Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
The Zero Waste movement is all about making changes to simplify your lifestyle and getting creative to keep things from going to waste. About 160 million tons of trash is thrown away each year in the United States alone, but how much of our trash is actually trash? Instead, we may be able to Reuse or Repurpose most of the things that we send to landfill.
Before throwing something away, consider these things:
1. Think about how you could have avoided this trash.
Was there another option for you to buy the same thing without the trash? Was this an essential or could you have Refused it?
2. Repurpose, Reuse, or Repair.
Find new ways to make use of the item or get it fixed before purchasing a replacement!
3. Consider donating or handing it down.
Drop off your items at a local donation center or check in with friends and family to give your things a second life!
Of course, making changes to live a zero or low waste lifestyle can be difficult and feel overwhelming. Start where you can, with what you have and try your best! Chances are you don't need to buy all kinds of new things, you might already have what you need.
“We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” - Anne Marie Bonneau