madison zwMono Lake, California


Thank you so much for caring. I believe that you care because you’re reading this right now.

Zero Waste California is a non-exclusive community that embraces all walks of life in a non-judgemental fashion. As many of us were brought up as consumers, transitioning to a more sustainable lifestyle is a process, and we don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Though we are based in California, our information is global. Our vibe, however, is very Californian: we are hella laid back, but we get shit done.

ZWC is about providing the best information available so our readers can make informed decisions about sustainable practices that work for their lifestyle. Whenever a plastic package is left on the store shelf in favor of loose produce or a bulk food, that’s a zero waste victory. Whenever a food scrap gets composted instead of ending up in landfill, that’s a zero waste victory, too.

We are not here to shame.

We don’t point fingers, but we do offer alternative solutions whenever possible.

Although anyone can contribute to our page, we all have the same goal:

Saving the planet.


What We Are About:

“Zero waste” is a concept and a movement. It means that as an individual, you do your best to minimize your contribution to landfills. Whenever possible, we follow the 6 Rs of Zero Waste:


Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Refill, Rot

Refuse: Just say no. If you don’t need it, don’t purchase it. Avoid impulse buys at all costs.

Reduce: Whenever possible, use less. Conserve water and electricity at home. Turn the lights off when not in use and use eco-settings on Energy Star approved appliances.

Reuse: Before buying new items, always try to reuse what you have, fix what is broken, or buy second hand. New items inherently come with waste via manufacturing and shipping.

Repair: We mentioned in “reuse,” but it deserves its own category. As a society, we’ve become accustomed to tossing things with minor imperfections, wear and tear, or things that can easily be fixed by watching a YouTube video or having a handy friend stop by in return for some fresh baked cookies. Learn how to repair things yourself and you can be that handy friend getting cookies.

Refill: Find a co-op or refill service to refill your current containers. This means buying bulk pantry items, and re-using bottles to refill items ranging from olive oil to soap.

Rot: By this, we mean compost. If you don’t have a service that picks up your compost, learn to compost your own food scraps. You can do this with minimal space!


Why did we remove “Recycle” from our list of Rs?

On 7/24/2019, our 6 R list added “Repair” and omitted “Recycle.” The addition was an amendment recommended by Chrise D. who makes a great point: let’s try to fix what we have before we buy something new. This all falls under Reuse, but the specification is warranted; over the last few decades, our society has moved away from repairing because buying new items is usually pretty easy and often affordable, but that means we are being wasteful. Let’s try to fix what we have, only buying new things when absolutely necessary, and even still, try to find that item refurbished or second hand.

From the old list:

Recycle: The very last option is recycle. Recycling is not considered environmentally friendly as it requires clean water and energy to process these materials. It’s still a better solution than throwing items in a landfill, but should only be used as a very last resort to landfill refuse.

As a community, we understand that no one is perfect, and that the zero waste process is just that, a process. This is not going to happen over night and people are bound to make mistakes. Learn from them, and do your best not to repeat them.


Remember, this is a process and a journey. We are all in this together. Let’s support one another.

Thanks for caring!


Creator of ZeroWasteCalifornia.org