Bea Johnson… a married mother of two living in California, originally from France, an advocate for what’s become known as the “zero waste” movement has completely transformed her life and swears we can all do it too.   She is just like us in many ways.  She wants to save money, leave a better planet for our children, and live a simple, clutter-free life.  Not so different, right?

So what makes her so noteworthy?  I too want to save money, leave a better planet for our children, and live a simple, clutter-free life.  Herein lies the difference, I still take out the garbage each week  – Bea Johnson DOES NOT – THEY HAVE NONE!  Bea shops with reusable bags made from old sheets or pillow cases and jars.  She passes on the tags used to write the bin # of the bulk foods and writes the # on her cloth bags with a washable crayon.  She uses jars to put her fish, deli meats and cheeses in. 

Get To Know Your Tare Weight! What?!

Tare weight is the weight of your reusable container when it is empty.  So when you purchase cheese from the deli and put it in your glass jar or reusable stainless steel container they subtract the tare weight and only charge you for your goods.  She doesn’t shop the center isles at the grocery store, as that is where you find all the packaged products and normally not the healthiest choices as well. Instead she is drawn to the bulk section and outer parameters of the store. She has found the secret to Waste-free Grocery Shopping!

I think we are all trying to embrace the Zero Waste movement on some level. Reducing & Reusing have moved mainstream.  Before it was tree-hugging hippies who washed and reused their produce bags and packed waste-free – it is now a lifestyle and a stylish one!   We are becoming more aware of:

  • the environmental impact that disposable’s have on our planet
  • the natural resources that go into making certain products, the chemicals and petroleum involved
  • we find ourselves supporting and lobbying for plastic bag bans
  • we REMEMBER to bring our reusable bags with us when shopping

 Bea says, “That once you start Reducing & Reusing it gets in your system and you will never want to go back.” She reminds us that we are the ones making decisions by the purchases we make.  If you buy a product with massive packaging you are creating demand.   Her site is, The Zero Waste Home, where she urges to “Refuse, Refuse, Refuse.  Then reduce, reuse and recycle (and only in that order).” Here she shares her tips, resources, and her concerns. Her confession: “I need to offset my yearly flight to France, where I was born and raised… I believe that the Earth has been trashed and enough is enough.  How did we ever think that there was such a thing as “away” in the term “throw away”? We are all responsible, every time we make a purchase.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with where to start.  Bea suggests picking some things that work for you and adding along the way. Start slowly and remember “Once you bring the waste into your house, it becomes your problem.  If you do not buy packaging, you wont have to deal with its disposal later.”


To learn more click here.

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