Make the decision to not just buy based on simplicity. Avoid purchasing single-use water bottles, single-use plastic baggies, grocery items with excessive packaging, and other plastic products that will not get plenty of use.
Buy products that will last. Research before purchasing a new product, such as appliances, technology, or clothing, to see if the product is durable or will begin to break after just months of use. Oftentimes, the cheapest option is not always the best option and repeated buying will cost more money in the long run.
Get more life out of the items you already have. Before throwing an item away and purchasing something new, find out if what you already have can be fixed or repurposed. Many clothing companies, such as Dr. Martens, Patagonia, and REI will repair their products for free. Find more companies that offer life-time warranties and will repair clothing here.
The switch to living sustainably may seem intimidating. However, starting out with small steps, such as buying a reusable water bottle, repeating outfits, bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, and working on recycling habits will make the transition to a zero-waste lifestyle seem easier. Ultimately, being mindful of what you are consuming and why you are consuming it will help to change the “throw-away” culture that American companies have created.