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  • Naomi Stephens | Permaculture Designer

Living a Zero Waste Lifestyle: Tips and Tricks for a Sustainable Future

Updated: Mar 3

If you're looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle, starting with zero-waste living is a great place.

Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is a transformative journey. It's okay not to be perfect all at once. It requires a gradual process, so it's best to start small and gradually build your commitment over time.

Remember, as with all goals we strive for, it will take dedication and perseverance, but you will eventually get there.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can make zero-waste living more accessible and achievable, even in urban spaces with limited outdoor space or small living areas.

Reduce Your Use of Plastic

Plastic is one of the most harmful materials for the environment. It takes hundreds of years to decompose and can cause serious harm to wildlife and ecosystems when it ends up in oceans and other natural areas.

One of the best things you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce your use of plastic.

Start by investing in reusable items like nonplastic water bottles, fabric grocery bags, and glass containers for food storage. Instead of buying bottled water, bring your refillable bottle wherever you go.

When grocery shopping, use reusable bags and produce bags instead of plastic ones. When storing food, look for reusable containers made from glass or metal instead of plastic.

Start Composting

Composting is a great way to reduce your waste and help the environment.

By turning your food scraps and other organic matter into nutrient-rich soil, you can reduce the amount of waste in landfills and reduce your use of chemical fertilizers.

Even if you live in a small space or urban area, there are plenty of ways to start composting.

Consider purchasing a small compost bin that you can keep indoors, or look for community gardens and composting programs in your area that may be able to help. You can also start a worm composting bin, which is perfect for small spaces and can be kept indoors.

Check out my post on turning bokashi to compost in my apartment

Find New Ways to Reuse and Recycle

Reducing waste and living a more sustainable lifestyle doesn't always mean cutting back on the items you use and need. Instead, it's about finding new ways to reuse and recycle the items you already have.

For example, instead of throwing away old clothing or furniture, consider donating it to local charities or thrift stores. Old glass jars can be used as vases or for food storage, and plastic bags can be used as trash can liners or for pet waste.

Buy Secondhand Whenever Possible

Buying secondhand items is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable lifestyle.

By purchasing pre-owned items like clothing, furniture, and electronics, you're helping to reduce the amount of waste in landfills and reducing the demand for new items to be produced.

Look for secondhand shops, thrift stores, and online marketplaces where you can find great deals on gently used items.

Grow Your Food

Even if you live in a small space or urban area, you can still grow your food. Indoor herb gardens are a great place to start and can add fresh flavor to your meals while reducing reliance on store-bought herbs.

You can also grow vegetables and fruits in containers on your balcony or patio or start a small community garden with like-minded individuals in your area.

Living a zero-waste lifestyle may seem daunting initially, but with these tips and tricks, you can start toward a more sustainable, environmentally friendly lifestyle.

Whether you're reducing your use of plastic, composting, finding new ways to reuse and recycle, buying secondhand, or growing your food, there are plenty of ways to reduce your carbon footprint and live a more sustainable life.


By taking small steps towards a zero-waste lifestyle, you can significantly impact the environment and help create a better future for future generations.



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