Zero Waste Home – a paradigm shift

Cover: Zero Waste Home published by Penguin Books

The Zero Waste concept is sweeping into every corner of society and has become a common term. It stems from the Zero Waste International Alliance established in the early 2000s.

Dubbed the priestess or godmother of Zero Waste, French American Bea Johnson is credited with creating the Zero Waste lifestyle movement, when she proved living a Zero Waste is possible. In one year, a family of four reduced their waste production to a single jar. Documenting how she did it in the now iconic book  Zero Waste Home, it is a global call to move beyond a recycle mindset. By showing that Zero Waste could be stylish yet cost-effective, Bea Johnson has since inspired millions to adopt this sustainable practice. The number of vloggers now experimenting with the method, who reference her as inspiration, is a staggeringly high number.

Zero Waste philosophy is a fantastic idea that builds on the 3Rs that most people are already familiar with but with two additions. Bea Johnson outlines the 5 Rs as Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot, and suggests the practice be implemented in that order. After an initial phase of shock in changing your wasteful ways, the principles are easily adopted in all areas of activity from the kitchen to office.

The best part of this new ecosystem is the many super creative Zero Waste shops cropping up, selling produce and household goods without packaging/without waste. In this, Bea Johnson has also built a database of these shops mapping out locations around the globe, called Bulk Finder.

Zero Waste is a fun paradigm shift. It is a simple step by step living guide that makes being earth conscious very trendy.


Zero Waste International Alliance

Bea Johnson’s website:

Please follow this link to purchase the kindle book, Zero Waste Home.


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Sharifa Jamaldin