Zero waste households are possible!
Can ordinary people really create zero waste? The challenge has been determined, and during the week of March 10-17, 2008, a mother from Bury St Edmunds in the United Kingdom tried it.
At first, she was not a typical environmentalist. She was skeptical about whether she could reduce garbage to 50%, but she did it in just 2 weeks. This prompted her to move on. After 8 weeks, she threw only one plaster!
The housewife is Karen Cannard, now an avid blogger of The Rubbish Diet. Karen is a housewife and is now a freelance writer. She lives in Bury St Edmunds, where she lives with her husband and two young children. The blog is only intended to last 8 weeks to document Karen’s attempts to reduce trash bins during Zero Waste Week in March 2008. However, after realizing the importance of this issue, she could no longer make this lady shut up and leave to inspire many others. Therefore, Karen's work was shortlisted in the independent media category of the 2009 Media Guardian Innovation Awards, and was also a finalist in the recycling champion category of the CIWM Environmental Excellence Award.
Karen now uses her free time to talk about trash with anyone willing to accept her, and challenges everyone around the world to accept their own trash eating challenge. She is also a frequent visitor of BBC Suffolk Radio, and often appears on Heart FM as well as BBC Three Counties Radio and BBC Essex.
Karen is also an inspiring speaker and seminar host. In the past 18 months, she has participated in a series of events including: EERA's Community Action on Climate Change; Norfolk Waste Partnership Annual Conference; Inspire East Community development gatherings, waste observation waste educators meetings, and the recent zero waste community event in Norwich.
The irony is that Karen was not particularly green when she started writing this blog, and still insisted that despite her tendency towards sustainable development, she is still an almost ordinary member of the mainstream society that is gradually greening.
As a treatment for her newly discovered busy life, she is even more busy writing a memoir, which she hopes will one day turn it into a book: "The Junk Eating of Almost Average Wife: A Confession of an Accidental Eco-Blogger". With her telling of family disputes, imitating Mrs. Olar, interviewing celebrities in her bedroom, and taking live interviews at the landfill of national television, she hopes this will attract people from all over the world, including those who haven’t even given it. The second idea is to reduce waste.
Can you too? Why not try your own junk diet and shrink the bin? You will be surprised how easy it really is, and you can even save some money. If "Almost Mrs Average" can do it, so can you. See here for a plan to reduce household waste in just 8 weeks.
Indeed, most of the time consumers cannot choose sustainable products, but this is clearly a growing market. Karen’s example shows that you can live a more sustainable life with no effort. In the video below, you can see some ideas on how to become a zero-waste family.
If "Almost Mrs Average" can do it, so can you.
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