Vox | The Complicated Gender Politics of Going Zero Waste

Look at #zerowaste and #zerowasteliving on Instagram and you’ll see mason jars filled with chocolate smoothies and rows of rose-gold straws. You’ll see perfectly organized refrigerators with piles of fresh produce and brown glass spray bottles with homemade lavender-steeped cleaning products. You’ll see perfect kitchens with white subway tiles and bamboo countertops, lined with rows of more mason jars filled with legumes.

But “zero waste” isn’t just an influencer meme, it’s a movement whose practitioners share the serious goal of sending as little to landfill as possible. They studiously avoid the plastic packaging, disposable coffee cups, and paper towels that many of us never give a thought to before stuffing in the trash. They are experts in refusing, reusing, and recycling.