Zero waste is a concept that I have become increasingly interested in. After studying environmental and energy studies at university it became very clear that recycling is not the answer! The answer is to create less waste in the first place. If we have less waste to start with there is less waste to have to deal with. It’s quite simple when you stop to think about it.
There is a term that has been thrown around recently which I believe is an important one to remember everytime you go to throw something away…
“There is no such place as away!”
We are all guilty of it, how many times have you heard someone say “We don’t need it just throw it away”. Where do you think away is? Yes a lot of our unwanted items now gets recycled but recycling costs money and produces even more pollution.
My intention with this post isn’t to preach, I believe in order to preach you have to have all of your duck in a row which I certainly don’t! It’s more to raise awareness or dare I say inspire.
“I do not have ducks or a row, I have squirrels and they’re at a rave” Unknown
Anyway I digress back to the point of the post, the book *Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Bea Johnson.
Zero Waste Home
This book is not just for people that care about the environment or people that want to lead a zero waste life it’s also for anyone who wishes to simplify their life. With today’s modern pressures I believe that this is something we all secretly crave deep down.
Who is Bea Johnson?
Bea started her zero waste journey in 2008 after realising that the life she was living was not for her. She owned a three thousand square foot home, drove nice big cars and filled a 64 gallon rubbish bin every week. Her journey from this lifestyle to zero waste did not happened over night, that would be impossible. Instead it was a journey with a lot of trial and error along the way, all of which she shares in this book.
Her whole zero waste philosophy is based around this quote…
“refuse what you do not need; reduce what you do need; reuse what you consume; recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse; and rot (compost) the rest.” Bea Johnson
Her guideline is the 5R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (and only in that order).
The book is split into sections which makes it very easy to use as a reference book when you want to tackle a certain area of your life. For example there is an entire section on workspace and junk mail where Bea gives tips and tricks to reducing clutter on your desk and how to stop receiving that pesky junk mail for good. Something which personally drives me insane!
As I said before going Zero Waste is a journey and cannot be achieved overnight. This book can help you to tackle different areas of your life in small chunks. I’m currently focusing on zero waste beauty so I find the ‘Bathroom, Toiletries and Wellness’ section very helpful.
In this section Bea starts by explaining how you can get your bathroom organised and then she goes on to tell you what zero waste beauty products she has used. I love how honest she is in the book and is happy to tell her zero waste beauty fails. What works for one person may not work for another.
I think it’s important to point out that Bea has taken Zero Waste to the extreme she’s not called the priestess of waste free living for no reason. She has gone to the point of not even accepting party bags for her children. Personally for me this would be too far into zero waste but each to their own with that.
If you are interested in finding out more about how to start your zero waste journey this *zero waste home book is a must! As well as her book Bea also has her website Zero Waste Home which receives over 250,000 visitors every month and is filled with useful articles on zero waste and simple living.
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**Photo Credit: Alan Levine