The 5 R's of Zero Waste Living

Zero waste living sounds pretty intimidating, doesn't it... But in truth, a lot of us are doing some of the work already. If you're a conscious purchaser, and you try and put your money where your mouth is, you're probably half way there!

A good way to think about it is to remember "The 5 R's". The 5 R's of Zero Waste Living will help you on your way to making conscious, sustainable decisions and soon enough you’ll be doing it without a second thought.

So let’s go!


The first step of the path to zero waste is probably one of the most important - and toughest. As a society, we are BUSY. We often accept the easiest/closest/most convenient option, without hunting around for an alternative.

But the onus isn’t always on the consumer. Big companies (you know the ones) make sure their products are attractively affordable and pumped with marketing, even if it comes at the cost of adding to the plastic pollution.

So the first step is to stop, think and refuse to buy these unsustainable options. Refuse plastic packaging, refuse toxic chemicals, refuse single-use products. They will stop making them if we refuse to buy them!


Reducing your overall consumption and letting go of what you no longer use.

This might take a bit of planning or assessment first, try to question the purchase before you make it - you should be sure you either really need it or it’s of good enough quality that it will be able to be reused over and over again.


Single-use plastics are everywhere you look, and the rate in which we're consuming plastic has got completely out of control. A great way to cut consumption is to try to reuse items as much as possible.

Think about upcycling, and finding a great way to give your things a new life. Get creative about it - look at this blog post that lists FIFTY EIGHT ways you could use a glass jar! The world is your upcycled oyster!


So you've Refused to buy plastics, Reduced your consumption, Reused or repurposed as much as you can... now it's time to think about Recycling!

Make sure you check with your council to be sure you’re recycling the right materials in the right way, so you can minimise what you send to landfill.


Last but not least is rot! You can compost your own household waste either at home or with your local council. This will also reduce what you send to landfill and help lower the amount of methane gases into our atmosphere.

So there you go

The important thing to remember here is that following ANY of the above tips is a step in the right direction. And don't feel guilty if you don't do everything all the time... but I think the more you start living zero waste, the more it will grow into your daily routine - it certainly did with me!

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