Oakton Outlook

How to Live Zero Waste

Learn what living zero waste means, and why it is important to be zero waste.

Zoe Sauger, Editorial Board

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A zero-waste life… mmm seems too hard. Well, not actually, a zero-waste lifestyle becomes easy once you get started, but the key words are getting started, and that can be challenging. Like anything changing habits is not always the easiest but you just have to suck it up and think about how much you are benefiting the environment. “I think that transitioning from a regular lifestyle to a limited lifestyle is very difficult, but not too bad if you have a passion for it,”Carly Odom (9) said about how she started living zero-waste.

What does zero-waste actually mean? Zero-waste is producing as little waste as possible. Although, there are different levels of being zero-waste, some people will create just a little bit of waste, and others, who are more extreme, produce no waste. Odom later in the interview talked about what zero-waste meant to her, “I think that people shouldn’t strive for a zero waste lifestyle (which would mean producing literally no trash), but should instead have a limited waste lifestyle since in this day in age it is next to impossible to get by with no waste.”

A zero-waste lifestyle is a very important movement because let’s face it the earth hasn’t been doing well, and part of that reason is because of the waste production. Most of your waste ends up in a landfill and stays there for pretty much forever, well not forever but by the time it does degrade a new landfill has been created and it creates a cycle. So, why not just recycle? Well, only 9.5 % of all the waste you recycle is actually recycled. So recycling does help, but it is not really beneficial

Living waste free is difficult, but it is best to just ease into it. Slowly you can start producing less and less waste. Some of the easiest ways to produce less waste is to use reusable bags, especially for grocery shopping. Another way is when packaging food use reusable tupperware. Odom has changed many things in order to produce limited waste, “So far I have been using reusable produce and grocery bags, making more foods homemade, purchasing foods from the bulk bins instead of using jars, I’ve been doing more on my computer instead of using pen and paper, bar hand and body soap.”

Living waste free might be very hard for most people, but it should be more important to live with limited waste. We love earth (well most of us) and it is important to keep the earth healthy, so if that means we have to produce less waste that seems like a good deal. In conclusion, the next time you use a plastic bag for your sandwich, think about where the trash is going, and possibly use a reusable bag for your sandwich next time.  

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About the Writer
Zoe Sauger, Editorial Board

Hi! My name is Zoe Sauger. I am a sophomore at Oakton High School, and part of the editorial board on the Outlook. I enjoy writing and knowing what is...

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How to Live Zero Waste