the circular mindset

make less trash


The Circular Mindset is a way to rethink our daily consumer and lifestyle habits to help us reduce our trash and plastic footprint. It's also a mindset that encourages us to add value back into the things we use, the communities we live in, the food we eat, those who create the materials we consume and the resources used to make them. 

If you've come across the term zero waste for the first time, you'll often come across many how-to's, photos, blogs, checklists, and challenges to help reduce our individual plastic and trash footprint. At Be Zero, our focus is more on helping others to develop relationships between ourselves and the world around us. Here you'll find less of the how-to's and more ideas on how to cultivate what we call the circular mindset. This can help us navigate a disposable culture on a long term basis. It's important to understand why we are looking to do reduce waste, while being ecological thoughtful, and while exploring the behaviors behind these actions as well.

The term zero waste has been redefined into a lifestyle movement as of late and often the term is taken to literally as though we can not make any waste. That's not really what we should be focusing on it's a much bigger and different story than that!

A little history to the term....

"The term zero waste was first used publicly in the name of a company, Zero Waste Systems Inc. (ZWS), which was founded by PhD chemist Paul Palmer in the mid-1970s in Oakland, California. The mission of ZWS was to find new homes for most of the chemicals being excessed by the nascent electronics industry. They soon expanded their services in many other directions." 


Thinking about how we design and how nutrients flow through a system....

(click on the quote below to learn more about this)

"A circular economy seeks to rebuild capital, whether this is financial, manufactured, human, social or natural. This ensures enhanced flows of goods and services. The system diagram illustrates the continuous flow of technical and biological materials through the ‘value circle’." 


Dive deeper into this concept by heading to The Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Also check our Recommend Reading list.

Our current infrastructure is linear. This means we design from the beginning with waste as an end product. There isn't a way to actually make zero trash right now, this is because everything we do is linked to an infrastructure that is linear. What we can do is create a mindset that helps to navigate us through our current disposable culture. 

At Be Zero, our focus is to educate and inspire individuals to understand waste, rethink waste, and help create better connections between ourselves and the world around us. We focus on relationship and conversation building within this topic - how do we collectively use and interact with the environment and our communities? 


Questions we should ask:

How do the materials we use get to us? 

What happens when we use these materials? 

How do the materials we consume effect people, communities, and shared resources? 

What can we learn from indigenous cultures when it comes to relationships to the planet?


Below you'll find our two infographic guides that will support this mindset. Stay tuned for an upcoming audio guide on Be Zero's Circular Mindset! 


The content and infographics on this page may not be reproduced or shared without our permission. 



Less is more. When we simplify we become less overwhelmed and less distracted. Simplicity gives us space and freedom from our belongings and it adds meaning and value to our experiences. 


Let's invest back into our local communities by creating  sharing programs, community food gardens, composting options, and engaging our family and friends to rethink their trash footprint. 


By understanding our true wants and needs we discover the value of ownership rather than consuming for convenience alone. Intentional and mindful consumerism helps us focus on products that are lasting and reusable.


 How to Make Less Trash Guide

This graphic was designed in-house as part of our education outreach at Be Zero. 

If you find value in this guide and you'd like to download or share, please consider making a one-time contribution of $5 to Be Zero. Your support goes to expand our educational programs, outreaches, and materials.

Below you'll also find additional posters translated in different languages! 


Thank yoU!


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Spanish Translation


Chinese Translation

German Translation

Hindi Translation