Hello, Simple Year friends! I am beyond excited that my zero waste project was picked for Year 5, and I’m looking forward to sharing this adventure with all of you.
My name is Trisha, and I live in a small town in the Columbia River Gorge, in Oregon. I’m a reporter – primarily a features writer – for our town’s one and only newspaper. I’m a big fan of coffee, cats, eBooks, minimalism, and my little family – more on them in a moment.
I’m not exactly the poster child for counter culture (I’m a bit too uptight for that), but I do tend to like things that are… different. I think that’s why zero waste appeals to me. It’s the exact opposite of what we’re supposed to be doing (which is consuming. A lot). I’m a big fan of the exact opposite. It’s not that I’m trying to be contrary or anything. It’s mostly that the exact opposite is a lot more interesting than the mainstream.
Now, about my project: I’ve been dabbling in zero waste for a couple of years, but I’ve been pretty lazy about it. Maybe not so much lazy as easily distracted and frustrated – in our neck of the woods, package-free items are sparse, and some of what is available has been vetoed by the family or is too expensive to really be an option.
But is it that my choices really are sparse, or is it that I’m not very observant? What is the definition of zero waste? What would happen if we buckled down and tried to live a true zero waste lifestyle?
So that’s what we’re going to find out: What is possible in a small town and with a family.
That family includes my husband, Eric, and our girls, Abby, 16, and Johanna, 11. (And our cat, Skilly. We can’t forget about him.) I was trying to think of the advantages vs. disadvantages we’ll be facing as we embark on this quest, and I think the advantage is that we’re already minimalists and environmentally minded, so the “why” of the project takes care of itself. The disadvantage … trying to get four individuals on the same page, I suppose, especially when one of them is a teenager. It’s one thing to know why you are doing something, but another to put it into practice.
Side note: When I admitted to Eric and the girls about what I’d signed us up for, their first reaction was excitement. And then I told them it wasn’t just me who was expected to participate. That kind of took the wind out of the girls’ sails, though Eric was undaunted.
Ah, well. What could happen?
Now, a couple of promises:
- I am not here to preach. I am just here to share. (The successes and the failures.) Wherever you are in your zero waste journey – even if you’re not even on one – is cool with me.
- I will post regularly. New posts will go up on Mondays and Fridays – and a few Wednesdays, too (especially these first few weeks as we get the ball rolling). I will be linking all posts on the Simple Year’s Facebook page, and expect to see some informal polls, questions and articles a couple of times a week over there, too.
- I am interested in learning from other people’s experiences, whether you’re just flirting with the idea of zero waste or are a seasoned veteran. I welcome all comments, suggestions and questions. My hope is that this will be an interactive year and we’ll all learn a little something.
So that’s the State of the Union. Please take a moment to introduce yourself in the comments section. Are you practicing zero waste? Just hearing about it? What draws you to (or away from) the concept?