An Almost Zero Waste Life: Learning How To Embrace Less To Live More by Megean Weldon
I am always looking for ways to reduce my footprint on the earth. Going Zero Waste has always seemed pretty daunting & downright impossible. Seeing blog posts where said blogger shows a photo of one years worth of waste for a family of four & it fits in a jar. Um, what? How? Seriously, how? This question coming from me, an eco farmer who has been living a pretty sustainable life for well over a decade. But even I haven't figured out how to create no garbage whatsoever.
This book by Megean Weldon is much more realistic & as a result, optimistic. As the beginning of the book title says, "An almost zero waste life". Key word, almost. Finally someone who isn't going to say anyone can do the impossible by creating no garbage. Okay, wait. Yes, you could live naked in some secluded place, sort of like an animal. Maybe dig in garbage for stuff, but don't ever throw out said garbage. Hunt & forage for your food, etc. So, in theory, yes, we could go zero waste, but lets keep it realistic shall we? Running around naked is against the law nearly everywhere. Being homeless is generally frowned upon & really, who doesn't enjoy the comforts of home. Electricity, plumbing, being protected & cozy?
Rather than be judgemental or just make the reader feel like a jerk who simply isn't trying hard enough, Megean gives the reader lots of wonderful ideas to try to implement in order to reduce waste. She even frees us by saying, being zero waste is impossible. Thank you Megean!
For my own life, I am already implementing many of the suggestions in this book. I've had years to work on it after all. Some of the very suggestions now given by Megean were utilized at one point or another, but eventually given up on due to practicality. This doesn't mean what I have given up on wont be perfect for someone else. We are all individuals with unique personalities & lifestyles. The idea is to figure out what works for you.
Megean makes sure to point out that you don't just do it all at once. That's not realistic. Think in baby steps. When you run out of something, rather than buy the same something, replace it with something that is zero waste or as close to it as possible. For example, replace your paper towels with rags. Not rags that you buy, but real rags from clothes you no longer wear for whatever reason. I prefer to cut up only clothing made from natural materials (& as a result try to buy only natural clothing), but anything will do. Then launder the rags & use over & over. Nothing to buy, nothing to add to the landfill. The bonus is, by reducing your footprint, you also reduce your spending. Zero Waste living is very much like Living Simply or Living With Less.
In keeping with a smaller footprint, even this book by it's design & materials follows the ideas behind the Zero Waste movement. I always found it a bit hypocritical to write books of this type only to use toxic highly polluting materials to create the book. Oh the irony. Not only is this book super useful, it's adorable & "green".
Out of the the ten or so books my bibliophile self ordered in the past month or so, this is hands down my favorite & a real keeper, earning it a permanent spot on my shelf.
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