I was brainwashed in eco-friendliness from an early age by the great town of Ithaca but was limited in how I could apply it until I had a home of my own. Since then, I’ve taken little stabs at being more conscious of our waste at different times – including failed attempts at cloth diapering and composting, which my husband has graciously gone along with. Within the past few years we’ve finally figured out to do those things in a way that works for our family, and that was where we left it.
Recently our family sat down to watch Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Inside Man: the United States of Trash.”
You can watch the complete episode on Netflix by clicking here (Season 3 Episode 6).
This documentary disrupted my thinking about how I perceive my own waste and made me realize I was resigned to whatever waste I produced rather than challenging myself with how we might produce less.
I was further challenged by Bea Johnson’s Blog, Zero Waste Home which got me thinking more on complacency and waste.
People like to pick the concept apart by saying things like, “Well what about toothpaste?” but are those really the major waste producers? I have a lot of questions about the concept, but here’s what I know for sure:
Our current level of consumption and waste is not sustainable
At one point we thought oil was unlimited and we were wrong. Then we thought dumping byproducts in streams and rivers was fine but we were wrong about that too. I am confident that at some point our landfill space will run out and for what, so we could use a plastic bag for 30 minutes?
As long as we’re breathing we’ll create some waste and our first world lives will probably produce more than people in other countries, but I’d like to find out if I can live without ziploc bags, garbage bags, disposable plates and other things I use for less than a week and then thoughtlessly throw into a landfill to outlive me.
This blog is about our journey to find out how far we can get with our family of 9 with creating as little waste as possible with as little effort as possible (we do have a boatload of kids… effort is at a premium!).
This is most of our family – one child and one live-in-grandma are not pictured.
There are blogs out there already with people who’ve already achieved zero waste greatness, and there are a lot of things we already do to reduce our waste, but right now we’re at the beginning of a more thoughtful journey. How close to zero waste can we really get?