It’s a hot summer’s day were the sun is sweltering and you can’t stop sweating. Your lips are chapped, cheeks and shoulders slightly burnt, and there is no fan that can cool you down.

Your hand automatically reaches for a water bottle, anything to lower the temperature of your body, and mindlessly chug it. Once you are done with the bottle, finally feeling refreshed, you throw it in the trash bin as if you were a basketball player. Of course, the bottle doesn’t end up in the bin so you pick it up and throw it in there.

The bottle of water will go to a landfill, dump, or it’ll get recycled. If it was sent to a landfill or dump, it will take at least 450 years for it to completely degrade. Some bottles will take 1000 years to biodegrade, even if it’s a very small water bottle.

90% of bottles aren’t even recycled and those that are made with Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET or PETE) will never biodegrade.

Another thing to consider is that it takes 1.5 million barrels of oils every year to make the bottles and there is more oil that is burnt when they’re being transported.

So what can we do to help the environment? What can we do to lower our plastic consumption?

What is Zero Waste?

According to the Zero Waste International Alliance, “Zero Waste means designing and managing products and processes to systematically avoid and eliminate the volume and toxicity of waste and materials, conserve, and recover all resources and not burn or bury them.”

By practicing this philosophy, the user eliminates all discharges to land, water and air that are considered a threat to the ecosystem as well as our health. It maximizes recycling, minimizes waste, reduces consumption and makes sure that the products they are using will be reused, repaired, or recycled back into nature.

Like any other lifestyle, it will take time to get used to it. First you have to declutter your home, find the things that you will constantly reuse, recycle those that can be recycled, and donate or sell those things that you don’t need that are in great conditions.

You will have to get used to carrying around reusable water bottles, utensils, stainless steel straws, cloth napkin, tote bags, and produce bags made out of cloths as well as opt for place that sell things in bulk instead of getting that box of chocolates you can’t reuse or recycle.

If you menstruate, you will find out that most menstrual pads and tampons have plastic inside of it, so you might have to check out more eco-friendly alternative such as a menstrual cup or reusable period pads.

Babies and toddlers also have an eco-friendly option to disposable diapers as well as utensils, cups, plates, and even toys.

There are hundreds of blogs, websites, and stores that focus on making the world a little bit more eco-friendly. Why not check it out and learn more about this lifestyle?

What are your thoughts on Zero Waste? Do you have any tips and tricks or books/videos/podcasts to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle?