5 Tips on Getting Started on Your Zero Waste Journey

Getting started with living zero waste, is really simple! Ever heard of the 80/20 rule? It also applies to zero-waste living.

It takes 20% effort to get 80% of the way to being totally zero-waste. And then it takes the 80 remaining percent to eliminate the remaining 20% of waste.


This means that if you’re just getting started, you’ll have a super, super steep progress curve. And as soon as you get some momentum going, you’ll find that it’s not that hard to eliminate about 80% of trash from your life within just a few weeks. It’s the remaining 20% that you’ll have to work hard for. Whether you decide to go 100% zero-waste or not is up to you, but don’t shy away from embracing this lifestyle if you’re not willing to go to 100%. Just invest a bit of effort and see where it takes you.

Here are 5 simple tips, that will help get you off the ground and running towards living zero waste.

1. Cut out single use plastic bottles and switch to a durable drinking bottle

Health hazards from leaking BPA and related substances aside… the state of the recycling industry is a bit of a joke. The U.S’ recycling rate for plastic is at only 23% and in my country, Germany, the numbers aren’t looking any better. A lot of recycling trash gets contaminated and thrown out. Plastic is a fossil fuel based product, and doesn’t biodegrade in a landfill, ever – at least not in the next 500 years to come. Boycott the plastic bottle madness and switch to a stable, reusable drinking bottle and water from the tap, or a water fountain.

What to get: If you don’t already own a durable drinking bottle, go out and buy a lightweight stainless steel bottle or use a mason jar. Single-use plastic is the worst, but re-usable plastic isn’t great either. Kleen Kanteen makes a great stainless steel bottle, though I got my current drinking bottle for 3$ in a goodwill.

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