Zero Waste

beach
I am in love with a book called Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson. I don’t remember how I found it, but I’ve read it cover to cover at least 4 times. I started reading minimalism blogs because of it. I started purchasing more consciously, and began to understand the Story of Stuff. It influenced the course of my life in larger ways, too. I never understood with her environmental consciousness, why Bea wasn’t vegan, but that’s really none of my business. She’s still awesome.

Recently, I was explaining to my friend what I learned from the book. The book is about reducing your household trash, but more than that, in reading it, I learned some things about myself:

1. I will never forage moss to use as toilet paper. One can only go so far to do one’s part. Translation: Try, but not too hard.
2. I was able to lead my dream life now, if I was willing to live with less. Happiness is not a destination reserved for a future date when I’ve earned more money/saved for retirement/bought my dream home. It is now. This where it gets interesting.

Bea tells the story of how by minimizing her possessions, she and her family were able to live in a smaller house, and move to an area she previously thought they could not afford. And because their possessions were minimal, they were able to pack up their things on a whim and rent their home to fund their family vacations.

This lifestyle may not appeal to everyone, but to me, a lightbulb magically appeared over my head. What if I wasn’t so tied down by my things? What if I lived lightly enough to travel more often? What if rented my home and shared it with others in order to afford the experiences I want? I am in the process of making this happen, although truth be told, it’s not an overnight process, and it takes practice. No, I’m not relocating to a tiny house on wheels. But I am creating a version of the life that works for me. It involves travel, the beach, and a lot less junk. What does your ideal life look like?

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