Sunday, 7 July 2013

The idea of a zero waste home

Do you know Bea Johnson from the blog Zero Waste Home? I found her blog some weeks ago and it has impressed me deeply. Bea is a French married to an American, she lives in California with her husband and two teenage sons and tries to live a simple and waste-free life to protect the environment.
Bea's motto is:
Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot
(and only in that order)
She says: "The zero in "zero waste" makes it sound scary and hard to achieve. 
It is actually not as hard as it seems, and it is as simple as following these Five R's, in order:
  • Refuse what you do not need.
  • Reduce what you do need.
  • Reuse by using reusables.
  • Recycle what you cannot refuse, reduce, or reuse.
  • Rot (compost) the rest."
After I browsed through her blog and read and read for a long time I understood that she was completely right and at least I must start to follow her footsteps even if it will be a long way to go only half as far as she did. A really big problem is that Bea is a minimalist and I think I'm just the opposite cause I like lavish decorations and I own a lot of crockery and a lot of clothes. But I want to find a way to produce as little waste as possible by not changing my personality completely what I think wouldn't work anyhow.
First I want to show you some pictures of Bea's minimalistic home which looks quite different from mine but makes a really deep impression on me and inspires me a lot.
Bea is right. There's not many things we really need and we'd have much more time for interesting activities and experiences if we would only focus on the few things we do need.
She even wrote a book about her Zero Waste Home.
And she also said: "All of this might seem like a lot of work, but if you start small, one step at a time, you'll be hooked to Zero Waste. One small resolution to yourself such as: "I will not bring another plastic bag into this house"... will bring on another and before you know it, you'll ready to move on to another room."
Have a sunny Sunday!
Miss Maple

PS: What do you think about a Zero Waste Home? Let me know!


  1. Ooooooh I DO like this post Miss Maple! I see Bea adds the concept of "Refuse" to the common phrase. It's an idea I have been leaning towards myself lately. But like you, it's a battle as I do so love my house to feel lived-in and homely, with my family's personalities filling those white spaces. xoxo

  2. Buying vintage addresses one of the Rs on her list (Reuse), which not only ensures fewer new objects are manufactured, but also generates less packaging waste. I have a few minimalists in my family, and my husband has tendencies in that direction, but I enjoy my collections of both useful and decorative vintage things and antiques. I believe these objects--which have rich pasts and tell us about where we come from and reveal the lives and values of our predecessors--are worth preserving. And who better to do this than vintage enthusiasts like us?

  3. Great link, great blog. I started refusing and decluttering a while ago and it makes you feel so much more free. Not to mention that the things you keep will be used more often and are easier accessible because one does not have to dig through a mountain of vintage china to find that one special saucer (ahem...).
    If you like Bea's blog, take a look at this blog on tiny houses. There is also a movie on youtube. I had no idea what you can do on just a few square meters.
    Cheers from Amsterdam!!

  4. Amazing! Sounds like my kind of dream home.

  5. Yes, I can do the reuse part easily enough, and we recycle and compost already. The challenge will be refusing and reducing... But I do recognise it would be a good idea. I absolutely could not live in a white minimalist home though! xxx

  6. Miss Maple, I will definitely check out her blog. The pictures are stark! They do cause me to think about how I live. I fall on the same side of the fence as you, however, because I do love stuff and clothes and crockery and blah blah blah. But I am drawn to creating little waste and reusing, upcycling, so yes I am drawn to that! Thanks so much for sharing this!!!


  7. Fascinating post! There is much to be said for being conscious of one's impact on the planet and for taking strides to not waste or consume needlessly, and I do believe in the "R's" that Bea lives by, but I don't think we all need to take things to such a drastic extreme. My husband could happily be a minimalist, but not me - I spend so much time at home (between my poor health and just being a natural born homebody) and take a great deal of comfort from my surroundings and what I own. This doesn't mean that my house is cluttered or that I buy a lot each month, certainly not in either case, but while I will always take various measures to reduce my negative impacts on the environment, I don't plan to pare down my abode and belongings to the barest of minimums anytime soon.

    ♥ Jessica


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