The first of lifestyle I will be discussing is zero waste.
Ok, what is zero waste? In the simplest form it's living a life that creates a limited amount of waste or trash specifically. We are create waste, some are better then others. The worst being the non decomposing waste like plastic and styrofoam. These items will not break down for hundreds, even thousands of years and will do the most harm to the environments and animals they encounter. Then you have the ok or better waste which is recycled items. If you recycle glass it can be melted down and remade into a glass product over and over again without any issue to the quality of the glass. It is single handily the best item to be recycled and the most sustainable. The best waste is compost. It provides nutrients to the soil once it breaks down and does a lot of good to the environment and the animals it interacts with.
People practicing zero waste are focusing on only creating the good and great waste. They typically will store items in glass or materials that will last for a very long time and do not need to be thrown away, like glass jars or tin containers. They do not buy items in plastic or avoid it as best they can. They buy second hand or reuse their goods for another purpose when it can no longer be used for its original purpose. No plastic, paper, or anything that can't either be recycled or composted is allowed.
Reduction of waste is definitely sustainable. Even limiting single use plastic and paper is a giant leap in sustainability because you are reducing the use of items that are toxic, non biodegradable, and harmful to us and wildlife. Plus you are usually buying local from farmers markets, second hand stores, and local food stores that also practice zero waste/bulk selections.
The downside is it's not completely accessible to everyone just yet. Only a select amount of stores are practicing bulk food selections and they sometimes can be quite expensive. And just because someone is zero waste doesn't mean they might not be eating plants and animals that are negatively affecting the environment. You can be zero waste and still be purchasing items that might be destroying the rainforest or have unsafe and polluting animal factories, it's still not a fully sustainable system.
And anyone can be more zero waste, you just have to spend some time and do a little research. A couple of things that can really reduce your everyday waste:
That's it! Some simple things you can do to be more zero waste. And if you feel like this is a lifestyle you really want to pursue there are a ton of "how-tos" out there to give you the full scope of going zero waste.