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4 Rules From The 'Zero Waste' Lifestyle Everyone Can Master

By Desirée Kaplan

Can you imagine never having to send trash to landfill again? It sounds impossible, but there are tons of ordinary people doing it every day. Zero waste living was first coined by Bea Johnson, a champion for the lifestyle and author of Zero Waste Home. This way of life essentially encourages people to minimize their waste by following a practical rule of thumb: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (compost). 

But is this lifestyle really doable? In short, yes.

One reason this lifestyle is possible today is because it’s been done before. Civilizations have generally lived zero waste lifestyles up until our great grandparents' generation. There were no landfills overflowing with chemicals or oceans full of plastic until about a hundred years ago when these materials were invented. Since then, product manufacturers never looked back and over time, society could no longer fathom life without plastics and single use items. 

For the less eco-conscious types out there, a zero waste lifestyle has direct personal benefits, too. In fact, anyone can begin to adopt this traditional eco-friendly lifestyle with minimal effort by looking closer to how older generations approached four main areas in their lives.