Zero waste is the goal to send nothing you buy to a landfill. The three R’s- reduce, reuse, recycle, and composting is what you do to make small changes that add up to a big difference. Less is more. We live in a disposable society where items that are no longer needed end up in the landfill. Moving into the no waste lifestyle is simple with a few modifications.

Every year toxins from cleaners, batteries, electronics, and other items are sent to landfills. These items can leak dangerous chemicals into the soil. These substances end up in our water supply and ocean from runoff. Some of our trash doesn’t even make it the landfill; instead, it ends up in the ocean harming wild life.

The hardest part of a no waste lifestyle is getting started, and it is a process. Read below for a Simple Zero Waste Start-up Guide to help you achieve your goals.

Simple Zero Waste Start Up GuideYou do not have to go out and buy every zero-waste substitute. It is easier to replace your non-zero waste items as they run out. It doesn’t make sense to throw away unused items, because that would be wasteful too, right? Make sure to recycle and compost whatever you can. Reuse old item, donate, or give away items as gifts. The goal of no waste living is to keep stuff out of landfills and recycle your waste.

Here is a Simple Zero Waste Start-up Guide:

Start by recycling. This may seem like an easy decision, but you would be surprised how many people do not recycle. If there is no recycling program in your area, look up the local recycling plant and start with one item at a time. Most plants accept aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, and some plastic items.


  • Straws - Request no straw with your drinks when you order out, or bring your own reusable straw.
  • Water Bottles - Plastic bottle should be the first thing that goes when starting a zero-waste lifestyle. Buy a reusable water bottle. According to The Guardian, the number of plastic bottles purchased will increase 20% by 2021.
  • Universal Coffee Filters - Using a universal coffee filter for the coffee maker, and reusable k cups for your Keurig. This saves the plastic cups from getting tossed into landfills, and you can use any type of ground coffee. It is a great money saver if you buy your coffee in the bulk foods section.
  • Glass Jars - Instead of using plastic containers and Ziploc bags to store food, supplies, or other items, replace them with glass jars. You can find a lot of these at thrift shops at a lower price. The jars are perfect for taking a salad with you for lunch.
  • Reusable Shopping Bags - Opt for bringing your own reusable shopping bags made from cloth and are machine washable. In California, customers who do not bring their own bag, are charged $0.10 each bag from the store. You can also buy reusable produce and bulk food bags.
  • Bulk Food Items - Check out your grocery store’s bulk bin section. This is a fantastic way to cut food packaging. You can use cloth cinch bags for dry foods and bring glass jars for the wet. You can write on the bulk foods tag how much your jar weighs to have subtracted from the total weight at check out.
  • Bamboo Utensils - Bring your own eating utensils instead of using plastic ones. There are reusable organic bamboo cutlery sets that are biodegradable, and BPA free.
  • Cloth Napkins - Stop using paper towels and sponges. Instead, cut up old linens as napkins and use for cleaning. You can even use cloth napkins in place of paper ones.


  • Simple Zero Waste Start Up GuideCloth Hankies - Instead of buying boxes of tissue paper, invest in handkerchiefs as your grandparents did. There are vintage reproductions of unique floral design cloth hankies.
  • Clothing Consignment - Donate unused items in suitable condition to help the second-hand marketplace. Think second-hand when you need to buy additional items.
  • Reusable Toothbrush - Instead of buying a new plastic or battery-operated toothbrush, choose a bamboo toothbrush.
  • All Natural Toothpaste - Create your own toothpaste by using natural ingredients.
  • Bar Soap - Buy light packaged, or unpackaged bar soap. If you are unable to find unpackaged bar soap, there are some packaged in recyclable paper instead of plastic.

Start composting to reduce the amount of food waste sent to the landfill. Find out if your city offers a curbside composting program like Portland Oregon. Portland reported a 44 percent drop in trash collected from the curb after the food composting program started. If there is no curbside compost program in your city, start your own composting. Your city may also offer curbside yard debris pickup.

Remember that change is tricky for everyone, even if you are the one making the first move. Choose the easiest things for you to change first. This simple zero waste start-up guide will help you move in the right direction. The no waste lifestyle is next to impossible, even if you reduce your garbage output to a pint-sized jar in a year. You cannot completely control the manufacturing of products used every day. You can control what products you spend your money on. Getting as close to zero waste as possible, is an attainable goal with the help of this Simple Zero Waste Start-up Guide

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More info? For more information about a healthy lifestyle, check out our other post: HOW TO REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO VOC'S

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