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Our Zero Waste Journey Begins!

Hi there! We are Josh and Lauren Bowen: your average newlywed couple just trying to figure out how to make a life together.

Today, we are beginning our “zero waste journey,” and trust me, we are petrified.

Trash is one of those things that we’ve become far too accustomed to in our daily lives. Everything comes wrapped tightly in plastic, cardboard, Styrofoam, and don’t even get me started on the twist ties!

Just think of all the garbage you throw away each day without a second thought: sandwich baggies, paper towels, plastic shopping bags, labels, clothing tags, toy packaging, receipts, fast food trash galore and your morning coffee cup…the list goes on, and on, and on. And where does it go? You guessed it. Landfills.

Now I know most of us know this subconsciously, so we make an effort! We recycle our cardboard Amazon boxes, rinse out a milk bottle or two and try to buy compostables. But what is that really doing? Is it enough? Is the energy expended to recycle the leftovers of our terrible consumption habits worth it? What about the toxins and pollutants we’re spreading by doing so?

It’s been drilled into us that recycling is the answer to all of our consumption problems. However, many experts would argue that’s not the case – that the answer lies in setting boundaries with what we buy and what we do with it when we’re done.

How All of This Started

This summer, I (Lauren) picked up a fabulous book entitled, Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste, by the lovely Bea Johnson. It is hugely inspirational.

I first heard about Bea and her Zero Waste initiative on The Lively Show – a fantastic podcast I highly recommend! In the book (and in the podcast), Bea discusses her family’s transition from affluent, hyper-wasteful, hyper-consumption-obsessed family, to becoming one of the most influential Zero Waste gurus of our time!

Bea lays out a philosophy and framework for Zero Waste that has really encouraged us to take a closer look at our waste, as well as the ways that we use our money to support certain types of aggressive industry, how we deal with consumption and excess of ‘stuff,’ and ultimately what we will choose to do about it. Her framework for achieving this is found in her “Five R’s,” which I will cover in more depth a little later on this blog.

Enter, The Zero Waste Memoirs

Zero Waste Memoirs is our answer to the question:

What can we do to make sure that our home together reflects our core values of caring for the earth and its bounty, respecting others (including future generations), and using our collective creativity to make the world a better place?

Second, as two people with lots of grand ideas and busy lives, we hope that this blog will be a bit of an accountability system for us. We will work hard and post often to ensure that we both get as much out of this as possible!

We are so honored that you are interested in taking this journey with us. We sincerely hope that this blog will be an inspiration to you, that you’ll find some comfort knowing that we’ve gone ahead and done this before you, and that you’ll find a way to make Zero Waste a part of your own life.

Wish us luck! Josh and Lauren