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Zero Waste: Simple Life Hacks to Drastically Reduce Your Trash

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  660 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Easy and Effective Strategies to Jumpstart a Sustainable, Waste-Free Lifestyle.

We have a worldwide trash epidemic. The average American disposes of 4.4 pounds of garbage per day, and our landfills hold 254 million tons of waste.

What if there were a simple—and fun—way for you to make a difference? What if you could take charge of your own waste, reduce your carbon footpri
Paperback, 168 pages
Published April 3rd 2018 by Skyhorse (first published June 1st 2016)
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Jul 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I've been pretty daunted by a lot of "zero waste lifestyle" books and articles I've read, and mostly end up feeling really guilty for not having already thought to do/ done some of these lifestyle changes. This book really makes "zero waste" feel less overwhelming- it's comprehensive, funny, and a lot of it makes actual sense. Su gives you examples on how to do what you can, and doesn't ever guilt you into feeling like if you can't fully commit to zero waste, your efforts don't even matter.

I hav
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I found this book ok. Maybe it's because I've been reading and researching this topic for a long time. It's a friendly, chatty book and a better place to start than Zero Waste Home and I say that because some areas felt really lacking. I was confused as to what location she was coming from: Japan? Canada? Europe?

I also found issue with the formatting of the book. Half the book is reasoning and chatty and suddenly shifts into recipes. There's also no conclusion.

Lastly, it ends in worm composting
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, waste
This is a very good, short, easy to read intro to zero waste, full of tips on ways to reduce the garbage you produce in your home. Its practical and realistic. Almost all of the easier items- carrying reusable water bottles and grocery bags, packing lunches at home in reusable containers, buying vegetables, fruits and grains instead of processed food- are all things we've been doing in my house for years. But here are the three most useful new things I learned: 1) If you would like to stop getti ...more
Jessica Gillies
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environment
Visually appealing and full of practical and realistic tips.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe her blog is fun to read once in a while; I haven't seen it. This book was extremely irritating. No philosophical, thoughtful underpinning, just a bunch of trendy gobbeldy-gook. The advice often contradicted the principle she supposedly espouses. "Catch-penny" is, I believe, the old-fashioned label for a book like this.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really great intro into a zero waste lifestyle. Especially liked the pictures.
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: aawoc, selfhelp
This starts off fairly strong, and there is some genuinely good advice in here (appreciate the shout out to local co-ops! Seriously, I love going to the co-op and checking out the bulk section). But then it gets very weird. Between the bragging about how she has odorless sweat, encouraging people to add essential oils to their homemade toothpaste (aren't you not supposed to ingest essential oils??), and some lackluster science writing (T O X I N S my dude)- this goes off the rails.
Colona Public Library
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, april
I want to reduce my carbon footprint and stop wasting so many things, so I picked up this book. There are tons of examples in this book of how to accomplish this. Some are easier than others. The author was not "preachy" which I liked. She understood that some things were not for everyone. That anything you do to produce less waste is a victory. She did bring to my attention things that I really did no think about, For example, we all buys things that we only use once and throw away. We should s ...more
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been wanting to get more into a zero waste lifestyle for awhile now, and this book has given me the push to actually go through with it!

I was just browsing Barnes and Noble with my mom and she came across this book and pointed it out to me. She and I have been going on a small sustainability journey together, so the title stood out to her. I immediately had to have it, and here we are.

I love the concepts that were talked about in this book because it really does make so much sense to be mor
Sasha Vaniev
A pleasant read to get started in the Zero-waste concept.
The author digs quite deep on two of the Rs of sustainability: Reduce and Reuse. The book is heavily based on the recipes, tips, and tricks that make it very practical for those who would like to reduce the amount of waste drastically in daily life. Some tips strongly depend on the context of living and available infrastructure but, all in all, everyone can find something useful.
The language of narration is conversational and friendly but
Wow! Hats off to this couple for becoming so involved in living green! They go to a level most of us are not willing to reach for in order to reduce their waste (a worm farm in their kitchen!) The book has lots of tips on buying in bulk, how to go greener with homemade cleaning supplies, toiletries and hygiene items, and suggestions for greener meals. There are recipes for many things. Throughout the book, they remind us that in order to waste less, we need to buy less.

The ideas presented in Zer
Jay Miraldi
I think this book is a good starting point for people who aim to cultivate more sustainable habits, but it is not a handbook for 100% zero waste living, which, to the author's credit, she says in the intro. The book is a collection of tips that the author and her spouse have gathered through their own journey of trial and error as well as some statistical data about the problems with convenience culture and the reasoning behind the solutions proposed. One thing that was a little troublesome to m ...more
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a super quick read and if you're not new to learning about zero waste efforts, you likely won't pick up a lot of new info here. For newbies though, it would make a great introduction to how to go about decreasing their waste in every area - food, body care, cleaning, etc. She includes recipes for various home cleaners as well as for hair/body care and gives suggestions for avoiding many types of trash. While not much was new to me, I love seeing books like this being published because th ...more
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Simple, practical, realistic. I love that Su included citations, has evidence-based and factual content to support the decision to go "zero-waste." She hits on the hard truths of our global climate situation; the misinformation and prevalence of consumerism and how to escape it; and the many positives saying no to stuff and waste can generate. Well-done. Highly-recommend.
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved the conversational style of writing and learned a lot too! Zero waste is definitely a daunting commitment but this book offers some real tips on how to accomplish it. Honestly it’s about unlearning a lot and relearning to live a life of less wasteful consumption (something our modern capitalist society certainly doesn’t advocate for). Highly recommend!
Mar 03, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wasn't the best book ever written, but it had some good recipes for money-saving and earth-friendly ways to replace the disposable and wasteful products most people currently use.
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Lots of good tips/resources for reducing your waste.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book with lots of great tips and do-it-yourself recipes. I am now making my own toothpaste, dish soap, laundry detergent, and all-purpose cleaner. So easy to do and money saving as well.
Laura Haske
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a practical, non-judgmental book of ideas for living a life with less waste. The concepts in this book make me happy - simplicity, efficiency, and minimizing waste.
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed these helpful tips on living a zero waste lifestyle. I was actually a bit surprised to learn that I’m not as terrible at the average consumer. However, I do feel like the full-on lifestyle is a bit extreme and over simplifies some things. For instance, rye flour and apple cider vinegar might work for straight hair, but as a girl with naturally curly hair, I have to have the shampoos, conditions, and other hair products I use. Also, going completely toilet paper free seems a bit ...more
Aug 23, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love the concept of zero waste, and this book definitely provides plenty of inspiration and practical ideas for reducing one's waste. Although some of the tips and strategies are not always realistic, depending on one's family size and where one lives, it is a great reminder that we can all do better and more to reduce our waste. I am much more aware of excess packaging and how best to avoid it after reading this book. I dream of the I will live in a city with a zero waste / bulk food s ...more
Amanda Red
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very accessible and practical introduction to zero waste lifestyle, that refers to more comprehensive reads for those seeking to gain more detailed insight. Highly recommend to anyone to reduce their waste and carbon footprint. In contrast to Bea Johnson's "Zero Waste Home", this book does talk about ethical decisions re: protein sources and the illegal exploitation of trees for cellulose and palm oil, which I really enjoyed.
On one hand, I applaud the author for giving some practical advice on how to live more sustainably. On the other, I hope no one who lives like this lives under the illusion that this these kind of lifestyle choices will ever solve the problems that they seek to address. Reading through the book, it is simply too daunting to think of switching to all these things. I simply don't have the time, money, or geographic privilege to be figuring out how to source these sustainable products, and I'm sure ...more
Michelle Adamo #emptynestreader
A simple, well-illustrated guide on how to reduce your household waste and your use of our natural resources. Some of the advice is pretty basic, while other are more advanced than I'm ready for (I don't see myself making my own cleaning products or shampoo any time soon). Still, I did learn a few things: your envelope is recyclable but the "window" in it is not, receipts are not recyclable (due to the ink), plugged in device chargers (and printers, clock radios, etc) continue to use electricity ...more
Helpful, useful, attractive little book. Not overwhelming for the beginner, but with plenty of inspiration and recipes for the committed.

As a new parent I definitely HA HA HA'd at her "make your own..." makeup, kitchen & bath cleaners, etc, (WHO HAS THAT TIME? HAHAHA. Not me, if I want my child to live and prosper, etc) but the beauty of this lifestyle and beliefs is doing whatever you can. I don't have to be perfectly ZERO waste, but I can reduce what I use, buy consciously, and reuse or repur
Rachael Thomson
Ok, so you have to understand that portions of the Zero Waste movement are substantially insane. I've read a bunch of zero waste articles, and follow zero waste people on the internet, and a surprisingly large percentage of them recommend peeing on your houseplants.

This lady is much less insane. She still recommends asking to speak to the manager and essentially bullying shopkeepers, and not one of these writers acknowledge that zero waste is only cheaper if you have the time to do it, and that
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this is my third zero waste book and potentially my last, unless someone recommends something great. a lot of repeat recommendations and suggestions from past books, but in a less preachy kind of way which i liked. hence the four stars.

i do think for all these books, the section on why trash is bad could be shorter.

i learned that in canada, you can put a "no junk mail" sign on your mailbox. in germany, you can sue a company who sends you junk mail even when you have posted a refusal sign on yo
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't intend to go completely zero waste (and Shia emphasizes depending on where you live, going zero-waste can be impossible), but this book has a lot of great tips in drastically reducing waste. Shia reminds us it isn't about recycling more- it's about buying wasteful products less (but, yes, recycling is still important). It would be nice if there were some sections on children (I don't have any, but I'm sure that is a big waste area) and pets, as I would like to reduce in the pet area. Sti ...more
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review is for the English edition published as "Zero waste : simple life hacks to drastically reduce your trash."

I liked this book and it was worth it for the origami trash bin liner diagram and catalog of what size jars are good for different kind of storage. The one real drawback is that it is best for someone who lives in San Francisco or Berlin, where there is much more infrastructure given to these kinds of lifestyle choices. I don't know how well the advice will work if you live in K
Joe Barrineau
There were certainly great recipes for a variety of green products. In addition to some unconventional ideas on minimizing waste ranging bringing your own containers for your dining in leftovers to wrapping your food in towels instead of plastic bags. It was the frequent impractical ideas that are available in only Canada or Europe that made this frustrating at times. Sure it'd be nice to have soap and detergent fill stations to shop at, but it may be awhile until we see those here. Also skip th ...more
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What if there were a simple—and fun—way for you to make a difference? What if you could take charge of your own waste, reduce your carbon footprint, and make an individual impact on an already fragile environment?

A zero waste lifestyle is the answer—and Shia Su is living it. Every single piece of unrecyclable garbage Shia has produced in one year fits into a mason jar—and if it seems overwhelming,

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