This post is part of a series on homes that inspire me, as part of mulling over what my dream house looks like and to help motivate my decluttering. 1: A cob bungalow | 2: The woodsman's cottage | 3: A minimalist cabin | 4: A narrowboat | 5: The tiny appartment | 6: The crafty home | 7: The Burrow
I've not come across a reference to a 'no waste home' before, but the concept is fairly self-explanatory. Bea and her family generate (almost) no waste. This is the total amount of waste thrown in the bin in their house in 2014:
So you may wonder what kind of house they live in, and what their lifestyle looks like. Is it hard work?
My first thought was of my uncle who, according to family legend, once lived a year without throwing anything away. He just piled the trash under his bed instead.
So is there home cluttered, chaotic?
Oh no. It's beautifully minimalist. The zero waste mentality also means thinking carefully about everything you bring into your home, and living a very decluttered lifestyle. Bea focuses on five tenets: firstly, refuse things you don't need or which are wasteful, for example free disposable pens. Secondly, reduce what you do use. Thirdly, reuse what you have used before you move on to the fourth step, recycle. Then the rest is rotted down in the compost.
To cut out food packaging, and packaging in general, Bea buys in bulk. And it looks so beautiful.
If you're tempted to have a go at buying bulk, Bea has developed an app (called, logically enough, 'Bulk') which helps you locate and rate shops near you that sell in bulk.
Her archives make for interesting reading, on how she manages to take her zero waste philosophy on holiday with her, and inform her kids on why this matters, and the advantages that down-sizing her home, possessions and consumption have brought.
She's also got a book out, which is definitely going to be in my letter to Santa Claus. You can read an excerpt here. In the meantime, the blog has given me plenty of food for thought. I've started tracking what I throw away in the same way I track my expenses, and on the basis of that I am thinking about how I can reduce my waste.