difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle

What’s the difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle?

What’s the difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle? In fact, there isn’t a lot of difference between these two concepts. And, in fact they go hand in hand.

Although there are many different definitions for both Sustainable Living and Zero Waste the following definitions cover the basics.

Definitions of Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle?

Sustainable Lifestyle

The aim of sustainable living is to use less of the earth’s natural resources, replenish what we can and produce less polluting waste. The goal is to create the least amount of environmental damage for future generations.

Zero Waste Lifestyle

The simple answer: The aim is to send nothing to a landfill. Refuse what you don’t want, reduce what you need, reuse as much as you can, send as little as possible to be recycled, and compost whatever you can’t.

The less simple answer: It’s really about redefining the system. We currently live in a linear economy where we take resources from the earth and then dump them in a giant hole in the ground. The goal of zero waste is to move to a circular economy where we write rubbish out of existence. The circular economy mimics nature in that there is no rubbish in nature.

How to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle

As you can see from the above definitions Zero Waste can be a fundamental part of living sustainably. And, if you take the Zero Waste definition to it’s fullest then it goes a long way towards sustainable living.

The concept of the 5 Rs, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot can be applied to both. So, for sustainable living rather than just considering your impact on waste you should also consider things such as:

Sustainable Energy – wherever possible choose renewable energy sources.  Take a look at Bulb Energy as they score in the top 4 of Ethical Consumer.

Sustainable Transport – walking and cycling and using public transport where possible are all good ways to practice sustainable living.

Sustainable Food – buy local and buy in season. If you can grow your own fruit and vegetables. And, always ensure you reduce your food waste.

Sustainable Building – if you are building or repairing your own home choose sustainable wood and reclaimed materials rather than PVC plastics.

difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle

If you read my Blog What is Zero Waste, you’ll see even more similarities between Zero Waste and Sustainable Living and in fact the lines between them and becoming more blurred.

The end goal for anyone choosing Zero Waste Living, Low Impact Living or Sustainable Living is to reduce their impact on the environment and protect it for future generations so you will quite often find that these terms are used interchangeably now.

Therefore, in conclusion there is in fact not a lot of difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle.

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2 thoughts on “What’s the difference between a Sustainable Lifestyle and Zero Waste Lifestyle?”

  1. Great post! After discovering a passion for sustainability back in 2018 I originally started a journey towards “zero waste” on my blog… But then I realized that the zero waste lifestyle didn’t have to be an end goal, as my sustainable lifestyle already had a huge impact on the environment. It is so important for people to know that living imperfectly zero waste or “sustainable” is just as important as making the switch for good! 🙂
    Jenna ♥
    Life of an Earth Muffin

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