Zero Waste Quotes

35 Zero Waste Quotes and Sayings to Inspire Lifestyle Changes

How much waste do you produce every day? Imagine multiplying that to almost 8 billion people worldwide. And if we don't do something today, Earth as we know it will never be the same because of all of our plastic and other waste mounting up in the oceans and on land. Our curated Zero Waste quotes talk about some of the hard truths associated with our wasteful consumerism alongside practical advice, inspirational messages, and many more regarding the global waste issue. 

Eliminating waste has been a practice for millennia. Researchers found, as far as the 1300s, evidence of the Aztecs' ingenuity in waste management. For example, they reused burnable materials to illuminate public spaces at night. They also used organic waste to feed animals and grow plants. Also, they found a way to use human excrement for tanning leather. If ancient cities can do it, so can we. 

Fortunately, the Zero Waste movement came to be around the 1980s. The modern movement still has yet to win the war for mother Earth, but we have already accumulated numerous successes. May our quotes below encourage you to join the zero-waste movement in pursuit of sustainable living.

Best Zero Waste Quotes

In the last few centuries, innovative ideas in all sciences have skyrocketed. However, even though plastics improved convenience across many aspects of society, they also posed new crises. 

But thanks to modern minds who think about the threat of polymers, people have come up with innovative solutions. To name a few, eco-friendly bioplastics made out of algae, sugar cane, and cornstarch are already available worldwide. Researchers are also working on an anaerobic fungus that eats plastic1. And finally, the simplest of them all, the ecobricks, which everyone can make as long as they follow the guidelines

We've come a long way! But we still have a great deal to do to realize the benefits of zero waste for the environment.

"We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." -Anne Marie Bonneau #trvst #quotes #bethechange #impact #sustainability #people #ecofriendly #plasticfree #zerowaste
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ditakesphotos on Unsplash

"We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly."

- Anne Marie Bonneau

"It is one world. And it's in our care. For the first time in the history of humanity, for the first time in 500 million years, one species has the future in the palm of its hands." -David Attenborough #trvst #quotes #bethechange #takeaction #zerowaste #future #ecofriendly #world #plasticfree
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ameefairbankbrown on Unsplash

"It is one world. And it's in our care. For the first time in the history of humanity, for the first time in 500 million years, one species has the future in the palm of its hands."

- David Attenborough

"There is no such thing as ‘away'. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere." -Annie Leonard #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #collectiveaction #ecofriendly #plasticfree #sustainability #zerowaste
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"There is no such thing as ‘away'. When we throw anything away, it must go somewhere."

- Annie Leonard

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #bethechange #sustainability #world #zerowaste #plasticfree #ecofriendly
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gaellemarcel on Unsplash

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

- Margaret Mead

"Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries." -Jimmy Carter #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #socialimpact #sustainability #nature #zerowaste #music #ecofriendly
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"Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries."

- Jimmy Carter

Bold Zero Waste Quotes To Shed Light To The Truth

To make someone comprehend and take action, we should explain the zero-waste problem in a way that does not attack them or prevents the message from going through one ear and out the other ear. 

Persuasion against issues is challenging, especially when the issue at hand currently brings them comfort or convenience. Encouraging someone to watch a documentary is an efficient way to educate, inspire, and persuade.

You can check out our quick guide to the must-watch plastic documentary films regarding the truth about plastics and read up on how to promote zero waste in your community

Another way to persuade is by sharing condensed truth bombs in the form of quotes. So after reading our Zero Waste quotes below, watch one film from our recommendations.

"It cannot be right to manufacture billions of objects that are used for a matter of minutes, and then are with us for centuries." -Roz Savage #trvst #quotes #bethechange #planetearthfirst #plasticfree #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainability
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"It cannot be right to manufacture billions of objects that are used for a matter of minutes, and then are with us for centuries."

- Roz Savage

"It's pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, but it, and bring it home is considered to be less effort that what it takes to just wash the spoon when you're done with it." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #impact #collectiveaction #sustainability #plasticfree #zerowaste #ecofriendly
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"It's pretty amazing that our society has reached a point where the effort necessary to extract oil from the ground, ship it to a refinery, turn it into plastic, shape it appropriately, truck it to a store, but it, and bring it home is considered to be less effort that what it takes to just wash the spoon when you're done with it."

- Unknown

"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do." -Barbara Ward #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #collectiveaction #plasticfree #earth #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainability
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myasir on Unsplash

"We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do."

- Barbara Ward

"If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, as people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other." -Dalai Lama #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #gogreen #plasticfree #nature #ecofriendly #people #zerowaste
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"If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, as people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other."

- Dalai Lama

"Plastic will be the main ingredient of all our grandchildren's recipes." -Anthony T. Hincks #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #impact #zerowaste #sustainability #ecofriendly #plasticfree
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_javardh_001 on Unsplash

"Plastic will be the main ingredient of all our grandchildren's recipes."

- Anthony T. Hincks

Quotes About Zero Waste Journey To Inspire You To Start

Now the innovations have inspired you, and the films have educated you. You are now ready to start your zero-waste journey. It's always been challenging to make a 180-degree lifestyle change, but we can always start small. As stated in the first paragraph of this article, a single act multiplied by over 8 billion can already make an impact. 

We don't even have to spend a single dime for it because we can start by refusing single-use plastic waste like straws and plastic water bottles. Furthermore, we can practice the 4RS, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It may be inconvenient at first but bringing a reusable water bottle means one less plastic cup in nature. And the list goes on. 

If you're thinking, “It’s just one straw! It has no effect.” Yes, it does, so keep going.

After reading the Zero waste quotes below, you can check out 32 more ideas to help you start your zero waste journey.

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." -Edward Everett Hale #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #socialimpact #plasticfree #zerowaste #ecofriendly #sustainability
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aaronburden on Unsplash

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do."

- Edward Everett Hale

"A Zero Waste Lifestyle is a journey. Not a destination." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #gogreen #ecofriendly #zerowaste #plasticfree #sustainability
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tanelah on Unsplash

"A Zero Waste Lifestyle is a journey. Not a destination."

- Unknown

"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard." -Gaylord Nelson #trvst #quotes #takeaction #changetheworld #zerowaste #future #sustainability #ecofriendly #plasticfree
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julensan09 on Unsplash

"The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard."

- Gaylord Nelson

"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world." -Howard Zinn #trvst #quotes #gogreen #beinspired #zerowaste #people #ecofriendly #world #plasticfree
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karsten_wuerth on Unsplash

"We don't have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world."

- Howard Zinn

"Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protect the planet." -Tristram Stuart #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #dogood #ecofriendly #world #sustainability #food #zerowaste
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nordwood on Unsplash

"Cutting food waste is a delicious way of saving money, helping to feed the world and protect the planet."

- Tristram Stuart

"If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases." -David Suzuki #trvst #quotes #beinspired #impact #plasticfree #ecofriendly #sustainability #zerowaste
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nrdoherty on Unsplash

"If we want to move towards a low-polluting, sustainable society, we need to get consumers to think about their purchases."

- David Suzuki

"Single-use plastic is a ticking time bomb for the environment. Avoid it wherever and whenever possible." -Jennifer Nini #trvst #quotes #bethechange #socialchange #sustainability #ecofriendly #zerowaste #plasticfree
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gaellemarcel on Unsplash

"Single-use plastic is a ticking time bomb for the environment. Avoid it wherever and whenever possible."

- Jennifer Nini

Meaningful Zero Waste Quotes From Famous People

Convincing eight billion people to start their zero-waste journey takes time, but the effects of the non-decomposing 380 million metric tons of plastic waste we produce yearly have no break. 

The government's role in enforcing laws can expedite the cause, but not all have the capacity economically to shift to a plastic-free lifestyle instantly. 

Some exemplary cities we should be emulating are San Francisco, United States, where composting is mandatory, and Kamikatsu, Japan, where they sort their garbage into 45 types and manage an 81% recycling rate. Nevertheless, we can't copy them instantly. But if you are influential in your area, you can start your own zero-waste community. And who knows, your local government will begin making laws after seeing the impact.

Meanwhile, change can start with our own individual actions. Loads of zero waste swaps are easy to achieve, replacing single-use items with those that you can reuse or last for longer. Have a browse of our complete list of zero-waste products, or look for a local or online zero-waste store to pick up the essentials. 

With that said, going zero waste doesn’t mean buying more stuff, simply storing leftovers in jars and containers you already have means less plastic production should you end up buying more wraps and plastic storage. Have a read of our tips on going zero waste on a budget for more straightforward ways to do so without spending too much. 

Fortunately, famous and significant personalities worldwide made statements in support of the importance of zero waste. You can read some of their quotes below.

"The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations." -John Paul II #trvst #quotes #beinspired #gogreen #sustainability #future #plasticfree #love #ecofriendly
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alex_gruber on Unsplash

"The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations."

- John Paul II

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do make a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." -Jane Goodall #trvst #quotes #collectiveaction #impact #plasticfree #world #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainability
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r3dmax on Unsplash

"You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do make a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make."

- Jane Goodall

"Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry." -Pope Francis #trvst #quotes #socialchange #bethechange #ecofriendly #food #plasticfree #sustainability #zerowaste
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tomcrewceramics on Unsplash

"Throwing away food is like stealing from the table of those who are poor and hungry."

- Pope Francis

"I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use." -Mother Teresa #trvst #quotes #thinkgreen #collectiveaction #ecofriendly #people #plasticfree #sustainability #zerowaste
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"I only feel angry when I see waste. When I see people throwing away things we could use."

- Mother Teresa

"Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle." -John Paul II #trvst #quotes #socialimpact #bethechange #sustainability #lifestyle #plasticfree #serious #zerowaste
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austinban on Unsplash

"Modern society will find no solution to the ecological problem unless it takes a serious look at its lifestyle."

- John Paul II

"One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken." -Leo Tolstoy #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #bethechange #plasticfree #nature #ecofriendly #happiness #zerowaste
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"One of the first conditions of happiness is that the link between man and nature shall not be broken."

- Leo Tolstoy

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -Dr. Seuss, The Lorax #trvst #quotes #changetheworld #socialchange #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainability #plasticfree
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"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

- Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

Short Zero Waste Quotes To Post On Social Media

It's always good news when companies start going green. We start supporting them and feel good because we are helping mother earth. Some are truthful, but others are just capitalizing on the increasing demand for eco-friendly alternatives. This tactic is called greenwashing, and it's tricking us. Thus, our efforts for the planet our wasted.

When scrolling through our social media feeds, we should be mindful of companies' marketing tactics. Don't get lured in by what is trending because going zero-waste is for the long term.

Use the following captions below to promote the zero-waste lifestyle on social media.

"We don't have a plastic problem. We have a convenience problem." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #beinspired #socialimpact #plasticfree #ecofriendly #zerowaste #sustainability
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suzyane on Unsplash

"We don't have a plastic problem. We have a convenience problem."

- Unknown

"Waste is a design flaw." -Kate Kreba #trvst #quotes #socialchange #beinspired #plasticfree #zerowaste #ecofriendly #sustainability
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pawel_czerwinski on Unsplash

"Waste is a design flaw."

- Kate Kreba

"It's only one straw, 8 billion people said." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #impact #zerowaste #people #sustainability #ecofriendly #plasticfree
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flyd2069 on Unsplash

"It's only one straw, 8 billion people said."

- Unknown

"The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for." -Ernest Hemingway #trvst #quotes #planetearthfirst #changetheworld #plasticfree #sustainability #zerowaste #ecofriendly
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hasanalmasi on Unsplash

"The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for."

- Ernest Hemingway

"Be part of the solution. Not part of the pollution." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #beinspired #socialimpact #plasticfree #sustainability #ecofriendly #zerowaste
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melpoole on Unsplash

"Be part of the solution. Not part of the pollution."

- Unknown

"The most environmentally friendly product is the one you didn't buy." -Joshua Becker #trvst #quotes #gogreen #planetearthfirst #ecofriendly #friendly #sustainability #zerowaste #plasticfree
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alexagorn on Unsplash

"The most environmentally friendly product is the one you didn't buy."

- Joshua Becker

"Less plastic is more." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #socialchange #dogood #plasticfree #zerowaste #ecofriendly #sustainability
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"Less plastic is more."

- Unknown

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it." -Robert Swan #trvst #quotes #impact #socialimpact #ecofriendly #planet #sustainability #zerowaste #plasticfree
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"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."

- Robert Swan

"Time spent among trees is never time wasted." -Unknown #trvst #quotes #socialchange #socialimpact #sustainability #trees #ecofriendly #plasticfree #zerowaste
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"Time spent among trees is never time wasted."

- Unknown

"The Earth is what we all have in common." -Wendell Berry #trvst #quotes #impact #bethechange #plasticfree #zerowaste #sustainability #ecofriendly
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"The Earth is what we all have in common."

- Wendell Berry

"Do something drastic, cut the plastic!" -Unknown #trvst #quotes #ecoconscious #changetheworld #zerowaste #ecofriendly #plasticfree #sustainability
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"Do something drastic, cut the plastic!"

- Unknown

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Russell JR, Huang J, Anand P, Kucera K, Sandoval AG, Dantzler KW, Hickman D, Jee J, Kimovec FM, Koppstein D, Marks DH, Mittermiller PA, Núñez SJ, Santiago M, Townes MA, Vishnevetsky M, Williams NE, Vargas MP, Boulanger LA, Bascom-Slack C, Strobel SA. Biodegradation of polyester polyurethane by endophytic fungi. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Sep;77(17):6076-84. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00521-11. Epub 2011 Jul 15. PMID: 21764951; PMCID: PMC3165411.

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