What does being zero waste mean to you? What is the easiest change you could make this month to reduce waste? For me, I have been focusing on what I can and can’t control as I make changes during my zero waste journey. I can easily reduce waste by making food at home. I’m still working on finding out how to compost without a yard (I’ll keep you posted!). Every challenging change has a solution and that is the fun of the zero waste journey. I am so inspired by Fredrika and James at Zero Waste Family and their decision to try and make it possible for an entire family to live with zero waste. I hope their story inspires you to make sustainable changes for you and your families. Every little change can make a big difference!
What were you doing before moving to San Diego?
We lived in Fredrika’s hometown ofSweden before moving our family to my hometown of San Diego. I worked as a product manager for Ebay and Fredrika worked as a writer.
Who or what inspired your family to try and reduce waste?
While home with our newborn baby in 2006, Fredrika heard an interview with Colin Beavan, who was in the middle of a year-long No Impact project with his wife and daughter, trying to create as small of a carbon footprint as they could while living in the middle of New York City. Fredrika began following their journey through Colin’s blog and began to think about our own carbon footprint with climate change in mind.
What was the first step your family took to becoming zero waste?
We set up yearly goals of reducing our waste. One yearly goal was to stop buying canned food. Another yearly goal was to shop solely at our local farmers market. By 2015, we went full zero waste and haven’t looked back since.
What challenges have you faced along the way?
Our plan was to become plastic free which was very challenging because plastic is basically in EVERYTHING including gum, band-aids, beauty products, food packaging, and much more. Then, reducing waste somehow led to an increase in accumulating products that required recycling. We worked hard to reduce any waste that would even include recycling and we are so proud of our efforts. The pandemic has made it hard to buy things in bulk, but we are up for the challenge.
What have you learned from this experience so far?
We have learned that by reducing our waste and living with less we save a lot of money, over $18,000 a year! This allows us to work less and therefore spend more quality time with our wonderful children. We hope that our story has inspired others to make sustainable changes.
What are your next plans?
Our next plan is to release our documentary, Zero Time to Waste. The release was delayed because of the pandemic, but it still remains our next goal. We will keep educating ourselves and teaching others about zero waste by providing gardening and composting classes. We want to show people that reducing waste is super easy once you learn how to do it and why it is so important.
You can find more information about the Zero Waste Family on:
eBook, Zero Waste for Families https://zerowastefamily.com/ebook