Spending the holidays with family in the city – away from our quiet, simple homestead in the mountains – has been a bit of a culture shock. At the homestead, we fill one kitchen-size trash can every two weeks. (Which I think isn’t too bad…) We compost and recycle almost everything, but we could still do more to avoid purchasing pre-packaged products that can’t be reused or recycled (especially store-bought meat…).
I was really inspired by videos like this one where college student Lauren Singer consciously transforms her lifestyle from average American to Zero Waste.
What really strikes me about watching how she describes her Zero Waste lifestyle is how incredibly healthy it looks –
- NO plastics, no off-gassing of plastic residues
- NO chemicals – everything that she can’t buy fresh, organic or in bulk is homemade from toothpaste to deodorant and more…
- FRESH – making a commitment to reducing our waste means making fresh food a priority, and as long as it’s fresh, let’s make it as local and organic as possible…
- CONSCIOUS – committing to a Zero Waste lifestyle takes a heightened awareness of our environment, what we really need vs. what’s convenient, and our health. Reducing pesticides, chemicals, plastics, and processed food, cleaning, and beauty products from our lives takes a conscious shift in priorities.
- SIMPLE! I have always admired Thoreau’s admonition to always “Simplify! Simplify!” Simplicity is NOT convenience, but striving for simplicity brings us back to the earth, reduces stress, improves our outlook, empowers us with know-how and chutzpah, and definitely gets us to eat and live better.
IT WON’T BE EASY. With a kiddo in diapers, in a “meat-and-potatoes” kinda family, if you have pets, and medical conditions that require absolutely sterile (i.e. disposable everything) environments…well, I think there’s a limit. But like Morgan Shimabuku at the Center for ReSource Conservation, if we commit to significantly reducing our waste, we could make a big difference for the health of ourselves, our families, and the planet.
What could be more holistic…and more homestead-y than going Zero Waste? You are invited to join us for our odyssey into reducing household waste…it’s as easy as a choice! Make sure you’re following this blog (just click on the little “+” sign in the corner, enter your e-mail, et voila!) and check back often for updates, tips, tricks, DIY projects, recipes and more!
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