Sunday, March 6, 2011


method lust reader Kirby sent me this really intriguing article! A California family that says they run a zero-waste home! The piece showcases some hardcore ways in which the family makes this happen (things that, honestly, I don't even think I could manage to do.) But man, it's eye-opening, and gives you plenty to think about (such as recycling plastic can only go so far. No matter what, that plastic will one day still end up as garbage on this planet, never to go away.) The piece begins:

"The zero-waste home | Meet The Johnsons

On trash day in Mill Valley, California, the Johnson home has no garbage. Nothing. There is a hefty compost bin and a teeny recycling bin—one that Béa Johnson is embarrassed exists at all. “So much recycling really goes to waste, so you need to try to reduce that too.”

Garbage, though, is something that happens rarely in this modern, minimalistically decorated house. That’s by day-to-day intention—to live simpler and lighter on the planet. Their quest started three years ago when Béa and husband Scott downsized from a 3,000-square-foot home to their current 1,400 square feet. But it had been on Béa’s mind ever since she’d nannied for a family that lost everything in a fire. Béa decided she wanted to truly love and use and know everything she kept in her home. “Even down to the vegetable peeler,” she says.

“When we started getting rid of things, it was kind of addictive,” she continues. “In a recession, people are inclined to keep things, but I feel the opposite. The less I have, the richer I feel. Stuff weighs you down.”

Even life memories and heirlooms. Béa says, “Photos are a good way to keep the memory of something without keeping it because of emotional attachment or the guilt of letting it go.” Put another way: Hang onto the photo of your grandmother in her fur coat, but if you never wear the coat, it’s just taking up space in your closet.

Scott and Béa still have “vices.” Makeup has been hard to purge for Béa, and English muffins for Scott—both come with some nonrecyclable packaging.

“We don’t do everything right,” she says..."


Two things she says that really resonate with me:

"Clean up is done with microfiber cloths. “People are really attached to paper towels,” Béa says. “But they’re the easiest thing to give up.” - How many times have I told you lusters this? It's so true. You simply cannot imagine. I've been paper towel free since July 2008, people! You can, too.

"Recycling is not bad, it is simply best to reduce and reuse first.. Reduce-Reuse-Recycle are to be excercised in order. Many people seem to forget that." - Really true, and something I don't really think much about (as when I recycle I always think I'm doing "the right thing.")

You can read the entire article here on! And the family even has a blog, Zero Waste Home.

What did you think of the article? Too hardcore? Were there some things that you could take away from the piece, and use in your daily life? What have you been doing to help make your home into a less-waste place?

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