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Zero Waste - reduce, reuse and recycle


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Blog by Bettina Reid | January 20th, 2012


This morning my husband mentioned that I should watch a segment on "The View" regarding a family that has changed their lifestyle to "Zero Waste". They literally only collect a mason jar full of garbage within a year. It is pretty amazing. My husband knew that I would be interested as I am always looking for ways to be environmentally friendly. We have one garbage bin and some weeks have only one small bag in our bin. Whereas we recycle just about everything we can. We have 2 recycle bins a large and a small one. We are usually the only ones on our cul-de-sac with our recycle bins over flowing. I am amazed as you drive through the neighbourhood just how many people don't recycle or recycle very little.

Well as much as I would like to have my family become "Zero Waste" I am not too sure that I could go to the lengths this family has gone. But I truly do commend their efforts. If everyone even took on a few of the things they have done to get there, our world would be on the right track.

Like many of us have started doing...they use grocery totes when shopping. As much as the retail stores don't like it, I try and keep a few of my totes specifically for non-food items. They don't like it because they lose the advertising as we walk through the malls...but oh well! I do like that many stores have started providing totes to put your purchases in or at least have gone to paper bags.


To read more about the Johnson Family's "Zero Waste" living visit their website: http://thezerowastehome.com/

They use the 4 R's starting with "Refuse" - they try not to accept anything that comes in packaging, by providing their own packaging for just about everything...including bringing clean glass jars to the grocery store to purchase their meats, cheeses etc.

By doing that they "Reduce" their waste consumption from the source.

By providing their own containers they "Reuse" as much as they can...including buying the majority of their clothing from thrift shops and re-inventing ways to wear them.

Because of their efforts they have very little they need to "Recycle".


This year I would like to try composting and I love the idea of worm composting (Vermicomposting). I only wish #Surrey would adopt the same program that #LangleyTownship has. They offer a workshop for their residents to take on how to use one of these bins properly and effectively and even offer a "Worm composting party" if you want to invite 8 more people to learn how to compost. What a great idea and they will come out for free! The cost of the worm kit is only $30.

For #Langley Township residents check out their website for more information:http://www.tol.ca/CurrentNewsInitiatives/Initiatives/HomeComposting.aspx

We would love to hear if your family decides to take the "Zero Waste" challenge or what you do to be environmentally friendly. If you have any other ideas that are simple and easy to do, please share them!