The Principles of Zero Waste
Refuse what you do not need. Stop allowing things like junk mail, free pens and takeout boxes to clutter your home. Think of each dollar as a vote and try to make purchasing (or lack thereof) decisions that uphold your values.
Reduce what you do need. Examine your home and lifestyle to identify things that you don’t need. Look for duplicates and things that society has convinced you that you need (i.e. a salad spinner). Donate the extra items to secondhand stores or sell online!
Reuse by using reusables. Replace these items with long-lasting Zero Waste alternatives that either A) will last into a foreseeable forever (think stainless steel or glass) or B) will effectively disappear into the Earth with time.
Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce or reuse. Anything that you are unable to find a suitable purpose for (without tossing) can likely be recycled. Research your local recycling policies and follow their rules!
Rot (a.k.a. compost the rest). At this point, you should have taken care of the vast majority of your waste. Hoorah! All that’s left should in theory be food waste and compostable scraps – think meal scraps, coffee grounds, egg shells, bamboo items, compostable papers, etc.