There’s plenty of buzz around reducing waste, taking care of the environment, and how to be zero waste. With more companies trying to jump on the bandwagon, it can feel like an overwhelming marketing scheme of sunshine, butterflies, and sugar-coated truths.
These are our top 5 things you should know before going zero waste.
Adopting a Zero Waste Lifestyle Is Critical for the Health of Our Planet
Even if you don’t have kids, consider how our current trajectory as a human species is already affecting future generations. They’re going to live among the waste we’re creating. Choosing a zero waste lifestyle means taking ownership of what we can, while we can.
Natural disasters have increased in number and severity in the last 50 years, and it’s largely in part to our wasteful consumer patterns and climate change.
On the surface, a zero waste lifestyle and natural disasters may not seem connected. If climate change is to blame, why should you worry about your waste?
It's simple: the lifecycle of your products directly affects our climate.
For example, increased heat in the atmosphere and warmer ocean surface temperatures (primarily caused by greenhouse gases from landfills) can lead to increased wind speeds in tropical storms.
… As if we need more intense storms to worry about, right? Our waste is filling landfills and making the problem worse. Thankfully, waste is something we can control!
And while technology has helped reduce the number of deaths from natural disasters, the number of natural disasters caused by climate change has grown – as clearly outlined by the UN’s News website:
“The number of weather, climate, and water extremes are increasing and will become more frequent and severe in many parts of the world as a result of climate change. That means more heatwaves, drought, and forest fires such as those we have observed recently in Europe and North America.”
So participating in a zero waste lifestyle – even if you aren’t perfect – saves waste from going to the landfills. Creating less waste means reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and slowly reducing the effects of climate change.
Control What You Can Control – Focus On Your Choices and Start Choosing Zero Waste Products.
Yes, there are portions of the issue that we can’t control – like big-scale factories and carbon production. But we can’t let ourselves fall victim to the mindset that our actions and choices don’t help because THEY DO!
Use your voice with your vote and your purchases!
2. Zero Waste Products Aren’t Always the Most Convenient Option, But They Are The Best Option for Long Term
Zero waste products won’t always hit the mark if you’re dependent on convenience. Sometimes a zero waste lifestyle takes more work and consideration. But when we slow down, we can actively make choices that HELP the earth heal instead of causing further damage.
We won’t sugarcoat it. A zero waste lifestyle can feel like more work, especially at first.
But really, it’s about mindset and committing to your priorities. Then the rest falls into place.
And yes, the expense is an initial investment, but many would argue that it actually saves you money in the long run. At Zero Waste Outlet, our goal is to make zero waste products incredibly affordable for everyone.
Another thing to consider: sometimes zero waste products take more thoughtfulness in caring for them. While materials like bamboo are durable for long-term use, they usually can’t withstand the high intensity of dishwashers and must be hand washed.
It’s not the end of the world (see what we did there?), but it helps to be prepared.
Pssst! What Wasteful Companies Don’t Want You to Know: Zero Waste Products Can Be MORE Convenient Sometimes.
Have you seen those “natural” products suddenly popping up everywhere in large chain stores? These Greenwashed brands use sneaky marketing to suggest their products are superior AND eco-friendly, but they’re usually lying to you.
Zero waste products, on the other hand, have nothing to hide. And you just might find you prefer them over traditional products.
Sound too good to be true? Lucky for you, we have the reviews to prove it.
We’ve also got helpful information for your zero waste journey, like our blog explaining the top 5 reasons you should switch to tooth tabs.
There’s a whole new world of options to explore, and we think it can be pretty darn convenient.
3. Swapping to Zero Waste Products Would Reduce Plastic Pollution and Waste Exponentially – On a Global Scale
The impact our choices have on the environment can’t be underestimated – for better or for worse. You, YES, YOU can help.
A single grocery bag can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. Think about how you could help save space on our precious planet just by reducing your plastic consumption at the grocery store. Easy.
If your ultimate goal is to be plastic-free, but you’d like some pointers on how to reduce your plastic waste in the meantime, check out one of our latest blog posts, where we break it down into simple steps.
When you start using zero waste products, it puts sustainable principles at the front of your mind – it’s like a friendly reminder to practice and prioritize the environment.
4. Creating a Zero Waste Lifestyle Doesn’t Happen Overnight
Spoiler alert – it’s unlikely you’ll have the time or budget to immediately swap all your plastic and wasteful products for eco-friendly alternatives. (Though that would be awesome, wouldn’t it?)
We’re not here to guilt-trip you – we’re here to support you on your zero waste journey.
So as you start to shift to a zero waste mindset, just remember:
→ It’s okay to move slowly, as long as you do it with intention.
→ It gets easier with time and practice.
→ After a while, it’ll be second nature, and you’ll do it without realizing it!
→ Like most things in life, it’s better to view this as a marathon, not a race.
Here’s how to build your zero waste lifestyle the right way:
→ Do your research and ask questions.
→ Be sure you’re choosing the items that fit your needs.
→ Don’t buy on impulse – consider your needs and the lifecycle of the product.
→ Find a few trusted zero waste resources to keep learning and growing.
→ Find a trusted zero waste store you can rely on (we hope that’s Zero Waste Outlet, but even if it’s not, we just want you to hop on board with the zero waste movement).
5. “Natural” Products Aren’t Always Zero Waste Products
It’s like the age-old math lesson: a rectangle is a square, but a square isn’t a rectangle.
Why? The answer lies in the details.
Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean that it isn’t creating waste. This is an important distinction.
A zero waste lifestyle takes effort – you have to learn how to evaluate the product as a whole and not just take an ad or a label as its word.
A product may boast it’s eco-friendly, natural, or plant-based. And while it may be true, it doesn’t automatically qualify something as also being zero-waste, plastic-free, or sustainable.
This may seem self-explanatory to point out, but a zero waste product should be something that creates ZERO WASTE at the end of its life cycle.
→ It should be able to be upcycled or reused and it should be durable.
→ Zero waste materials are biodegradable, compostable, or reusable.
The next time you’re at the store, just make sure you’re shopping with intention – you’ll start paying more attention just by being aware of these key differences.
The Power Is in Your Hands – What Are You Going to Choose?
Now you know a little more about how to be zero waste.
It’s easy to think your habits and choices won’t matter. You’re one person on a planet of billions. But let’s shift that mindset and consider:
What if every person who considered building a zero waste lifestyle actually did it, despite their personal doubts that it would matter?
It could add up to MILLIONS or BILLIONS of people making changes.
Now that would be incredible.
We can create a healthier planet and future for all of us.
You’re up. The power is in your hands – so how can we help?
Reach out at X email or sign up for our monthly newsletter to continue learning and growing in your zero waste journey. We’d love to be your go-to zero waste store. We can do this together!