who we are

About Us

We go to work every day to build community around zero waste solutions and help people become champions for zero waste in their home, neighborhood, church, business, or organization. 

We focus on building habits and infrastructure that eliminate the need to produce items that will eventually be landfilled, burned, or dumped into oceans and waterways.

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We're actively building and enabling zero waste systems

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Joy is the bedrock of our practice and strategy

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We're committed to helping everyone find their place in bringing about a zero waste future

Purpose

Live Zero Waste exists to promote social and economic practices that move beyond extraction and exploitation by helping people understand, design, and implement zero waste and circular economy systems.

Vision

We look forward to a world where trash is a thing of the past, where resources are thoughtfully used and reused, and where people and planet are not sacrificed by default. 

In Action

We provide the resources, community, systems, and support people need to stand in their power and start movements for zero waste where they are, be it a household or a school district.

Why focus on Waste?

We focus on waste because it’s the most tangible representation of our ongoing extraction. Trash itself isn’t necessarily the problem; the issue is that we continue to extract, consume, and then dump materials without confronting the inevitable reality that we don’t have endless resources. This process is doing real damage to human and environmental health.

Understanding how we interact with trash is a vital first step, and often illuminates possible systemic solutions. The fundamental insight that we work with is that most of the environmental and human damage has already been done by the time we’re throwing something away. We need to fix the trash problem much earlier, before we buy the item in the first place.

What we Do

Our Programs

Our focus is on putting zero waste into practice in a way that celebrates existing efforts and is built on strong community buy-in. Most of our programs arise organically from the efforts of individual champions.

Challenge Program

Large scale zero waste education program

Returnable Containers

Pilot program for returnable takeout containers in restaurants and grocery stores

Zero Waste Schools

Building the movement for systemic shifts towards zero waste in our school districts

Education

We run community challenges, workshops, and do presentations on zero waste.

Consulting

We work with businesses, institutions, and cities to craft systems and policies to advance zero waste.

Organizing

We organize and bolster community efforts to put zero waste into practice.

Our Story

Co-founders Samuel and Lydia are a brother-sister team with a commitment to decreasing waste and helping you enjoy the benefits of a trash-free lifestyle.

While doing research on air pollution and climate change in Beijing during the summer of 2015, Lydia and Samuel realized their consumption habits, along with the production of the disposable items in their life, were creating the air pollution and climate change they were researching. They decided to embark on a one-year zero trash and zero recycling journey to lessen their negative impact and create more sustainable habits.

A big motivation for their year-long pledge and the creation of zerowaste.org was to provide an informational platform and a supportive community for anyone who wanted to give the zero waste lifestyle a try, even if just for a day. Lydia and Samuel define their success entirely by the success of the community and hope you will join the movement to lessen our impact on the planet and enjoy a simplified life focused on relationships and experiences rather than consumption and trash!