5 Sustainable Living Phrases to Practice This Year

Zero waste is harder in public. Practice these five sustainable living phrases to ensure you always know what to say to leave any situation trash-free!


Anyone living a zero-waste lifestyle will tell you that everything is harder in public. Odds are, everyone around you is eating at fast-food restaurants, tossing disposable coffee cups left and right, and accepting plastic at checkout. 

Practising these five phrases will help you stay strong, ensuring you always know exactly what to say to leave the situation trash-free!

5 Sustainable Living Phrases to Practice This Year

“I live a zero waste lifestyle, which means I don’t accept anything into my life that will end up in the trash can.”

Zero waste living is still a foreign concept to many people, especially in the United States. Taking a short moment to educate the people you interact with can make a world of difference, even if it simply means they’ll know what you’re talking about next time around.

Works great at: grocery store checkout and everywhere else.

“I’d love a water, but no straw, please. And I’ll skip the napkin, too.”

It’s so easy to forget that disposables are commonplace at most restaurants. Next time you go out for dinner, make your request known immediately while giving your drink order. The server would much prefer to get it right the first time than take a second trip back to the kitchen

Works great at: sit-down restaurants, grab-and-go joints, and bars

“I’ll take a 12-ounce almond milk cappuccino in this mug, if you don’t mind.”

I used to ask for a reusable mug too late. By the time I was finished giving my order, the cashier would already have a paper cup making its way down the coffee bar to the barista. Now I keep my order short so that I can get to the good stuff: I want a mug – my mug. This keeps things simpler for both of us!

Works great at: coffee shops and drink stands

“I don’t need a bag. I have a few right here!”

Before your checker starts bagging your groceries, make it clear that you already have reusable bags on hand. There’s nothing more awkward than asking your checker to redo all their hard work. Besides, don’t you want to flaunt your cute zero waste shopping kit?

Works great at: grocery stores, farmers markets, co-ops

“I’m vegan, so I don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy. Is there anything on the menu you’d recommend?”

While this isn’t directly related to zero waste, it is a phrase that those seeking to reduce their environmental impact through their diet need to practice. Eating less (or no) meat is a great way to cut carbon emissions and protect the environment, so educate as you go!

This straightforward approach will ensure your server knows exactly what you can and cannot eat at their restaurant and will help them figure out how to give you the best experience possible.

Works great at: restaurants, bars, and coffee shops


What phrases do you use to make your zero waste life a little simpler?

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