“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.” ~Béa Johnson
A couple years ago I read the most inspiring article in Sunset Magazine, about the Johnson family in Mill Valley, California. The Johnsons have pared down their possessions and live a wonderfully simple life. The family members are so careful about not consuming wasteful packaging, they generate almost zero garbage.
The Johnsons are big on composting, and this is one way we try to reduce waste. I just love the idea of reusing the kitchen scraps in a way that benefits the garden and keeps stuff out of landfill.
What about recycling? Homeowner Béa Johnson says, “So much recycling really goes to waste, so you need to try to reduce that, too.” They are diligent about taking reusable containers to the store for food and eliminating junk mail, and their tidy pantry and closets would inspire anyone to minimize and simplify!
How much trash does your family generate in an average week? If you coaxed everyone in the household to get on board, could you reduce it by 50 or 75 per cent? Or 80 or 90 per cent? We’re down to about half a can per week, but the recycling bin is full every two weeks when it gets picked up — so we have a long way to go. The Johnsons have motivated me to try harder to reduce our recycling and trash. If they can do it, why can’t we?
Homework assignment #25: Try to reduce your family’s waste to zero this week, and let us know how it goes in the comments section below.
For more inspiration, you might enjoy the Johnson family’s blog, The Zero Waste Home.
P.S. In case you’ve just joined us, the January Money Diet is a challenge to take a 31-day break from nonessential spending. You can learn more about the money diet here — and jump right in!
Win a Deluxe Happy Simple Living Gift Basket
In honor of the January Money Diet, I’ll be giving away a gift basket chock-full of home and garden goodies plus several books at the end of the month. On January 31, 2013, I’ll draw one random name from everyone who commented during the month and that lucky person will win the gift basket. I hope you’ll stop by often this month and share your own ideas, thoughts and experiences about taking a 31-day break from nonessential spending.