What Is a Zero Waste Plan? A Simple Guide to Zero Waste

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Zero waste has dominated social media in recent years and has motivated many to cut down on the amount of trash they produce to live a more eco-friendly life. The goal of zero waste is to drastically reduce how much garbage winds up in landfills each year. Are you looking to live a more eco-friendly and sustainable life?
Keep reading for our tips for creating a zero waste plan.

What Does Zero Waste Mean?

The overall goal of the zero waste community is to eliminate or get as close as possible to eliminating all household waste and send nothing to landfills. It is a change in lifestyle that requires a shift in the way your shop, consume and use everyday items.

It follows the 5 Rs of refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. Refuse means denying things you don’t need like plastic straws, cups, lids, bags, and more. Reducing involves cutting back on how often you do certain things like shop, do laundry, and use single-use items.

Shopping second hand or repurposing items like food jars are important components of reusing and recycling. Rot refers to composting food scraps, paper, fiber, and other biodegradable materials.

Creating a Zero Waste Plan

When you begin your zero waste program, you have to take a look at your habits and how you can change to be more eco-friendly. You can’t eliminate all of your waste overnight, but you can get started anytime.

Evaluate Your Lifestyle

How much unrecyclable waste do you produce? Without giving it much thought you may think you may not produce much garbage, but when you consider small items such as wrappers, paper towels, plastic packaging, or food waste, you likely throw away a lot more than you know.

Keep an electronic log for at least a week before you make any modifications to your lifestyle and record how much you throw away and the type of unrecyclable waste you produce most. If you have a lot of packaged and single-use items in your kitchen or bathroom, start there.

Getting Started

A mistake people make when beginning their zero waste journey is buying a bunch of new trendy items like metal or bamboo straws, glass jars, and reusable bags and throw away their current items.  You should use up the single-use products you currently have before replacing them. This will help you make practical decisions and decide what you need and what you don’t.

Making Switches

Once you’ve used up your single-use items, you can determine what switches you can make to move closer to a zero waste lifestyle. Here are some changes you can make in a few rooms of your home:


If you can, buy as much as possible in bulk. Use reusable containers to buy bulk items such as flour, coffee beans, spices, nuts, pasta, rice, cereal, and more. Bulk zero waste stores are becoming more and more popular. You could even get items like milk or butter.


Your bathroom, second to the kitchen, is like where you throw away the most unrecyclable garbage.  Single-use face wipes can be replaced by washable cotton wipes. There are many great zero waste beauty products to swap in favor of unsustainable alternatives.

Laundry Room

Another aspect of zero waste living is cutting back on how much water you use, which means utilizing the laundry room less. When you do wash your clothes, skip store-bought detergents and try making your own. Try drying your clothes on a clothesline as often as you can.

Going Zero Waste

Starting your zero waste plan is the first step in changing your habits and behaviors to benefit the world. Evaluate your current lifestyle and see what changes you can make toward eliminating garbage and slowly transition away from single-use products. You won’t become a zero waste expert overnight, but you can start your journey at any time.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out the other posts on this blog for more fantastic lifestyle advice.

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