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Zero waste means using glass jars for food storage and cleaners, shopping in bulk and packing lunch. Stock photo
Columns Soul on Fire

How to become ‘zero waste’

So you want to be sustainable. You believe the global warming statistics and want to play a part in going green for yourself and your family.

Now what?

A practical step-by-step book has been published to help guide your family from low to zero waste for a healthier planet. “A Practical Guide to Zero Waste for Families” is a guidebook by San Diego resident and environmental activist Fredrika Syren.

By shifting habits gradually, the reader can make small-scale changes to do their part for climate change and the environment.

The book was written as a result of this family’s journey — from removing the household trash can to composting everything and growing their food, the adventures of teaching their children how to live a greener lifestyle in an ordinary San Diego suburb yields the practical guidebook that became Zero Waste for Families.

With over 150 pages of practical tips for beginners to advanced zero-wasters, Fredrika demonstrates simple strategies for day-to-day living with a consciousness toward the environment and reducing carbon footprint in every aspect of life.

Not only are the DIY recipes healthy and sustainable, but they are also eco-friendly with less waste for a healthier home. This guidebook follows this family’s journey and demonstrates how they save $18,000 annually by going zero waste in every aspect of family living.

So what is “Zero Waste?”

According to Wikipedia, Zero Waste is the conservation of all resources through responsible production, consumption, reuse, and recovery of products, packaging, and materials without burning and with no discharges to land, water, or air that threaten the environment or human health.

Only 9% of all plastic has been recycled, and the rest ends up in landfills, incinerated, polluting the atmosphere, or dumped into the ocean. Think about your plastic use. Is there an area that you can improve here?

Chapter 5 talks about using Mason Jars for all food storage, cleaners, bulk shopping instead of plastic bags, and packing meals, especially salads.

This chapter also shares recipes, inspiring readers to try these tips and tricks for themselves. Every chapter is an adventure in the art of sustainability – starting with mindset.

“Think big and start small. First, look at the big picture: by reducing your waste by just 20%, you will make a positive change for the environment. Small changes matter! But you have to start somewhere,” says Syren.

According to Syren, they started by simply removing the trash can in the kitchen. By moving it to the hallway closet, they had to look at everything they needed to discard and consciously decide if the items could be composted, reused, or recycled.

They were carrying the trash. That small distance made the family reevaluate what they were bringing into the house in the first place. Nowadays, their philosophy has changed. If they can’t reuse, recycle or rot it in the compost, they won’t buy it.

This is an excellent guide for anyone who wants to make a difference with their everyday actions. And a great place to start your journey toward sustainability in your home.

For more information, check out www.zerowastefamily.com.

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