Researchers estimate that there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean in 30 years. That is if we don't significantly reduce the amount of trash we send to landfill. Fortunately, we have control of the solution. Learn how to live zero-waste with this simple guide to help protect the environment.

Globally, we produce 2 billion metric tons of trash a year. With huge amount of plastic that takes thousands of years to decompose. Harming the environment, animals, and human health. One of the biggest contributors to this waste are households. This gives us the power to help mitigate our garbage problem.

Adopting a zero-waste lifestyle is a great solution that will reduce the trash we produce. Although the idea sounds intimidating it is actually very easy to take simple steps towards zero-waste living. But it is important to note that you should not force yourself to do it overnight. The key to achieving this sustainable lifestyle is to be conscious of what you throw away and adjust into the process slowly.

A good way to begin is by eliminating single-use items. Such as drinking straws, disposable coffee cups, and plastic bottles. These items accumulate fast as they are only use for a few minutes but stay in the environment for centuries. Moreover, many single-use items are not accepted in recycling centers as they are hard to recycle. They fall into crevices of recycling machinery which can damage the machine.

Most people are dependent on single-use items but they are actually not necessary and can be easily avoided. For instance, juices and other refreshments will still taste the same even without straw. Or you can carry a reusable straw in your bag to use anytime you need it. There are stainless steel or bamboo straws which are washable and long lasting.

Bringing your own drink in a reusable bottle is a good practice to reduce waste. Buying beverages in disposable containers will only accumulate more waste. It’s also helpful to avoid food take outs and deliveries. Ordering food often comes with lots of trash from disposable packaging. It does not matter if the packaging is made of plastic or paper. Both cut down our natural resources and increases trash to throw out. It’s better to cook your own food or dine in a restaurant to satisfy your cravings without producing waste.

Living zero-waste is more than just reducing trash to send in landfill. It promotes: (1) Reducing what you consume. (2) Reusing as much as you can, not when it’s no longer in trend. (3) Recycling as little as possible. And (4) Composting what we cannot reduce, reuse, and recycle. There is a good reason why recycling is last in the 3Rs of waste management. It’s because recycling should be our last resort for trash that cannot be decompose. It should not be our first line of defense which is what is happening now.

Our growing problem with waste is due to our over consumption. We find convenience in buying and throwing away. Such as when we prefer food deliveries to cooking our own meals. Or picking pre-packed grocery items instead of bringing reusable bags and containers to put in fruits, vegetables, and meat. We can easily minimize our waste production by making small efforts.

Stop feeling guilty for every piece of trash that you drop in a bin. Instead take actions to protect the environment. Challenge yourself to eliminate just one single-use item in your day-to-day life. Then, remove another disposable item when you’re ready. You’ll eventually see your way to living zero-waste.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore is practicing a zero-waste lifestyle. She enjoys sharing the idea with others and encourage them to be conscious of their waste creation. She currently works at, an appliance website that provide durable and long-lasting electric kettles.