A Guide To A “Zero Waste” Lifestyle


The rapid filling of landfills in the United States poses a significant environmental challenge, with various types of waste proving detrimental. Embracing a “zero-waste” lifestyle emerges as a commendable solution. Explore our comprehensive blog to discover valuable insights and practical strategies for minimizing your ecological footprint.

The 5 R’s

When trying to live a “zero waste” lifestyle, there are 5 R’s that are widely accepted. These are:

Refuse: The first of the five R’s is Refuse. This means, when possible, it is best to try to refuse things that contribute to waste that is harmful to the environment. One of the main things to try to refuse when possible is single use plastics. Choosing alternative items can help to significantly reduce the amount of plastic waste that we produce. Additionally, refusing to receive paper mail and opting to receive it electronically instead if/when possible is another great way to reduce waste and help the environment!

Reduce: Reducing is the second of the five R’s. Reducing waste is different than refusing it considering reducing waste generally applies to items that you must use to some degree, but may be able to cut back on to an extent. This includes things such as living more minimalistically and/ or borrowing things that you only need for a short period of time. Reducing waste may also help one save money considering waste can come from the purchase of a physical good.

Reuse: This third R is Reuse. This principle is centered around maximizing the useful life of the products that you have. Similar to the principle reduce, this does not only help the environment, but can also save you money! Opting for reusable water bottles and repurposing packaging materials are effective strategies for waste reduction, as disposable or single-use alternatives contribute significantly to environmental waste and can be costly.


Recycle: This fourth R is Recycle. Generally, this can be pretty easy as many places have marked bins for recyclable items. With that being said, having a recycling bin in your house as well is a great way to reduce waste and encourage family members to be more attentive towards our environments needs!

Rot: This final R, rot, really refers to the composting of natural and organic waste. One way to do this is to have a compost bin or area in your yard where you dump organic waste (compostable materials only). Having a compost bin is very good for creating more healthy soil if you have plants of a garden. You can also turn this principle into a fun family hobby by using the healthy soil to start a family or community garden where you can grow your own fresh vegetables!


Producing as little waste as possible is incredibly helpful to our environment. Even if you can only do small things to help the environment, they can have a major impact over time with consistency. At Highlands Environmental Solutions, we offer common sense solutions geared towards helping our clients environmental issues. Click the link below to learn more about what we can do for you!

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