Waste free

How much waste do you throw away every day? Probably more than you like to admit. Author, blogger and waste guru Bea Johnson has lived waste-free with her family since 2008 and now she wants us to do the same.


Since embarking on the Zero Waste lifestyle, our lives have changed for the better,” she says. “We feel happier and lead more meaningful lives, based on experiences instead of stuff. My goal is to share its incredible health, financial and time-saving benefits.”

Her book, Zero Waste Home, has inspired thousands of people worldwide to live simply and take a stance against needless waste. Its philosophy is based on one simple guideline – the 5Rs: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (in that order).  

Bea even opens her home to educational tours and the media to show people how it’s done. But how is it done? Bea’s family of four produces just a large jam jar of waste in a year. Could we really all aspire to this?


It seems we can – Bea outlines 100 tips for cutting waste, from rejecting all disposables to bringing your own containers when you shop. Add some compost into the mix and you’re on your way to going waste free!

And she’s not the only person doing this. Lauren Singer from New York writes the Trash is for Tossers blog: Like Bea, she takes her own containers when she shops and chooses farmers’ markets over traditional supermarkets. Lauren’s jam jar of waste took TWO years to fill.


How do I define ZERO WASTE?” she asks.To me, Zero Waste means that I do not produce any garbage. No sending anything to landfill, no throwing anything in a trash can, nothing. However, I do recycle and I do compost.” 

But it’s plastic water bottles that get her especially fired up, “single use plastic bottle suck,” she says. “They are one of my least favorite things ever. In the US alone we use over 1,500 plastic water bottles per second.”

The alternative? Fill a reusable bottle with tap water of course! And avoid paying the 1000% mark-up on bottled water at the same time. Zero waste AND free!