“What I expected to be a yearlong challenge has since turned into a lifestyle and, dare I say, an obsession.  “

Amy Korst, the creator of the Green Garbage Project,
and a Certified Master Recycler

There are many ways of approaching a Zero Waste Lifestyle, however I have come up with a basic rule book for starting a Zero Waste Lifestyle that has not only helped me but will help you:

  1. Can this be Recycled?
    1. Yes, then recycle it, but make sure to recycle it correctly.
      • If you don’t know what can or can’t be recycled call your local recycling stations or try online recycling with enterprises like Terra Cycle.
    2. No? then search for an alternative.
  2. Can this be Reused?
    1. Yes, then you should keep it or better yet donate it.
      • To be more zero wasteful: gifting items you don’t want or need can reduce waste and give you cool points among your friends and family.
    2. No? Then make sure it is recyclable, if it is not then search for an alternative.
  3. Will this save me money?
    1. YES, the answer should always be YES.
      • If you are striving to be Zero Wasteful then you will be saving money, time, and even your own health in some matters. There will be more on this topic in future blog posts.
  4. Is there an alternative?
    1. The most obvious answer is YES! There’s always going to be an alternative you just have to search for it.

While having a list of reminders is helpful it is important to note that most people don’t think like this. That is why it is important to have reminders, so that if you are unsure about a certain product/object you can remind yourself of these few basic rules.

Remember that there’s ALWAYS going to be some form of alternative. I like to think about it as if I was cooking, since I am not a professional chef, and don’t carry a large variety of ingredients; most recipes I follow have ingredients that I don’t have, therefore I’ll SEARCH FOR AN ALTERNATIVE ingredient.

Using glass jars as containers is a great way to store food and they can be reused.
Photo by Alexandra Garcia

Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle doesn’t have to be hard it can be fun, exciting, or better yet become an “obsession,” as proclaimed by Amy Hurst. Just like cooking is unique when you get creative and add your own ingredients, being Zero Wasteful can be just as equivalent.

Next blog post I will go in further detail of recycling “do’s & dont’s” and if you have any questions feel free to comment down below.

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4 Comments

  1. This is really impressive! Do you have any advice for someone who is interested in trying to do something like this? It seems easy in theory, but hard in practice. Everything we buy seems to have plastic containers and it feels impossible to avoid things like that.

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    1. Hey, Sam! Thank you for reading my post, and I am so happy that you have questions about it, because I know it’s not an easy lifestyle and that’s why I wanted to start this blog and share my own knowledge. Therefore, I whole heartily believe that anything is possible as long as you have the right mindset. So, my number one tip for you is to think about what products you are bringing into your life whether it’s a plastic water bottle or simply any non-reusable packaged items try to think of an environmentally friendly alternative before purchasing and if you can’t find an alternative than strive to buy reusable products or recycle those products you must have that can’t be reused.

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  2. Going zero waste sometimes seems like an unachievable ideal, but having a list of rules, or guidelines like this is really helpful for someone trying to get into the “zero waste mindset”. I think I will copy these down and hang them on the wall above where I keep my trash— and I am looking forward to your recycling 101 so I can post some guidelines over my recycle bin! My husband and I transitioned to a fully plant-based diet about 2.5 years ago, and we’re constantly making vegan substitutes to recipes; I never really thought of it as us taking a step toward being zero waste, but I really like the new perspective!

    Thanks so much for the tips! I am looking forward to learning more 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alex, I really appreciate your mindset when it comes to living zero waste! This is something I would like to add in my life. As a plant lover, I think it is important we give back to the earth since we have caused so much damage to it. I know this is not going to solve all the issues but it’s a start! Also keeping your zero waste rules easy, is something I love! I feel like people are scared or just don’t know what to do when comes to changing their lifestyle. They find comfort in their habits and get flustered when change is suggested. When you keep the rules simple then I believe it makes the process easier to follow but easier to stick with.
    On a side note, I enjoy how you update your readers when it comes to your next post. It may cause a lot of planning on your part but I am sure the transparency is respected!

    Thank you and looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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