green leaf plant
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Nature produces no trash.

The ultimate goal of zero waste is to move in the direction of nature. Instead of throwing stuff away thoughtlessly, all resources are absorbed fully back into the system.

Zero waste means sending nothing to the landfill. This is accomplished by reducing our consumption to only what is needed, reusing as much as possible, and recycling or composting the rest.

It is a process, so don’t expect to go from normal to zero waste overnight. Even if going 100 percent zero waste seems difficult, you can start with incremental goals to take baby steps toward a fully waste-free life.

I’ll be honest. My family and I are not producing zero waste, but we are producing a lot less with each passing year. Living in the woods in rural Guatemala where there is no trash pickup service has led us to become more conscientious about the products we buy and the waste we create as consumers.

We have the goal of zero waste, and we are getting there. Most of our food waste is composted. We have a dry composting toilet that enables us to reuse our waste to grow our beautiful garden. We don’t have a car and opt to walk or take taxis. The toughest part is the plastic. It can be hard to find food items around here that are not packaged in plastic.

Not-so-fun fact: in our disposable society, the average American adult sends over four pounds of trash to the landfill every day.

Zero waste seeks to redefine the present system, in which resources are taken from the Earth and, sooner or later, dumped into enormous, toxic holes in the ground.

Zero waste means living with the intention of not wasting resources and instead utilizing high-quality, bulk, and biodegradable products. It’s making the radical choice to boycott such common things as single-use plastics.

green trash bin on green grass field
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