‘Make a big difference by throwing away less’ is the premise of this book on how to reduce waste in all aspects of your life. One of the things I liked best about it is that the author starts off by openly admitting she used to do the complete opposite, buying into the ‘more more more’ consumer lifestyle, and has had to figure out low waste strategies along the way.
The book is set out in three sections – Tools, Tips and Tricks. The Tools section gives reasons for reducing waste, including the impact on the planet and the potential for change. ‘Where to start’ has sections to help you feel better about what you are embarking on, including ‘Don’t succumb to environmental guilt’, ‘Don’t be too hard on yourself’ and ‘Don’t force your standards on others’. I think these are really important concepts to discuss up front, as it’s too easy to give up on a snap decision to ‘go zero waste’ in a couple of weeks time when a bunch of uninvited guilt and helpless feelings take over as you realise you can’t do it all perfectly and wonder why you bother when so many other people just use takeaway coffee cups and disposable everything else every single day (or is that just me….)
‘Tips’ is broken down into common areas where purchases can be changed to low or no waste options – Kitchen and food; cleaning and care; beauty and body; entertaining and events; and little people and furry friends. The author even describes how she went about planning her wedding using these ideals. Homemade lemonade, anyone?
The last section, ‘Tricks’, helps out with ideas for travelling, and how start being an environmental activist/lobbyist. Again, the author is refreshingly honest about initially feeling uncomfortable about being labelled an activist, but explains how the title now fits with how she lives in alignment with her values. This last section is a good lesson on how important it is to act beyond our own purchasing patterns if we want to truly make a difference for the planet and our fellow humans.
The book is easy to read and lovely, with beautiful pictures, diagrams and layout. I’d recommend it to anyone at any point of enacting their own waste reduction lifestyle.