Thoughts and Actions: Reducing Waste and Living Mindfully


At Be Zero, we are continuing to spread the message of practical low-waste living along with simply ways to live more mindfully everyday. We'd like to start 2018 by sharing this inspiration through the lens of our Be Zero Ambassador Volunteers. Below you'll find a handful of personal actions and thoughtful ways to rethink your waste and your everyday life. 



Begin a gratitude practice with a friend. Gratitude is grounding and life-affirming. It can be done at any time as a quick check-in or as a deeper reflection. I've found that I have steadily grow in closeness with my gratitude partner as it's an incredibly intimate and vulnerable form of sharing.  - Ella Kinsman, Brooklyn, NY

Awareness is powerful, think it through. If you only plan to use something for a few weeks, days, or even minutes - it doesn't need to be made out of a material made to last hundreds or thousands of years. Search for reusable alternatives that are made with sustainable practices. When in doubt, connect with individuals passionate about Zero Waste living in your community and online, and utilize them as a resource.   - Lena, Grand Haven, MI


Media consumption dominates most of our lives. To live a more simple life, find ways to still be part of the media but make it less of an immediate importance. Turning off all notification for apps on your phone based on your needs will help you browse far less, making life more meaningful.  - Daniela Watson, Omaha, NE

Make note of the things you are buying for the purpose of throwing it away - Ziploc Bags, Brown Paper Bags, Trash Bag Liners, Yard Bags, etc. and replace them with reusables or stop using them all together. You don't need liners in your trash cans - especially once you start composting and recycling! - Genevieve Nalls, Charlotte, NC


Be prepared. Keep your reusable bags and your bottle for water always in your bag and anytime you are hungry, you can get something without packing easily. - Pavla Wernerová // Brno, Czech Republic


Change your mindset. This is a tough one, but so so important, because without changing your mindset, and deciding that buying less, owning less, and producing less trash is something you are committed to, nothing else matters.  - Emily Post, Lakewood, CO




Find your tribe! Oftentimes our close friends and family members will not be our biggest supporters, because they don't quite understand or they're just not ready to change. This can be very discouraging - so don't lose faith! Share your new lifestyle changes on social media; plan a meet-up with local folks trying to do the same; build community! This will allow you to offer and accept inspiration and motivation to keep at it, and to grow accountable to one another. I have met so many amazing locals who are now my close friends!  - Darby Bundy, Seattle, WA


Eat seasonally and locally, find a farmers market or grocery committed to supporting local agriculture. Get to know your local farmers and growers and build relationships with them. This not only supports community economy but also helps reduce our impact on the environment.  - Page Case, Charlotte NC

Work on identifying places where its easy to find certain products you buy in bulk often that are near where you live. Make a big commitment (to yourself) to always stick to buying these easy to source items in bulk. This allows you to start making new habits that aren't so hard to keep, so will help avoid frustration and ease the path for taking the next steps in reducing your waste.  - Brenna Walsh Montreal, Quebec, Canada