I’ve been reading again. A lot of it has been food type books, but there have been a few others in there. I have decided to reread The Zero Waste Lifestyle by Amy Korst. It is one of the books that started me on this road to greener living and it’s amazing. She teaches how it is possible to live with minimal trash. By reducing the amount of packaging you bring in, reusing what you can, and recycling the rest, she lives with a shoe box full of garbage a year. Incredible.
My family started composting around the time I read this book. That cut down significantly on the amount of waste that went into the trash. We started planning meals and buying less, too. We have about halved the amount of trash we put out each week. We’ve doubled the amount of recycling, too. Korst would applaud our efforts. She does not preach that everyone must live with only a tiny bit of trash a year, but she does encourage any efforts in that direction. Any effort is better than none and it’s easier than you think.
While we may never achieve zero waste – we have 2 young children and they generate a lot of trash just sitting there – we can certainly cut down. If I become more mindful when shopping about the packaging of the things I bring into the house, I could cut the trash even further back. I have done well in making my own cleaners, that cuts out quite a bit of chemical waste and packaging. But I still buy toys for the kids that come with packaging within packaging. Most of it plastic. My husband and I realized the other day that all we really need to buy them are new boxes, their own water hose, and some Legos and they’re set for the rest of their childhood.
Zero waste seems like a pipe dream, but it isn’t all or nothing. Reducing by even a little makes a difference. Buy more unpackaged fruits and veggies, products in minimal or recyclable packaging, and compost if at all possible, and you’ve done quite a bit to reduce the waste you contribute to the world.