Belonging to the camp that believes it is never too late in January to set some New Year Resolutions, I found amazing inspiration today in getting my home a bit friendlier – as in by having less waste. The Zero Waste Home family was on The View Friday, and WOW! Do they know how to make an impact?
The lovely wife and mother of two explained in her beautiful French accent how she decided that her family needed to get serious about getting green. The Zero Waste Home family lives by five “R”s.
- Refuse (be a gatekeeper and keep junk OUT)
- Reduce (for what you must use)
- Reuse (second life is more than a lame online game)
- Recycle (a last resort before the trash)
- Rot (compost your food, yo, and let worms rock it out)
The husband said initially, he was not in agreement for this undertaking. He said his wife was spending a lot of time researching and changing things, and she was shopping at natural food stores, farmers markets, and organic stores. He was horrified how much this would cost him.
He was afraid, however, until the end of the year when he reviewed their financials. He said the family spent 40% less in 2010, when they went zero waste, than they did the year before when they lived conventional, mainstream lives.
Something little like your razor blade, for instance, adds up when you stop buying disposables and you learn to dry your blades between uses. One tiny box of fresh razors can last you five years! I have been preaching razor reform for years!
It sounds crazy and like a huge undertaking, but imagine the difference we can make. Not only to the environment, but we can make a huge difference in the frenzied chaos of our homes by reducing the amount of boxes, packaging, trash, and paperwork. Clutter be vanished.
For instance, for “Refuse”, they ended all junk mail. How amazing would that be (and is VERY hard – I’ve been trying to cut my junk mail for over a year – but the jerks at AT&T will NOT remove me from their lists)?! Also, she said she spoke with her sons’ teachers to ask not to send home things except for what is truly necessary, greatly reducing paperwork from there.
Of course, I do wonder about things like bigger purchases than groceries. For instance, we had to buy a new trash can this past year (silly cat), and inside the box (recyclable) was a large amount of plastic and styrofoam. Hmm… No good.
Still… inspiring! If we could just reduce our waste by 50% or more, how great would that be!