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Making the Transition to a Zero Waste Lifestyle

What is zero-waste?

Zero waste is just that, zero waste, but to elaborate, it is eliminating any unnecessary waste. This can be accomplished in numerous ways, one of which is ensuring proper recycling habits but more on how-to later.

Why practice a zero-waste lifestyle?

Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle can be challenging because you have to unlearn wasteful behaviors while learning to practice mindful consumption. Some find it helpful to connect with others in pursuit of the same goal within their community who can offer support and tips. By making small incremental changes, like starting a compost pile, recycling, repurposing household items instead of purchasing new single-use items, you can begin your zero-waste journey (2021).

Living a zero-waste lifestyle may not be for you but with determination and effort made on everyone’s part, a worldwide difference can be made.

How do you live a zero-waste lifestyle?

According to the MasterClass website, here are some recommendations on how to transition:

  1. “Eliminate single-use items (2021)”

    1. This is an important step to integrate into your daily routine. Some single-use items are plastic utensils, paper towels and plastic bottles.

      1. Instead of using plastic utensils, you can bring cutlery from home.

      2. Instead of paper towels, you can purchase reusable cloth napkins.

      3. Instead of plastic bottles, you can invest in a stainless-steel water bottle.

(Instead of plastic toothbrushes, bamboo ones are compostable.)

  1. “Take note of your trash (2021)”

This may sound disgusting to some but it’s important to see exactly what is being thrown away in your household. By examining your trash, you can “identify where most of your waste comes from (2021)”.

“For example, if most of your waste is food waste, you’ll need to take steps to alter your shopping habits so that you only buy what you can reasonably consume (2021)”.

  1. “Recycle (2021)”

    1. Yep, recycling, you knew it was going to be mentioned again and for good reason(s) also. “Recycling cuts down on our need to harvest resources, helping to save energy, minimize greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce deforestation over time (2021)”.

      1. Remember the 3 R’s of recycling; reuse, reduce and recycle.

        1. Reuse: Taking everyday items that may no longer serve their original purpose and use them for another.

          1. For example, making planter pots out of old shoes.
            (Reusing jars to store dry foods.)

        2. Reduce: “Waste is often due to the inefficient use of resources or bad planning (2021)”.

          1. “For example, buying food we don’t need on impulse or because there’s a special offer and then wasting it (2021)”.

        3. Recycle: The key R, recycling, when done properly, ensures that less waste is being sent to the landfill and instead allows for recycled materials to be implemented into something new.

  1. “Thrift shop (2021)”

    1. How many times do you plan on wearing a new piece of clothing? Have you looked at where the clothing was made? What sort of material was used? How was it constructed?

      1. All these questions should be considered upon the purchasing of new clothing items. However, there is a way in which to avoid this, “buying secondhand clothing at a thrift store is a great way to reuse pre-existing materials, rather than purchasing new, trendy, fast-fashion garments that are more likely to wind up in a landfill (2021)”.

  1. “Compost (2021)”

    1. This is an important concept to become familiar with and practice.

      1. “Under the right conditions, composting can turn your food scraps into pure organic nutrition without all the harmful methane byproducts that are released into the air when organic materials begin breaking down in landfills (2021)”.

        1. Also, if you have your own home garden then composting would benefit you greatly. It’s also more cost effective and safer to use then purchasing mulch for your soil, “which are often made using chemicals (2021)”.

  1. “Buy fresh foods (2021)”

    1. Here’s a great way to reduce and/or eliminate single-use plastics, when buying your fruits and vegetables, ensure they are not wrapped in plastic.

These are just a few suggestions for you to practice a zero-waste lifestyle.

Think you have what it takes to create less waste?


MasterClass. (2021, February 12). How to go zero waste: Inside the zero-waste lifestyle MasterClass. Retrieved January 25, 2022


  • Margaret Villarreal

    Margaret is 32 years old, currently living in Miami Beach, Florida with her partner Keziah and their three Chihuahuas; Betsey, Nadja and Aro. She enjoys reading, gaming, creating art and writing in her free time, as well as getting to visit the beach almost daily.

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