I’m not living a zero waste life – yet.
Because guess what? It doesn’t happen overnight. And if you try and make that significant of a life change happen immediately, chances are, it won’t stick.
That’s a major misconception about the zero waste lifestyle. We read stories about zero waste rock stars who haven’t produced trash in years (*cough* TIFT founder Lauren *cough*), but that’s just their highlight reel. Everyone who is zero waste had to start somewhere, and I bet they’ll tell you the same thing – it’s a process.
So if you’re any bit interested in living a zero or less waste lifestyle, here are some key things to keep in mind:
ESTABLISH YOUR “WHY”
Most everyone who decides to explore the zero waste lifestyle has a “why” behind what they’re doing. Get specific with your “why” so you can return to it on a daily basis as your inner motive.
Are you a surfer who hates seeing plastic wash up on the beach?
Have you experienced a health scare or issue after using a beauty product containing toxins?
Are you tired of spending $6 on a latte every single day?
Are you fed up with our political leaders not giving a damn about climate change?
Write it on your mirror, tattoo it on your bicep – always come back to you WHY.
ASSESS YOUR WASTE
Dig through your trash!
Just kidding….kind of.
The easiest place to start is assessing where you’re making a lot of waste and focusing on those areas first. Even if you can’t solve every aspect of that area right away, you can start to prioritize the steps you want to take. Which leads me to my next point…
Maybe you realize you’re throwing away a lot of trash by getting to-go coffee and takeout on weekdays. Prioritize making coffee at home and taking it in a reusable mug, and meal prepping and packing your lunch.
Maybe you’re a product junkie and realize you’re throwing away tons of shampoo, lotion and soap bottles. Look into shampoo bars, bulk beauty items and sustainably made products.
Looking at the big picture of all the waste in your life can feel overwhelming, but once you break it down and focus on one area at a time, it becomes so much more doable.
Check out asome of my favorite zero waste items broken down by “areas of waste” at the bottom of the post for ideas on where to start.