Zero Waste is powerful because it is the strategy that revolutionizes how we deal with "stuff". Simply stated, the goal is of Zero Waste is to end up with as little landfill (or incinerator) waste as possible.
A classic way of thinking about Zero Waste is the 3R's: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. However, now a more complete picture of Zero Waste involves 5 R's: Refuse (say "no-thank you"), Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (compost). It is helpful to look at waste as a hierarchy or upside down pyramid. At the top are the behaviors that are most desirable towards the bottom are behaviors that are less desirable.