We’ve recently read Bea Johnson’s  Zero Waste Home book. In it, she explores and offers the ultimate guide to reducing, de-cluttering and simplifying our lives by reducing our waste.

In her book, she shares her story. As a result, her husband and her two boys only produce one quart of garbage per year. This has allowed the family to live a life based on experience, where they can spend more time together and reduce their annual spending by 40 percent. In addition, the family’s zero waste lifestyle benefits their well-being and health while staying true to their values of environmental sustainability.

In an earlier blog post, “Reshaping and Shifting Our waste Culture,” we explored a few ways as a starting point. We believe that the first vital step is for us to reshape our waste culture. Our culture is obsessed with consumption – and what’s even worse is that we love to keep things disposable. So it’s no shock that we’re part of a process and a cycle that encourages waste. Our first step forward needs to consider a different approach that challenges our current mode of thinking. Ultimately, our relationship with ‘things’ and ‘stuff’ needs to change.

It’s impossible, you may say. How can we even imagine a home that produces no waste? The Johnson family is doing it and has been doing it for a while. The real question is, how bad do you want it? Bea offers something she refers to as the “5 Rs.”  for a zero-waste home in her book. Here’s what she means:

Step 1: Refuse what you don’t need

Step 2: Reduce what you really need and can’t refuse

Step 3: Reuse those things that you consume

Step 4: Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce or reuse

Step 5: Rot or compost

In the book’s introduction about zero waste home, she shares a few tips that are worth reviewing. First, she encourages us to live a simpler life. Think about it. A simpler life where you refuse what you don’t actually need automatically reduces SO much of your waste. Get rid of the things you don’t need and begin thinking beyond disposable. Bea also mentions that we need to find a balance in living zero waste. You may find that making everything from scratch isn’t sustainable. You have to evaluate your own life and attempt to find a balance that you can commit to.

It can be a bit tough not knowing where to start. But this is why we’ve decided to write this blog. So that you know there’s a book out there that walks you through every step of the way. Bea generously shares her story and philosophy with us, encouraging us to leave behind the world of consumption and waste for one that is much more fulfilling. From bathroom questions to gift-wrapping – all the questions that cross your mind will be answered.

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