Do you or someone you know live in a zero waste home? Have you considered the benefits of eating zero waste meals and taking zero waste vacations? Bea Johnsons and her family of four have almost perfected the idea of zero waste living. They can fit an entire years’ worth of trash into one canning jar. If you are anything like myself or my family, you may have trouble accomplishing this task in a week.

Johnson 2013 trash tally

Not only is Johnson and her family lessening the harmful effects trash has on the environment, but they are saving a ton of money. The financial advantages of living the zero waste lifestyle are impressive to say the least. They make far fewer trips to the grocery store because they make do with what they have. They also do not purchase one time use items such as diapers or plastic plates because they can simply wash or make these materials from items they already own.

Johnson also found she had a lot more free time on her hands because she was no longer making frequent and unnecessary trips to the supermarket. She de-cluttered her home by donating usable items which also gave her more time because she no longer needed to clean unused items. When her husband noticed how much money they were saving by entering the zero waste lifestyle, he was completely on board.


She likes to remind others that it is a tough road to start down, but once you take that first step, you will thank yourself later. Everyone knows that is easy to toss out unwanted items but it is more financially responsible to reuse these items. Once you get into the lifestyle of creating zero waste, it takes about the same time to reuse your items as it does to throw them out.

Amy Korst, author of The Zero-Waste Lifestyle: Live Well by Throwing Away Less, states she has benefited financially from buying food whole and in bulk. Her pantry isn’t filled with pre-packaged items like some of ours may be. (I’m guilty of this) The packaging it takes to hold these food items is a strain on the environment and will not help you live the zero waste lifestyle. Korst avoids packaging which allows her to make items on her own.

If you are looking for ways to DIY around the house to create less waste, Pinterest can help. (Beware of Pinterest, it will suck you in.) Korst dabbles in DIY by making her son’s diapers and her own beauty and hair care products. She thinks part of the fun of living a zero waste lifestyle is the ability to showcase your own creativity.

If you feel these women may be taking the idea of zero waste to the extreme, I urge you to research the impacts of waste on our environment. Even if you cannot live a 100% zero waste lifestyle, there are things you can keep in mind to lessen the impact you make on the Earth. One simple way to strive towards zero waste, is to start your own compost pile. Turning your food waste into plant food is a great way to reuse unwanted food materials.


We have all heard about the 3R’s but have you heard about the 5R’s. The 5R’s stand for Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot. Johnson suggests these are great tips for living a zero waste lifestyle. You should Refuse items that you do not need because this creates a demand for businesses to make more. You should Reduce what you already own. You need to Reuse by only using reusable items. You should only Recycle when you cannot refuse, reuse or reduce. Lastly, you should let things Rot in a composting system.

When you are ready to take that first step in living a zero waste lifestyle, call Budget Dumpster. We can provide you with an environmentally friendly waste container for all of your unwanted materials. Give yourself more time and get rid of all your unwanted and unnecessary items. Renting a dumpster is a great way to start fresh. Go to our website at for more information!

Source: Sierra Club