The guide to 101 Zero Waste lifestyle

planting green grass

According to Wikipedia, Zero Waste is a set of principles focused on waste prevention that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.

The goal is for no trash to be sent to landfills, incinerators or the ocean.  The definition adopted by the Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA)is:

Zero Waste: The conservation of all resources by means of responsible production, consumption, reuse and recovery of all products, packaging, and materials, without burning them, and without discharges to land, water or air that threaten the environment or human health.

How to start practice ZERO WASTE?

According to Center For EcoTechnology, Zero Waste is a movement to reduce the amount one consumes and consequently throws away.

Adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle is one of the most sustainable ways of living. Zero Waste lifestyle choices influence all environmental areas by preventing resource extraction, reducing the amount of materials thrown or trash awat, and reducing pollution from producing, transporting, or disposing of materials.

Paula and Nairn started their zero waste journey 5 years ago after watching the ‘Trashed’ documentary. They immediately started reducing their waste by swapping items like plastic toothbrushes for bamboo ones. They admit that it can be challenging, especially with kids and pets, but they’re determined to continue reducing their waste and making it easier for others to do the same. They started off by sharing resources online, progressed to selling zero waste items at local markets, and finally opened a brick-and-mortar zero waste store in Victoria, BC nearly 3 years ago. Let’s watch the video below:

Zero Waste is often shown as something not easily accessible, or nearly impossible – but it’s actually very easy to take simple steps toward Zero Waste or Less Waste at first. In fact, when you adopting a Zero Waste lifestyle, it can also means a more affordable lifestyle. Composting, buying second-hand, sharing when you can, or packing your own lunch are all simple steps you can take toward Zero Waste, all while saving money too!

There are a variety of ways one can start practice Zero Waste habits, remember one step at a time! You can start by reducing waste first and slowly adopting to a more sustainable ZERO WASTE eventually.

The guide to 101 Zero Waste lifestyle:

  • 4R (Reduce, Reuse & Recycle + Refuse)
  • Reduce what we use
  • Reuse what no longer works, by convert it to other means or purposes)
  • Recycle when all previous options have been explored.
  • Refuse what we do not need (for example, opt for strawless when dine in at restaurant, refuse for plastics packaging instead bring your own shopping bag!)

Remember what Chief Seattle quoted: ”


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Japan’s Town With Zero Waste – Kamikatsu


Kamikatsu (上勝町Kamikatsu-chō) is a town located in Katsuura District, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan. As of 1 September 2020, the town had an estimated population of 1,344 and a density of 12.3 persons per km². The total area is 109.63 km².

Kamikatsu is a “zero waste” town, all household waste is separated into 45 different categories and sent to be recycled. In 2008, a poll showed that 40% of residents were still unhappy about the aspect of the policy that required items to be washed. But the town continues the policy as it is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than purchasing an incinerator. The Town recycles about 80% of its waste. The town has set a goal to become fully zero waste by 2020.

The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent.

After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.

How Kamikatsu goes ” Zero-Waste”?

Products containing parts that belong to two or more different categories need to be taken apart, and separated accordingly in the allocated collection bins that then get sent for recycling. Plastic food wrappers must be washed before being thrown out, while waste paper should be bundled up using upcycled twine made from old milk cartons. Different types of glass and plastic are sorted by colour.

Residents are also incentivised to avoid single-use products through a scheme that rewards consumers points when they refuse disposable plastic items. The points can then be collected and used to buy other reusable items.

The remainder of the items that Kamikatsu residents have found too difficult to recycle – primarily due to products that have been manufactured in other regions of Japan or are imported from abroad – are then finally sent to an incinerator located in another town. These efforts have drastically reduced the amount of waste the village created – in 2016, Kamikatsu recycled 81% of all the waste it produced, far exceeding the national average of 20%.

Kamikatsu’s achievements has demonstrate to the world that going zero waste is possible, let us try a small step to go into zero waste!

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