live free manifesto
So … I started this blog as a way to chronicle our family’s journey toward the zero-waste lifestyle. We started converting to zero-waste for a variety of reasons, but our main sources of inspiration were the following:
-First, My husband works for a small, non-profit recycling company. It is a wonderful job and an amazing business, but it has really brought home the amount of waste people create, even people who are environmentally conscious and trying to do the right thing by recycling. We have also learned first-hand the unpleasant reality of the recycling process, particularly for plastics. I want to write more about this later, but suffice to say, I have certainly been inspired to buy and use plastic products as little as possible.
-Secondly, we are moving very soon to a two-bedroom apartment that is significantly smaller than our current house. When we decided to move, my initial thought was, we must get rid of a lot of our STUFF. You know, stuff—those things you don’t necessarily want or need, but somehow fill every free space you have. At his job, my husband often finds things that have been thrown out that are still usable and just need a home. We have aquired many very useful items this way, along with many others that are … not so useful. (Like a cowbell and a strobe light. Yep.) We are also frequent thrift store shoppers, and again have found many very useful and needed items, but also a lot of “well, I don’t need it but isn’t it neat and it’s only a $1” items.
-Finally, a friend posted a link on Facebook to a news story about Bea Johnson (of Zero Waste Home) and her family. I was simply blown away. We had practiced many of her zero-waste ideas in the past, but most had fallen by the wayside due to a busy lifestyle and plain ol’ laziness. I was also inspired by the minimalism in Bea’s home. I read through her entire blog archive in one day, and I was converted! Zero waste for us!
All of this was about two months ago, and though we are still not completely waste-free, we have made a lot of little changes that have had a huge impact. We also spent a lot of time cleaning out the “stuff” and donating, giving away, and selling it.
We haven’t quite moved yet—we are expecting that to happen within the next few weeks though. It has been surprisingly unstressful so far; we are viewing it as an exciting adventure and a challenge to live free from waste and clutter!