Bea Johnson has become an icon of the Zero Waste movement worldwide. You might have seen her brandishing her 1 litre mason jar in a TED talk on YouTube. This jar, just as iconic as the woman herself, has become the symbol of the Zero Waste lifestyle, of which Zero Waste Home is the ‘Bible’. Here is why…
Not so long ago the French-born artist was living the ‘American Dream’ in a 3,000sq. ft. home in Pleasant Hill, California but one day she decided to move towards a more sustainable lifestyle and managed to turn her (and her family’s) world upside down, reducing her household waste to an astonishing 1 litre per year! For the last decade she has been working hard to spread the word that Zero Waste is achievable and that her newly found lifestyle is not just better for the environment but also fosters a better quality of life.
This book is a great place to start for anyone who is looking to declutter their lives and go beyond simply recycling. It offers practical solutions to rethink the way we live and to use waste-free resources readily available around us to transform our lives for the better without compromising our current level of comfort.
Bea Johnson’s famous Zero Waste guidelines have inspired millions:
1. Refusing (what we do not need)
2. Reducing (what we do need)
3. Reusing (what we consume)
4. Recycling (what we cannot refuse, reduce or reuse)
5. Rotting (composting) the rest.
In Zero Waste Home she applies her ‘5 Rs’ system to every room of the house, starting with the kitchen where she looks in every drawer and cupboard and right down to your shopping list to help you find areas of potential simplification. In the bathroom section, among other things, she reveals her own DIY makeup and tooth powder recipes. The bedroom chapter is also full of tips and funny anecdotes about Bea’s journey to Zero Waste.
The book scans every area of life suggesting easy ways to reduce our impact on the environment and improve our way of living, leaving nothing, and more importantly no one, behind. If you have children, you might want to head to the ‘Kids and School’ chapter; if you are looking to throw a Zero Waste party there is also a section for you in the Holidays and Gifts part of Zero Waste Home…
What we really liked about this book is that it is not the type you put on the shelf and never open again once you’ve read it. The first read really opens your eyes to how easy it is to make changes to your life and also to how much more there is left to do in your own house. You can then use it as ‘recipe’ book in your everyday life and keep going back to it when you need a new DIY solution, or if you can’t quite remember how much vinegar goes in the basic mix for a house cleaning product!
Zero Waste Home is an endless source of inspiration for anyone interested in waste-free living and for this reason we couldn’t recommend it more highly.