source of inspiration."
Essential products to welcome into your life
Though many items you already own can be reused for zero waste purposes, you can also cut out disposable products by investing in long-lasting replacements. Here are some essentials.