Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Zero Waste Home

This may be old hat to some of our readers but it was completely new to me. I first read about the Zero Waste Home in this article from Sunset magazine last month (when I meant to post about it here but time slipped away from me). I was reminded about it in this month's Sunset magazine in the letters to the editor section and then again when my husband forwarded me this Huffington Post article along with the actual blog of the Zero Waste Home.

When I read the article, I was intrigued and daresay, inspired. I love the subtitle to the blog:

"Refuse, Refuse, Refuse. Then reduce, reuse, recycle (and only in that order).

I have to admit, I think it is a little extreme and realistically, I don't think I could do what this family does. However, it makes me realize that I can do better with my consumption. MamaQ has touched on this subject--consumerism and materialism--before in past blog posts. To a certain extent, I take pleasure in "things" and not just experiences. I like clothes and shoes and jewelry and meaningful art. But, there are other things that I think I could potentially do without: paper towels and napkins, plastic sandwich bags. Then I start to delve deeper and think, "Feminine hygiene products - hmmm, I don't know about that."

I guess what I am trying to say is that we all could start somewhere. School lunches could be made in bento boxes. An investment can be made into cloth napkins and rags for cleaning (instead of those pesky-yet-oh-so-convenient disposable wipes). A switch could be made to cloth diapers instead of disposables (I've been wanting to do this for a long time).

I already use reusable grocery bags but why not invest in some reusable produce bags as well (check out Blue Avocado for these). We already compost but maybe we could figure out a gray water system to irrigate our gardens as we renovate our home (and make our own laundry detergent and soaps!). And hopefully in the long run, this could save us some money since we wouldn't constantly be buying disposable stuff. And then I wouldn't have to spend so much money on finding deals and could actually post a little bit more on the blog!

Anyone have any other ideas on how to be a little less wasteful? Post them in the comments below!


This Girl loves to Talk said...

I lament all the time on the amount of rubbish our house makes! I throw out bagfuls everyday!! its disgusting! I too need to do these things.

On the feminine hygiene side, I went to a food storage class where this topic was mentioned. The lady waxed lyrical about menstral cups (not available where I live in Australia but she got hers from Europe and said they were all the rage, cheap and easy!) I had never even heard of such a thing.

after that class I also researched washable pads. I found a site that said the material was so soft and you'll never go back to shop ones after trying her stain resistant like wearing silk pads :)

Ok so that was entirely too much information but I think it is interesting how much money and environment could be saved if we just knew how.

ginger said...

Diva cup rocks. $10 10 years ago and nothing in the trashcan.

MamaQ said...

it really is shocking how much waste goes into the trashcan and that the majority of it is PLASTIC which takes forever to breakdown and inthe meantime leaches toxic elements into our environment. awesome.
japan has some really stringent rules about what is allowed to go in the garbage and i think the u.s. (and other countries) would do well to follow suit. but with most things, this kind of movement begins at home and the more we can do in our own families and the more information we can disseminate to our circle of influence, the more likely it is that change will happen. right?
thanks for a great post, D!

MaurLo said...

Totally trying that diva cup one of these days when I go back to having such things... Amazing the things you never hear about in this world.