Objective: Zero Waste is a series in which I will be sharing the steps our family has been taking to reduce our environmental footprint.
The first time I heard about the concept of Zero Waste was in a news spot a couple of years ago. I remember rolling my eyes as I listened to the person, a twenty-something year old single woman living in my province’s metropolis, talk about how the only waste she produced in a year was from dental floss.
The key to her success was partly due to ease of access to public transit, not having kids, proximity to little shops that had food in bulk, small cafés that were happy to fill her reusable mug, access to city-managed compost and refusing to allow any trash into her apartment. And by that, I mean that if she had friends over who brought over things that generated waste (including pads, tampons and the like) she would ask them to leave with them. The whole concept of zero waste seemed inaccessible to the vast majority of the population.
Fast-forward a couple of years later and I see that there will be a conference given in my city by Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I bought the Kindle version and, after reading it, started on my journey towards waste reduction.
What I most enjoyed about the book and what encouraged me to start on my journey is that the author doesn’t present the concept of zero waste in a one-size-fits-all manner. In fact, amongst other things, she presents both her successes and failures in different spheres and talks about the fact that she has been criticized for not being truly zero waste (for instance, she still puts things in the recycling bin).
In the following posts of this series, I’ll share the foundation of the author’s methodology to waste-reduction, the concrete changes we’ve made as a family, what I’ve learned so far in the process and what my future plans are.
Have you heard about the zero waste lifestyle before? How do you feel about the idea?