5 Things You Do Not Need to Go Zero Waste

set of silverware on a dark blue napkin

Stick with this community long enough and you may start to feel like if you don’t have a spotless, uniform pantry and a chic wicker shopping basket you don’t fit in. That’s not the case at all! Living a zero waste lifestyle may look idyllic on Instagram, but it’s not all farmer’s markets and fresh linens. 

Struggling with comparison? Here are 10 things you don’t need to go zero waste. Everything you actually need you already have right in front of you: a desire to enact change, a willingness to go against the grain, and love for this planet. A knack for thrift shopping comes in handy too!

1. A French-chic shopping basket

I will readily admit that my wicker shopping basket is as much about fashion as it is function. Don’t get me wrong — I love my basket — but a mismatched reusable bag or two easily serves the same purpose. As long as you aren’t bringing home plastic and sending it to the bin, you’re on the right track.

2. A matching set of jars in your pantry

When we started transitioning to zero waste, I knew that having a beautiful set of Weck jars would inspire me to actually use reusables.

Don’t have the budget to purchase anything new? Check out your local thrift stores or simply reuse the jars your sauces/salsas/pickles come in. I do!

3. A minimalist-looking household

Many people assume that living zero waste is synonymous with living the classic picture of minimalism. That just isn’t the case! Fill your home with things you love (note: love), whether they look like what you’re viewing in your Insta-feed or not. 

4. Everything bamboo

Bamboo is the zero waster’s material of choice because it’s natural, regrows quickly, and can compost effortlessly at the end of its life. Personally, I love the way it performs as to-go cutlery, but a fork and spoon from your kitchen drawer will serve the same purpose. You do you!

aloe plant

5. Doctorate-level knowledge of sustainability issues

Sustainability is complicated, and its complexity can be truly overwhelming. Trust me, I feel it too! That said, when it really comes down to it, what matters most is that you’re doing something. 

You may never go completely zero. You may fly cross-country a few times a year to see family or for work or travel. You’ll probably forget your reusable bags every now and again. But if you kick yourself for a second, then pick yourself up and continue on, you’re doing the right thing.

Keep taking control of your life! Be an advocate! Stand up for disadvantaged communities, and do everything you can to leave this world better than how you found it. We’ll do it together.


Do you ever struggle with comparison? How do you overcome it?

4 thoughts on “5 Things You Do Not Need to Go Zero Waste

  1. Via B Design says:

    It’s nice to see that you don’t need a doctorate-level background in sustainability to make a difference. The basics really go a long way in helping make the right decisions.

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