How to Lead a Zero Waste Lifestyle

Always wanted to lead a waste-free life but didn’t know where to start? Our article will provide you with all the steps!

zero waste lifestyle

Zero Waste: What It Is and How It Works

Replace plastic bottles with metal ones, avoid disposable containers, and aim for producing food and household products yourself. Do you want to know how to reduce waste at individual and municipal levels? Then you’re in the right place!

Don’t buy anything new and use what you already have as much as you can. Do not throw away stuff that could be useful — try giving it away to someone else or bartering for other products. When shopping, try to avoid plastic containers, use paper bags or glass bottles instead. These are only a few of the things you can start doing if you want to adopt a Zero Waste policy. Have you ever heard of this way of living?

Zero Waste is a lifestyle that aims to produce the smallest environmental impact. This is possible through almost total reduction of waste. This way of living means never taking your attention away from the things you do and the way you do them, no matter how small or insignificant. Zero Waste lifestyle comes with the responsibility for each one of your actions and the imprint that it will leave on the environment. It also means becoming aware of the fact that change begins within the walls of your home.

There are more and more zero wasters these days. Without moving to the countryside or living in a caravan, these people made their lives more environmentally friendly. Being a zero waster means deciding what you need for a better life and what you are willing to give up to get it. 

Zero Waste at Home (and on the Internet)

Zero Waste begins inside the walls of your house. This lifestyle is not a solitary one — there is a huge network through which you can exchange advice and opinions. The online resources that can inspire you are manifold, and some of them, like the Zero Waste Network, are concerned with gathering the experiences of people. 

Fellow zero wasters might differ in everything, but every one of them can make a contribution to the common cause or share an idea other members can benefit from. The purpose, however, is always the same — to make your trash can as small as possible, proving to yourself and the world that it is possible to stop producing garbage or come very close to it.

Tips for Starting a Zero Waste Life

If you have decided to give it a try, you should figure out how many things you can give up to reduce your garbage production. But don’t make the mistake everyone makes — to lead a Zero Waste lifestyle, you don’t have to buy anything at all. You don’t need any equipment either. 

In case you don’t know where to start, this community of likeminded people has come up with ten simple steps, which will lead you to reduce waste quickly and easily. Don’t worry if you can’t follow them consistently. Even a single of these steps can have an enormous positive impact from an ecological point of view. Don’t be afraid to give it a try: the environment (and your pocket) will only thank you for it.

  1. Always use the same bottle and never buy a new one or use a glass or a metal bottle.
  2. Avoid disposables. Alternatively, consider using a more durable alternative (like cloth handkerchiefs instead of paper ones).
  3. Always carry your shopping bag with you. Don’t take the plastic bags you get offered at the cash register and always keep a cloth bag or a net bag at hand.
  4. Avoid plastic packaging. Alternatively, choose paper or cloth.
  5. Change your toothbrush. Better alternatives are bamboo toothbrushes and the ones with interchangeable heads.
  6. Repair things when they break down instead of throwing them away.
  7. Store and freeze food in solid containers instead of plastic bags.
  8. Avoid using coffee sticks.
  9. Buy less stuff. When you are about to purchase something, ask yourself if you really need it.
  10. Use fewer detergents and fluid cleaning products.

If these steps aren’t enough for you, you can also bring joy to your little kids with best riding toys for toddlers that will stand the test of time and won’t impact your ecological footprint.

Zero Waste City: the Capannori Case

So far, we have talked about Zero Waste policy as a personal life choice. Now, let’s see how a production system that recycles materials can be implemented at a municipal level. 

A project called Concrete Steps Towards Zero Waste is currently underway in the Italian town of Capannori. The town authorities also sponsored the creation of the Zero Waste Research and Redesign Center that is responsible for analyzing locally produced residuals and finding better ways to deal with them.

Started in 2007, the Capannori model also includes a sort of guideline called Ten Steps to Zero Waste, which outlines the ten vital actions for recycling and disposal. You can easily find these steps if you Google a little, we won’t go into them right now, because they demand more time to go through.