Friday, September 5, 2014

"The Zero-Waste Lifestyle" Book Review

Amy Korst

"In The Zero-Waste Lifestyle, Amy Korst shows you how to lead a healthier, happier, 
and more sustainable life by generating less garbage.  
 Drawing from lessons she learned during a yearlong experiment in zero-waste living, 
Amy outlines hundreds of easy ideas-from the simple to the radical-for consuming 
and throwing away less, with low-impact tips on the best ways to:

*Buy eggs from a local farm instead of the grocery store
*Start a worm bin for composting
*Grow your own loofah sponges and mix up eco-friendly cleaning solutions
*Purchase gently used items and donate them when you're finished
*Shop the bulk aisle and keep reusable bags in your car
*Bring your own containers for take-out or restaurant leftovers

By eliminating unnecessary items in every aspect of your life, 
these meaningful and achievable strategies will help you save time and money, 
support local businesses, decrease litter, reduce your toxic exposure, eat well, 
become more self-sufficient, and preserve the planet for future generations."

This book was a real eye-opener.  I didn't realize 
there were folks who were trying to live trash-free.  
It's a noble pursuit, for sure.  Although we recycle and pay attention 
to the purchases we make, this book helped me pay more attention 
to the packaging that comes into our home. 
 I also find myself questioning whether or not something 
really needs to be thrown in the trash, rather than composted or recycled.

One point that the author made which I hadn't thought of before, 
was that anything that is wet or moist can usually be composted.  
This not only keeps trash to a minimum, 
but the need for garbage can liners becomes obsolete.  
Think of the savings in not having to purchase garbage bags 
and the amount of plastic you wouldn't be buying.  
It all adds up.

 One aspect that in which we already participate is in making purchases locally, 
so that the travel time and supplies are kept to a minimum.  
The impact on the environment is lessened 
when you can carry home your purchase in your own bags or boxes.  
No waste!  
(See the repurposed bags I recently made here.)  

The book also nurtures the idea that supporting the local community is better for everyone.
One thing I plan on doing since reading this book is to contact companies of items I currently purchase 
to inquire about the packaging they use.  Is it recyclable?  Could the packaging be downsized?  
It doesn't take much time to inform the companies 
that this is something worthwhile to consumers of their products.

The author and contributors are to be commended for their efforts in creating less waste 
and being so conscientious about the environment.  
By reading this book, I do think that I can reduce my usage of some items 
and get a compost pile started to help ease the burden of waste on our planet.  
If everyone who read this book just made one change, it would benefit us all.