Imagine the world without anger, without greed. We have the power, the tools, the skills and the resources right now to build a peaceful world, where people live in harmony with the Earth and each other. This blog explores ways we are doing just that, one post, one change, one day at a time. Join me. Tell your stories. Ask for help. Spread your ideas for making the vision real and, well, ordinary.

Monday, June 28, 2010

War on Garbage: Shooting for zero waste

The Greens
Image courtesy The Greens of My Zero Waste
Zero what? On Earth Day 2010, when I declared a War on Garbage, my objective was to minimize our household contributions to the waste stream by the same date 2011. Shooting for zero waste hadn't occurred to me.

Guess what! Around the globe, ordinary people like you and me are working toward that very goal: Zero waste in their households. They're way ahead of me and offer dozens of tips and plenty of community support for living consciously and reducing the junk and trash in our lives.

Read what one family, the Greens in the United Kingdom, have to say about their zero waste adventure.
There were four key things that started us on our zero waste journey.
  1. Having a child raises your awareness of the fragility of the planet. You realise that long after you have gone, your children and their children still need somewhere safe and clean to live.
  2. We have been inspired by other people walking their talk on the internet such as Mrs Average from the Rubbish Diet, Tracey Smith from the Book of Rubbish ideas, Beth from Fake plastic fish, Jen from the clean bin project and a host of other people making real changes.
  3. Reading stories about the devastating effects of plastic on marine life and wildlife touched us beyond words. After seeing the impact of our lifestyle on innocent creatures we were compelled to take action.
  4. We were in Boscastle on the day of the flooding. Watching people’s cars and possessions being washed out to sea makes you realise that the impact of climate change is real and its happening right now.
Rethink your 'insignificance'

Responding to the oft-asked question, "How can my individual action make a difference," the Greens, have this to say.
We urge you to rethink your ‘insignificance’ and get on and make a change anyway. Once your friends and family see you making changes they might be inspired to join in. Before you know it you will be making a real difference.
There's nothing like good company on a long journey, and I am grateful for the Greens. There are many more individuals and families like them. I'll introduce you to them along the way. Perhaps you know a few yourself. I invite you to post a link to their web site and tell us what intrigues you about them.

Zero waste household--Not even close

Here in our little San Francisco apartment, we're taking our journey one piece of trash, one decision, one success, one failure, and one day at a time. Zero waste is a ways off, but we're learning from the Greens, from you, who show us what you're doing on your blogs and in comments here, and from so many others.

Building an Ordinary world is possible because of people like the Greens, who are doing it now, and because the Ladakh show us it's already been done. Tomorrow, we'll explore ways the Ladakh managed their waste for centuries--surprisingly simple.
We make peace in a million small ways every day.
All text and images, unless otherwise noted, copyright L. Kathryn Grace. All rights reserved.

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SE'LAH... said...

I admire your dedication to social consciousness.

Just to let you know, someone created a twitter hashtag for doing a random act of kindness on july 6, 2010. hashtag is #bridgeoflove

one love.

mrs green @ myzerowaste said...

Good luck with your quest and thank you for sharing our story on your lovely site. I think the thing to remember is that it took us 2 years to get to where we are now. It's all about baby steps, getting those in place, being comfortable with them and THEN taking the next one. No running before you can walk, because you know where that leads ;)

Warm wishes
Mrs G x

Kathryn Grace said...

Se'lah, thank you and thanks for the hashtag. I see it's getting some Twitter traction as well as on your blog.

mrs green, you are most welcome. Your story and web site are such an inspiration. Yes, I had to rein in my zeal a bit, or feel constantly that we were failing. Now we're noting each little victory and picking one thing at a time to work on. Thanks for the encouragement and reminders!

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