17 Easy Ways to Start Living a Zero Waste Life

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Going green and making efforts towards a more sustainable zero-waste lifestyle is no longer a fad or a trend, it is now the new reality today.

With growing concerns about global warming in recent years, it’s time to pitch in and start making conscious changes that benefit our precious planet (if you haven’t been making the effort already).

Thankfully, you don’t have to reinvent your entire beauty routine or transform your entire lifestyle to join the zero waste movement,

What is a Zero Waste Lifestyle?

Ever hear of the term “zero waste”? A zero waste lifestyle may sound like a pipe dream but it is actually quite possible to live this way.

The idea behind zero waste living is to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as you can in order to minimize your environmental impact.

This means buying items that are reusable or recyclable for things like clothing, food packaging, cosmetics, cleaning supplies etc., so you have less trash being thrown out every day.

How Do You Start Living Zero Waste?

You can also get creative with ways to reuse things around your home!

Adopting sustainability can be easy and simple by weaving small adjustments in your life, like these Zero Waste Bathroom Swaps or just using a reusable bag every time you go shopping or to grocery stores.

If you are having trouble thinking of ways to live a zero waste life, these easy steps will help.

Here are a few simple lifestyle shifts that will help you take the first step, create a positive impact on the environment and make you feel terrific in the process.

Little things go a long way so don’t ever feel like making just a couple small lifestyle changes won’t make a difference.

Eating Sustainably

Everybody knows making smart food choices is important for our health.

But did you know what we eat can make a difference for the health of our planet too?

Opting for more meatless meals throughout the week can help your waistline and the world.

meatless gyro recipe for a zero waste life

Recent statistics about vegan diets indicate that going with veggie-based food choices reduces global warming, conserves water, and saves lives.

The meat industry is responsible for more than 18% of all greenhouse gases released into the environment.

Choosing meatless meals (like our delicious Meatless Gyro with Sriracha Tzatziki Sauce recipe above!) is one of the most simple, yet impactful ways to transform your health and heal the planet.

And don’t forget about food waste. Food waste particularly in the United States is no joke.

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans throw away about 40 percent of our food, which equates to $165 billion dollars per year! That’s crazy!

We all want to save money and make sure we’re eating well for optimal health, so make efforts for less waste whenever possible.

Waste affects the food and water we consume

Much of the waste we produce inadvertently ends up in our water supply as well as in streams, rivers and oceans.

This unavoidably causes fish and other animals to eat the waste or absorb the contamination.

Then, it comes full circle as people eating seafood from contaminated water, end up also consuming plastics or other toxic materials.

Grow Your Own Food

Even a lot of the “fresh” food we buy at the grocery store is wrapped in plastic packaging.

An excellent and healthy way to reduce waste is to try growing your own food.

You don’t have to have a huge farm, just try growing some of your favorite fruits, vegetables and herbs.

Almost anything can be grown in containers so you don’t even necessarily need land or a yard to grow your own food.

For instance, I have a large back yard but I prefer to grow only in containers. This year I have grown over 75 different plants from tomatoes and peppers to pumpkin and artichoke – all from containers!

Mindful Transportation

When it comes to getting around from point A to B there are a lot of steps we can take to feel better and improve the planet.

We mean literal steps.

Whenever possible, try to walk to your destination.

Or consider putting a basket on your bicycle and riding to the market instead of taking the car.

The take-away point here is this: Automobile emissions have increased tremendously over the last few decades, and they’re crushing the pristine, cleanliness of our environment.

Luckily, not all automobiles are created equal.

benefits of electric cars8 Reasons to Switch to an Electric Vehicle

If you depend on a car, then consider getting an electric vehicle (EV for short).

These are far more affordable than you might think, and engineering advancements have greatly improved these eco-friendly cars over the years.

Even EV charging stations are more reliable and efficient now thanks to the demand for transportation alternatives that look great and benefit our environment.

Eco-Friendly Sustainable Travel

Believe it or not, even your travel plans can have an impact on the planet.

From the foods you eat to the destinations you select for vacation, your choices can influence the environment. 

When planning for your next travel excursion, do some research on eco-friendly destinations that support sustainability. 

baby sea turtle on the beach

Sea Turtle Conservation and What You Can Do to Help

You might even consider vacationing close by, because the less distance you travel, the less substantial your carbon footprint will be. 

Take Trips that Give Back.

If you’re staying at a hotel, reuse your towels, and linens and refuse daily housekeeping services.

Take a refillable water bottle that you can fill from almost ANY water source (even a dirty puddle) with you on your travels.

This is especially useful on cruise ships (where you can save a TON of money), airplanes and foreign countries.

donkey sanctuary aruba

Aim for a Zero Waste Home

Speaking of landfills, make every effort to avoid contributing to landfill waste.

By now, I’m sure you’ve seen the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, right? It’s a crazy floating island that is twice the size of Texas (or three times the size of France) made of plastic bottles and garbage in the Pacific Ocean?

Just knowing that our actions have made the GPGP from all the waste should be exactly what opens our eyes to opt to recycle whenever you can.

Luckily, recycling options are available now more than ever.

Even if your city or area might not have a recycling trash pickup service, there are still facilities where you can take your recyclable trash so it is processed and repurposed instead of polluting the planet.

recycle laundry detergent containers

Clever Ways to Reuse and Recycle Laundry Detergent Bottles

There are so many small changes we can make to reduce the amount of waste we produce on a daily basis in our home.

The important thing to remember about trying to reach zero-waste living is that it is perfectly OK to make a simple change here and there with small steps.

You don’t have to be extreme and make sacrifices that don’t work for you.

The easiest way to reduce a lot of waste is to make small simple steps in your everyday life and to switch to reusable items instead of disposable items as you buy new stuff.

zero waste reusable sponge

Reaching your waste free goals isn’t going to happen overnight, but try to simply avoid waste in the first place. Most people end up saving money in the end!

Here are just a few ideas to help you get started.

  • Recycle plastic water bottles into other useful items
  • Addicted to that single cup coffee maker? Upcycle those k-cups instead of just throwing them away and reuse the coffee grounds in your garden
  • Limit single-use plastics like plastic utensils, straws and plastic bags
  • Bring your own bags to the grocery store. Cloth bags are stronger and can carry more too!
  • Ditch the ziploc plastic bags for dry food items in lunches – use washable reusable bags instead
  • Use reusable containers for food storage instead of plastic wrap or aluminum foil
  • Try a shampoo bar instead of liquid shampoo
  • Use reusable/washable cotton face pads for makeup removal and beauty needs instead of throw away cotton rounds and pads
  • Switch out those gross dish sponges for an Antimicrobial Reusable UnSponge instead. These are great for dishes, household cleaning and even as a body shower scrubbie!
  • Ditch single use paper towels and paper napkins for reusable cotton rags or cloth napkins instead. You can buy them or just make your own by cutting up old towels and clothing!
  • Compost food scraps into fertile organic matter for your garden

Shop Sustainably and Conscientiously

Take on an eco-friendly mindset when shopping by supporting the local economy as often as possible or try to buy Gifts That Give Back.

Shopping locally-sourced items makes for a less significant carbon footprint, and also supports your local farmers and vendors.

When it comes to beauty treatments, do your research and shop from sustainable, eco-friendly certified companies for your lotions, shampoos, and soaps. 

Because these beauty products are lovingly made, they are often incredibly luxurious too.

Be Committed to Learning How to Waste Less

These simple changes in your shopping routines can make a big difference in saving the environment and make you feel awesome too!

Be an advocate for your planet while feeling like a champion by making smart choices about shopping, travel, and recycling.

Making positive small changes that benefit the globe is all about being mindful of your choices and options.

The side-effects of making green choices include big rewards for the world and will make you feel like a better person.

It is possible for anyone with determination to make positive changes in their lives and the world around them!

These few steps will help you feel like you’re making a difference – because you are!

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