Zero waste stories

Filed in Blog by on February 27, 2011 8 Comments
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Bea Johnson, living the zero waste lifestyle in California

Bea Johnson, living the zero waste lifestyle in California

Welcome to this week’s round up of the best zero waste stories on the net.

Each one focuses on reducing, reusing or recycling, but this week’s topics reach a bit deeper.

Alianna questions whether ‘reuse’ is actually an excuse for hoarding, while over in California Bea and her family are living a zero waste lifestyle to an even greater extent than we are!


Over on Not Easy to Be Green, Alianna wrote an excellent post about hoarding.

She posed the question [does] “the reuse mentality, or its extension, the it-might-just-come-in-handy mentality, [encourage] us to hoard?”

Living with a hoarder I can say categorically yes it does! Her post is very sensitive, thought provoking and reminds us that reusing must be paired with reducing.

Check out “Reusing: the gateway to hoarding?

Brown sugar recipe

I don’t know about you, but it’s easy to find white refined sugar in paper bags, whereas most other types of sugar such as soft brown or demerera come in unmarked plastic.

Last week, one of our readers directed me to not only the solution with a homemade brown sugar recipe, but an excellent blog about simple living.

Authored by Katie, “Making this home” tells how Katie and her partner lead an eco conscious life and there are stunning photos of the home made from tyres!

Check out her brown sugar recipe.

Zero waste home

Over in California, Bea and her family feel like they might be the other half of my family! They create less than a trash can of waste a year, buy lots of unpackaged food and live a minimalist lifestyle.

I found their story in a news article the other week, but now I’ve homed in on Bea’s blog. Her tagline is “Refuse. Refuse. Refuse. Then Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and only in that order)”

Check out The Zero Waste Home and prepare to be inspired! I want MY home to look like that one day!

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (8)

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  1. Hazel says:

    Katie’s blog is great, isn’t it? Her husband is German, so they live in Berlin in a tiny but beautifully planned apartment. He is studying in the US at the moment, so they are renting the Tyre House near her family.

    Thanks for the link to The Zero Waste Home. I think her comment about needing the whole family to be on board is true. My children are generally good about reducing waste, but I struggle with DH’s attitude. He’s not unsupportive, he just won’t put himself out about it. I just keep doing my thing, and hope one day it will suddenly click…

  2. Jane says:

    Allowing our children to take part in the workings of the home as well as making sure that they do would help. I fear that many working parents are too tired and exasperated by the amount of time it takes a child to do something that they end up doing it themselves or pay someone else to help. Then when they want the children to help with anything they end up paying them to do the simple family tasks like clearing the table, or putting the clean plates away. Quality time can be doing these little things together as a team.

  3. John Costigane says:

    Hi Mrs Green,

    Great to see another family aiming for Zero Waste, and using the logo in their blog title. Good contacts can be valuable when an event is planned, such Zero Waste Week. A particular interest is the anti-plastic bag campaign in California and a local perspective would be appreciated.

    Recently, I have been following the debate on Climate Change at Climate Etc. ( hosted by Prof. Judith Curry, a climatologist attempting to bring both sides to a common agreement. The personal troll attacks she has faced, much like our own anti- Zero Waste trolls in the media, shows the difficulty of her task. I am a sceptic simply on the questionable science, and associated scare-mongering, though for some it is oil-industry backed or pure politics (US Republican Party mainly).

  4. Julie Day says:

    Max seems very inspirational, esp for all those children who cry I want this, that and the other. And yes, I agree that the ‘this might come in handy’ attitude can lead to hoarding. I am still decluttering and thinking of trying to sell some things to make a bit of money.

  5. Jo says:

    I really enjoyed Alianna’s post and left a comment over there. In full agreement that if you have the tendency to imagine you could re-use things, it can lead to too much stuff being kept “in case”. Speaking from personal and family experience!

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Hazel: Let’s hope things click for your DH too – I had this struggle at the beginning, but now he is totally on board, so I’m very lucky.

    @Jane: I agree and young children are usually pretty willing to help out (it’s as they get older they start to negotiate). In my limited experience encouraging children to help from an early age means you meet with less resistence as they grow up. The other day LMG tried the ‘will you pay me to tidy my room’ and I told her absolutely not – unless of course she wanted to pay ME for preparing dinner, doing her washing and putting on the laundry πŸ˜‰

    @John Costigane: Thanks for the link John, I’ll check it out and see what they are talking about. Yes, it’s lovely to meet other families on our wavelength and shows the scope of the zero waste initiatives across the world …

    @Julie Day: Selling items is a way to soften the blow. But you need to make sure the time and energy you put into selling items is recouped in the price you get πŸ˜‰

    @Jo: Thanks Jo; it’s great to share comments around other site and yes, speaking from experience you have added weight and value to your thoughts πŸ™‚

  7. Poppy says:

    @Mrs Green:

    lol Mrs G! We’ve tried the expenses guilt trip with Master P πŸ˜‰ At the moment he keeps telling me that I owe him Β£1.25! Dream on kid!

  8. Mrs Green says:

    @Poppy: πŸ˜€ love him!

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