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With the Earth in more noticeable states of turmoil, wide-eyed and hopeful youngsters are eager to put their hand in and help out. Of the many efforts that are currently in play, zero-waste management is the most promising way to help out in curbing carbon footprints.

But what does it really mean to live a zero-waste lifestyle?

In general, the goal of zero-waste efforts, as explained by its namesake, is to have less to zero waste. As of the moment, National Geographic reports only 9% of plastic waste is being reused. The rest are sitting on landfills, choking marine life in the ocean, or clogging up the sewers. It makes sense to reduce or, possibly, eliminate the use of plastic to help the cause.

However, it proves to be harder than it sounds most probably because manufacturers rely on single-use plastics for packaging. The need for such products cannot be avoided for some.

 Even so, there are some who are unconsciously on the right track. More cities are now banning the use of disposable plastic, which brought forth a new discipline among consumers in bringing and using reusable grocery bags. Some even bring containers for carrying liquid products. There are also people who repurpose their old items such as shirts to rags, plastic bottles to pots, sachets to bags, and others.

The most impressive ones even track the waste materials they bring into their homes. As such, they would see to it to only produce a mason jar's worth of waste for the whole year. This is a huge task and would probably call for a major lifestyle change. If the decision is sudden, it could even call for an abrupt change. Truthfully, this is not a realistic option for everyone, at least not at the moment.

The trend right now is to slowly phase out plastic use. For example, some manufacturers are switching to or adding organic choices to their line of products. In the long run, most manufacturers are working towards having zero emissions. Also, some retailers have started to sell reusable items rather than disposable items, such as metal straws rather than plastic straws.

Slowly phasing out the use of plastic is much more practical and an achievable goal. The gradual process will eventually lead to a zero-waste lifestyle without having to disrupt one's current lifestyle. Even if for now, small acts such as avoiding plastic bags is the only thing each individual are willing to do, if all people are doing it, then it is a big step towards the zero-waste goal.