Moving towards zero waste can be an intimidating for a lot of people!

It’s the process of making sure all products are reused in some way or another. The end goal being that no trash is sent to landfills or incinerators. But what does zero waste really mean? The Zero Waste International Alliance defines it as:

“…designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve and recover all resources, and not burn or bury them.
Implementing Zero Waste will eliminate all discharges to land, water or air that are a threat to planetary, human, animal or plant health”

Zero waste is a goal. A journey. Don’t let the idea overwhelm you. Just take Small Steps to get there as we outline in this episode of Earth911TV.

This video is brought to you by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), the Voice of the Recycling Industry.

Moving towards zero waste in your home.

Bea Johnson and Lauren Singer are two great role models who you’ve heard from before on Earth911.

  • First, think about Bea’s 5R’s. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Rot. The process starts before you get home. It starts with your purchasing decisions.
  • First and foremost – do you really need this item? Or is it an impulse buy or something you’ll use once and never again?
  • Can you buy an item secondhand? If you do, you’re reusing and reducing waste. Secondhand items don’t come packaged in plastic or cardboard containers!

40% of the groceries we buy end up spoiled and in the trash. So can you buy in bulk and only what you’ll use? Many stores have dispensers where you can buy food items. This way you can control how much you buy, save money and bring your own containers instead of adding waste.

There are zero waste grocery stores in other parts of the world, like Europe. And we’re starting to see interest in the States as well. They sell items out of containers. Does that toothpaste you buy really need a cardboard case around it?

Can you make something yourself instead of buying it? Juice, jam, salad dressing, soap, etc. Even if time is of the essence for your lifestyle, you could make it a family affair and not only increase quality family time but reduce waste in the process.

Both Lauren and Bea have been able to reduce their waste to a single jar over the course of a year, or even two years! THAT’S impressive! And certainly a goal of many.

What #SmallSteps are YOU taking at home? Leave a comment below!

More Tips on Moving Towards Zero Waste

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By Luria Petrucci

Luria hosts both Earth911TV and GeeksLife. You can find her at the intersections of fun, green living, technology and the geeky lifestyle. She enjoys learning alongside you on how to make life better, easier, greener and more efficient!