Frustrations with the Zero waste home

So… I’m getting myself all a tither with another blogger in the blogosphere – and there’s no way I can whinge without you knowing who it is.  I’m hoping I can be an adult, and rationalise it all, and work through it, so here’s hoping!

Bea Johnson runs zerowastehome.com  Overall, I’m totally on board with lessening the waste we create and using less of the world’s resources.  So why do I find myself losing my patience with her?

1. To get to zero waste, and the slick look of her house (which I won’t insert photos of, cause I need to ask for permission, so head to her site, surely a LOT of stuff had to be donated – not refused, not reused, but recycled.  Perhaps I got on board with her movement too late?

2. I can’t ‘search’ her blog to find the ‘start’ of the journey (or what she does with a certain hiccup in my route to zerowaste).  There is a tag cloud, but no ‘in the beginning ..’ Which brings me to the next point:

3. The answer to a lot of questions on her facebook stream is to suggest the topic is covered in the book.  Now, to me, selling a book isn’t a wastefree proposition.  To be sure, like any other book, I’ll be borrowing it from the library. (And I know that won’t earn her any commission as much as if I bought it AND the library did, but I’m not feeling charitable here!)

4. What compromises has she had to make to get to zero waste?  Has she plainly done without certain foods or products – to support her number 1 objective of zero waste?

5. Comments are closed on old posts – this frustrated me.  When I find a post with something relevant, I’d like to ask something – rather than starting a fresh comment on her Facebook page (where the lack of ‘string’ to a blog topic being better suited).

4 Replies to “Frustrations with the Zero waste home”

  1. Interesting and lovely blog. But it does up-sell the book at every chance, which I guess is fair enough. But it can be a bit irritating to be drawn into the story and then wham! it’s an ad.

    I think your Zero Waste journey has massively inspired me (only last weekend, I asked if I could have my meat weighed in a bought-from-home container, to avoid the plastic – a strategy I read here years ago!) I’ve returned to that since plastic bags were banned in Australia. But note that I went to the supermarket at 6:30am Sunday though, as I’d normally feel ‘too weird’ to do that in public!

    But you have no stake in selling something and so it feels very persuasive.

    I think I get a bit irked by seeing ‘packaged’ lifestyles (e.g. on that blog you mentioned) when every image is so carefully posed, blurred backgrounds, shot from above, grid-symmetry etc. Maybe I’m just a super messy person! 🙂 That said, I’ll probably start reading it because: addiction to decluttering and simplicity.

    1. I’m so pleased to hear you having the courage, even in that specific time and place, to ask for your own container – there’s so many more people doing that now days. Last year, I was shopping in a new area whilst housesitting, and experienced no surprise or resistance at the butcher or Coles, and I suspect because there was a Source Bulk Foods there, I’m not the only waste free shopper.

      I never sought to monetise the blog, but I can see how and why people spruik things…

  2. If you click on “Blog” near the bottom of the home page, then scroll all the way to the bottom, then click on page 21 . . that takes you to her first blog post. It lists her blog in backwards chronological order so you can read them all if you want, it’ll just be a little tedious since you’ll have to keep clicking back and forth.

    I used to read her blog years ago, before she had a book and I don’t remember a Facebook group either (though I’ve never used Facebook so I may have just blocked that out) so I can’t really comment on those. But! I did read her book when it came out and enjoyed it. Lots of good tips there, and a bit more backstory/context than her blog. Some of it is not realistic for me (a mother who works outside the home, someone who lives in a low population area) but no book is written perfectly for my situation and I just took what I could from her suggestions. And I believe the book was made to be entirely compostable . . paper pages held together by string, I think?

    Ultimately, I stopped reading her blog because I got to a point where I felt I had improved my trash output situation and was satisfied with the progress I’d made. Rather than spend more time on tiny things related to trash, I called it good enough and moved on to other things. I’m not going to be as good as she is, and that’s fine!

    1. I think that’s ultimately it : we get to a level of ‘enough’, minimising enough and then consider near enough. Her book certainly helped me realise she also ‘gave up’ on certain products or fights, and didn’t go zero waste at all costs/efforts…

      So good to hear for you 😀

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