About Zeroish Living

Zeroish Living helps you to drastically reduce waste, particularly single-use plastic. Zeroish Living isn’t about being perfect. It’s about doing lots of little things as consistently as you can.

As a sustainability consultant, I learned that the standard corporate definition of zero waste is “95% diversion of waste from landfill”. So, big companies included, zero waste is not about being perfect or fitting a year’s trash into a jar. It’s nearly impossible to live and make literally no waste. Instead, zero waste is about trying to reduce waste as much as possible and making small, consistent lifestyle changes that make a big impact.

The basic ground rules of zero waste are:

Refuse single-use anything Avoid single-use items as much as possible. Say no to disposable freebies like plastic straws, samples in the grocery aisle and plastic silverware with take-out, as most of these items cannot be recycled and will wind up in landfill.

Reduce the amount you buy Cut down on your overall consumption. Think before you make that purchase. You may find that living with less is actually easier and more enjoyable.

Reuse and repair what you have before buying new Reuse your glass pickle jar to hold pasta or your plastic household cleaner bottle for a homemade cleaner. Swap disposables, like paper towels and Ziploc bags, for items you can use again and again. Repair items you own or buy vintage (clothing for example), instead of always buying new.

Rot (compost) whatever you can Compost mainly any food waste but also paper and cardboard. Composting now comes in all shapes and sizes, and many cities offer programs, so there’s likely a solution that will work for you.

Recycle as a last resort Currently we are consuming more than can be recycled, so don’t rely on it. Know what can and cannot be recycled in your city and separate your items accordingly. By swapping out disposables for reusables and making more conscious shopping decisions, there shouldn’t be too much to recycle anyway. You will probably still create some trash each week — don’t feel too guilty about what you throw away but aim to reduce it weekly.

For many – myself included – getting started is the hardest part. To simplify the process, check out my step-by-step method that helps systematically tackle waste reduction throughout a household, starting with the easiest changes first.

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