People often ask what I suggest as a first step towards zero waste. The best first step is to educate yourself about why plastic and our trash is a problem. Once you understand why zero waste is important, learning what you need to do is much easier. There are loads more of excellent content out there. If you have something you have found motivating or informative, please leave it in a comment!
Plastic Free Life by Beth Terry. Beth came across a picture of one of the many dead baby albatross that had been unwittingly killed by its parents feeding it bits of plastic they found in the ocean. This book tells her journey of how she quit plastic. It is also a one-stop book for everything you want to know about plastic, how it affects our health, the effect it is having on our earth, what viable alternatives there are, and practical tips on reducing your plastic. If you can only read 1 book on this subject, it should be this one. It’s at the Chattanooga library as a physical book and as an ebook on Hoopla.
Zero Waste Home: The ultimate guide to simplifying your life by Bea Johnson. Ready to learn more about zero-waste living? This is your book. Bea is a busy mom and business owner, but still lives a zero-waste lifestyle. Her book gives lots of practical tips on going zero-waste (or even on reducing your waste). The library has a physical book. Hoopla has both a ebook and an e-audio book.
101 Ways to Go Zero Waste by Kathryn Kellogg. This is an easy read with lots of practical suggestions. I love Kathryn’s motto: “It’s not about being perfect, it’s about making better choices.” You can get a copy of this book at the Chattanooga Library.
The Life Changing Magic of Tidying up by Mari Kondo. This is the book that started our journey. In 2017, our family “Konmaried” our whole house. The freedom that this brought to our lives is what gave us the time and energy to start learning about things like a zero-waste lifestyle. I don’t think we could live the way we do without first having simplified our lives to focus on only what brings us joy.
If Netflix is more of your thing, here are some documentaries I highly recommend. I mean really, we all need some vege-out with Netflix nights, it might as well be with content that will also benefit you in the long run:
Bag It–I recommend this one first because it talks about not just the planet, but also your health. Next, watch A Plastic Ocean and True Cost (more about the ethics in clothing, but a good motivator on reducing waste in what we wear!).
The Story of Stuff. If you don’t take any of my other recommendations, please just watch this 21-minute video by the Story of Stuff. And then maybe watch this one on bottled water. And then maybe every video the Story of Stuff has ever made. . .
A Plastic State of Mind is an awesome music video parody.
If you find motivation from religion, and particularly from Christianity, here are a few other resources you would find helpful:
Ecological footprints : an essential Franciscan guide for faith and sustainable living by Dawn Nothwehr. The first half is a through theological foundation for dealing with creation. The second half is more practical and shows how biblical principles apply to specific areas such as water, food shortages, and fossil fuels. It is available on Hoopla.
Can Faith be Green? is a great sermon by Tim Keller that gives a great theological background to an effort to reduce waste.
The Freedom of Christian Simplicity by Richard Foster. This is a book that I want to re-read every year. Yes, its that good!
There are lots more, but that is a good list to begin with! Comment below with what you found helpful or with your own suggestions!