Zero Waste Online Courses

9 Zero Waste Online Courses and Professional Training Options

Online courses and training are popular these days, with people learning all sorts of things from the comfort of their homes. If you find yourself more and more interested in a sustainable lifestyle like many others, taking zero-waste courses is something you should consider. You will learn so much about zero-waste strategies from experts.

Some of them also come with certifications to help you notch up your career prospects in the growing green economy. If you don't know where to start, don't worry, that's why we prepared this article. 

Here we scoured the internet to find you the top 9 zero-waste courses.

9 Best Zero Waste Courses

Zero waste online courses
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

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1. ZWIA Zero Waste Training

ZWIA, or Zero Waste USA, offers zero-waste training to individuals, communities, and businesses. Apart from environmental advocates and resource management professionals, students, job seekers, and municipal staff will find this helpful training.

The training involves lectures, practical workshops, and presentations. The training is quite formal; participants earn certifications if they meet all the stipulated requirements. 

The module covers the fundamentals and global principles of zero-waste planning. It teaches participants to use zero-waste planning tools like commodities market analysis and divertability analysis.

The training is not free but is affordable, with group discounts and scholarships available. All the classes are on Zoom, so you won't have to leave the comfort of your home or office. You can join upcoming training events or order custom training for your organization.

2. GreenEducation.US Certificate in Sustainable Resource Management

This certificate program is for resource management professionals who want to keep abreast with the fast-changing regulations and technologies in the field. It is the perfect onboarding program for new recycling managers, sustainability enforcement personnel, and leaders implementing sustainability initiatives. The National Recycling Coalition National Standards Board accredits this program.

With this program, individuals and organizations learn how to avoid wasted resources. They also learn how to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions related to production and transportation. It helps students understand the policies, systems, economics, and infrastructure for managing material resources.

The certification program contains 16 self-paced online courses spanning 30 hours altogether. The certificate from this program is valid for three years, after which you must maintain it by continuing education units from San Jose State University. Find more information about the course here.

3. Zero Waste Living 101 by Sahar Mansoor

This self-paced online course is a relatively short zero-waste course, spanning just two and a half hours. But with over 90 lecturers and interviews with experts, the course is rich in content. Sahar Mansoor is a well-recognized sustainability expert and currently runs Bare Necessities, a hub for zero-waste living. 

Anyone who understands the importance of zero waste and is looking to learn more or is already living a zero-waste life can take the course. DIY enthusiasts and folks who just want a few zero waste tips will also find the course beneficial. You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. 

The course shows you practical steps that will reduce waste generation. Its DIY videos teach you homemade tricks for a zero-waste lifestyle. It covers waste issues in personal care, fashion, homecare, kitchen, travel, occupation, and more. The eye-opening data and research enable students to make informed decisions and set realistic zero-waste goals. Find this course on Udemy and get started. It costs around $12.

4. Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) Zero Waste Principles & Practices

This training course is a joint undertaking of the California Resource Recovery Association and SWANA. If a career in zero waste management interests you, you should consider taking this course. That's because numerous states recognize the SWANA certification as a standard for waste managers. Mid-level managers of programs and systems serving local governments and professionals in an advisory or consulting capacity in associated fields such as solid waste management also take this course.

The zero-waste principles and practices course teaches individuals how to optimize their existing waste management systems. They learn how to imbibe zero-waste practices so that they can meet defined zero-waste goals. 

The ten modules cover an introduction to zero waste, including a survey of different definitions. You'll learn what goes in the waste stream, manage organic waste, and various zero-waste strategies. Other topics include challenging materials, changing behavior through outreach, financing, funding, and contracting zero waste programs.

There are different ways to access the training, and you can buy the eCourse On Demand or join the regular virtual classes. You could also book on-site training for your employees at your place of business.

5. Zero Waste Lifestyle by Permacrafters

This micro-course would be perfect if you are not down for intense or more professionally orientated zero-waste courses. This course is ideal for a novice in the zero-waste movement. The concepts are pretty simple and don't involve compulsory tests or projects. This course offers no certifications.

You will learn what zero waste really is all about, why it's important, and get an introduction to permaculture. The course discusses the 5 core principles of the zero waste ideology; refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, and rot. It exposes some privileges that encourage zero-waste living and barriers to being 100% waste-free.

This course is free, and you can learn at any pace you decide, with no pressure. Find the course on Skillshare.

6. On Course for Zero Waste by WRAP

This free online training course is targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in England and Wales. The course exposes you to skills and tools that will help you to improve how efficiently you use resources. Also, to increase the environmental positivity of your organization using cost-effective methods.

The course contains four basic and four advanced training modules for professionals in the zero-waste industry. You'll be able to download tools and templates for free. Also, you can easily access support from the WRAP helpline should you need it. The  Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) accredited this training course.

The training offers certifications that are a great addition to your CV and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates. Get started with this awesome course right now.

7. Environmental – Ways to Zero Waste

This course establishes the idea of a zero-waste lifestyle as a realistic goal. It gives you insights into the consequences of the waste culture and the significant challenges zero wasters face. You will learn how reducing waste benefits you, your business, and the environment. It also gives tips for making small but impactful changes to create a waste-free workplace.

If you are pressed for time but would love to learn how to reduce waste, this one is perfect. You will get a broad overview of the entire lifecycle of materials. It only takes 10 minutes to go through the entire course. And of course, the course is totally free. You can access the micro-course here.

8. Zero Waste & the Circular Economy by Zero Waste Network

This interactive and fun training course equips you with a comprehensive knowledge of zero-waste principles and practices. It targets local government staff and elected officers saddled with waste minimization and climate change mitigation responsibilities. Community organizations, businesses, and individuals interested in the circular economy, composting, resource recovery, and other environmental sustainability efforts are welcome to register.

The course delves into zero waste concepts, philosophies, principles, and government policies. It also teaches about recycling—what is recyclable, recycling tips, and how recycling comes to a full circle. 

You'll learn to carry out zero-waste activities, including reuse activities, waste audits, and zero-waste events. Note that site tours to resource recovery centers only happen at on-site training. If this course interests you, get more details right away.

9. Zero Waste Canada Training Programs

ZWC offers a diverse selection of zero waste practices certification programs aimed at educating professionals working to achieve environmental sustainability. It's also for individuals and businesses that want to seek out the environmental benefits of zero waste. The programs focus on zero-waste practices, policies, values, and concepts.

Each program/course is individually certified except for the “Introduction to Zero Waste” info session, for which they don't award any certifications. The zero-waste fundamentals program is certifiable. It aims to furnish individuals interested in a career in zero waste economy with a solid foundation.

The zero-waste associate program provides an in-depth understanding of internationally accepted peer-reviewed zero-waste practices and policies. After satisfactorily completing the course, students get certificates that designate them as zero-waste associates. This is the next level of study after the fundamentals program.

ZWC has upcoming courses that you can pre-register for. They are the zero waste community associate and food prep programs. While you wait, check out the available courses now.


Photo by Daria Shevtsova

A sustainable waste practices course will help you see your waste stream in a new light. You will learn current materials management strategies and zero-waste principles and practices. Learning all about achieving environmental sustainability and certification of your new skills will also look good on your CV.

The good thing is that you can attend web-based training or physical events. Training events also afford you networking opportunities to meet with other industry professionals if you are making a career out of reducing the world's trash.

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