According to the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2018 the average American produced 4.9 pounds of municipal solid waste per day. When we throw something away, it doesn’t just go away. It has to go somewhere. Most of the waste we produce ends up in landfills. Some finds its way into our water systems and the ocean. To live a less wasteful lifestyle, we should all consider our behavior. For one week, I urge you to simply observe your daily habits without judgement, paying special attention to what you throw away. Only through increased awareness can you change your habits for the better. Most of the waste we produce isn’t malicious, just mindless.

I am still on a journey to zero-waste. I consistently strive to create less waste in my daily life knowing I may never truly achieve total zero-waste. Below are excerpts of my journey.

Ways to Create Less Waste—Beginner

Ways to Create Less Waste—Intermediate

Ways to Create Less Waste—Advanced

But wherever the truth may lie, this much is crystal clear: our bigger-and-better society is now like a hypochondriac, so obsessed with its own economic health as to have lost the capacity to remain healthy. The whole world is so greedy for more bathtubs that it has lost the stability necessary to build them, or even to turn off the tap. Nothing could be more salutary at this stage than a little healthy contempt for a plethora of material blessings.

Aldo Leopold
March 4, 1948