A Zero Waste Life

An estimated 60-80 percent of the impact we have on our environment stem from household consumption – or, rather, over-consumption. (Science Daily).

Like the video in class showed, our never-ending cycle of ‘buying, consuming, tossing’ has an immense impact on our world. And, frankly, it’s completely unsustainable.

A 23-year old Environmental Studies major at NYU has found a way to live a completely waste-free lifestyle. Her “zero waste” life starts by learning to make all of her packaged products – toothpaste, cleaning products, etc. – by herself. She buys clothes second-hand, and brings her own containers and jar to fill with bulk products at the supermarket. Farmers markets are also package-free and come with the added benefit of buying local.

Even when she is out in the community she cuts down on waste whenever possible – no straws in her drinks, no plastic or paper bags at stores, and no receipts.

Since she has made these lifestyle changes, she says that she saves money, eats better, and is happier. Everything is recycled, reused, or used as compost. Her yearly trash production – the things that absolutely have to be thrown away – is but a fraction of the national average.

Consider purchasing something online. I have Amazon Prime, and use it frequently. When the item I purchased shows up two days later on my porch, it’s in a cardboard box. Inside the box is packing material – literally just pounds of plastic or foam designed to take up space. The item is typically in a clam-shell packaging, wrapped in plastic, or inside yet another box. The majority of the package simply ends up in the trash!

Simple changes can cut down immensely on our consumption. Ordering digital content instead of hard copies, buying more items second-hand, or simply just asking ourselves if we really need that new bobble.


Science Daily

  • Jennifer Brees



5 thoughts on “A Zero Waste Life

  1. zero waste isn’t easy but its possible! i’ve been working hard to reduce my waste as well. one day i just wrote down everything i threw away in a day. its crazy to see all the unnecessary packaging and one use plastic you can go through in one day. you should try it! i know it really inspired me to work harder to reduce my waste

    Victoria Obermeyer


  2. I completely agree that everything in today’s world has too much packaging and is just a waste. This past spring break I was at a hotel and they had individually wrapped jelly beans on the counter. Some things are just ridiculous with the amount of packaging they have. It would be nice if one day everyone could live a zero waste life, but in today’s society it is kind of hard to do without completely changing your lifestyle.

    Jacob Fischer


  3. This is so interesting and eye opening. The video we watched in class definitely opened my eyes to something completely new, I definitely did not understand the amount of waste that we humans truly generate and how it’s all connected from the beginning of the manufacturing of a product. Packaging is something that I’m interested in and how we can cut down a lot of wast while still maintaining the functionality of packaging as protection, decoration and even a marketing tool.

    Mikayla Hounchell


  4. I really enjoyed this topic and I agree with all of the other comments. This is not an easy task, and a task that most aren’t willing to take on but with hard work and a lot of people participating we could definitely see a change!

    -Josie Silvey


  5. My article talked about this similar topic and I think its necessary we start to be aware of how detrimental our daily consumption can be! I like the example you gave of the 23 year old and some simple solutions we can all be doing, I think you should check out my article to see some of the solutions I shared too! Overall well organized and put article.

    Jaiden Deal


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