My name is Andrea Randall. I’m a K/1 teacher living in California, married with two boys. My 2015 New Year’s resolution was to live “zero waste”. (My family was reluctant at first, but they’re on board now!) After we began, I was like, “Um, this should totally be called Near-O Waste, because zero is pretty much impossible.” (Don’t I sound like a Californian?)
We do many “zero” waste things; fill our own jars at the bulk bins, put our lunches in reusable containers, and compost our food scraps. But I’m lenient in a lot of ways. We buy one package of cheese per month and the kids can choose a packaged snack. And I still buy laundry detergent and vinegar (for cleaning) in a plastic jug.
An unexpected result of zero waste has been minimalism. Once I had established Near-O Waste routines for grocery shopping, meal planning, and personal hygiene, I became obsessed with clearing every unnecessary item out of our house. It was a long and complicated process, but now my mind feels free and clear, and keeping the house in order has never been easier.
Near-O Waste and minimalism are my religion! They were a lot of work initially, but now that we’re settled in, life is simpler and less wasteful, with plenty of time to enjoy the little moments. We hope our lifestyle will teach our children how to be healthy, how to take care of the planet, and how to value love and adventure over material possessions. I hope you’ll visit my blog Near-O Waste or my facebook page.
Start small, and see where it takes you…