That plastic bottle you just used will be around for at least another four hundred years. In fact, almost every piece of plastic we’ve ever made is still here with us somewhere. Scientists have calculated that around twelve million tons of plastic is added to our ocean every year. These pieces of floating plastic get eaten by turtles, whales, dolphins, seals, sea birds and other marine animals where they block up their stomachs.And there’s another problem. Sunlight and waves cause the big chunks of plastic to get broken down into smaller pieces called microplastics. These tiny bits of plastic enter the soil and water and eventually end up in our bodies and surroundings. Thus, the toxic chemicals contained in plastics seriously affect all aspects of life on our planet, including the environment, wildlife, and human health. Realizing the seriousness of this problem, many people are aiming to produce as little trash as possible by adopting a zero-waste lifestyle. “When you adopt a zero-waste lifestyle, you acquire a selective vision. I no longer see what is packaged. I only see what’s available to me unpackaged.” Ms. Johnson uses vinegar and water to clean her house including the floor, mirrors, counters, and windows. Her family uses baking soda to brush their teeth and a bar of soap to wash their bodies from head to toe including their hair. The family also buys second-hand items such as clothes and toys as much as possible. “Zero waste is about living simply first and foremost. It becomes a lifestyle only once you let it simplify your life, not complicate it.” “Refusing plastic straws, refusing single-use plastic bags, those are free changes that anyone can make in their everyday life. So, for instance, a reusable bag instead of a single-use disposable bag, a reusable water bottle instead of a single-use plastic water bottle. Simple changes, low cost, low buy, but have a big positive impact.” Also, growing staple vegetables in our own garden will greatly reduce waste. More detailed tips on zero-waste living can be found by using the search term “zero waste lifestyle” online.