A Bit of Zero Waste Inspiration

by Katy on April 13, 2011 · 17 comments

Is your family working towards a less wasteful lifestyle? Well then, I have the perfect inspirational video for you to watch! Regular readers may recognize this family from the Sunset Magazine article a few months back. And although I think of myself as living a less-wasteful life, my family of four still puts out a half can of garbage per month.

If you’re wanting to learn more about this family, then make sure to check out their blog at The Zero Waste Home.

Really though, this video should be titled, “Kitchen Counter Porn.” Cause yeah, her kitchen counters are almost completely empty. Sigh . . .

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Sue April 14, 2011 at 2:48 am

How inspiring. You are so lucky in the US to have access to stores where you can get jars refilled and buy so many things in bulk. I know of nowhere where I can do this in the UK.


Jessica April 14, 2011 at 4:57 am

Not sure where in England you are, but I came across this store a while ago and saved the link.



Angela@beggingtheanswer April 14, 2011 at 3:56 am

That is inspiring! She has some really great ideas about how to reduce waste.


Jessica April 14, 2011 at 4:14 am

@Sue – Actually is is very hard to find a grocery store that will do that. Most cheese – even wedge cheese – is prepacked. Seafood would be easy since that is all measured right there, but other meat may be difficult since all of it is prepacked and you would have to flag down the butcher. I live two miles away from an organic gourmet poultry farm and when I buy from them, the chicken is still shrink wrapped.

Getting milk in a refillable container is next to impossible unless you live close to a farm or some sort of health food store that will do it. Whole Foods is probably the closest (but the running joke is that they should call the store Whole Paycheck since that is what it would take to do all your shopping there 😉

I do think that the family is awesome in their zero waste lifestyle and we can all learn from their example – even if it may be hard to copy it exactly.


Sue April 14, 2011 at 4:40 am

Thanks for that Jessica.

Zero Waste Home has inspired me to stop using so much plastic – plastic food containers, plastic wrap and plastic bags especially.


Jen April 14, 2011 at 1:41 pm

We have Oberweis milk here in Chicago. You buy it in a glass bottle and pay a $1.50 deposit which you get back when you take the bottle to the store. They have it at all the regular stores and it isn’t that expensive!


Kayleigh April 14, 2011 at 4:35 am

Her house is so uncluttered. Where do the boys keep their toys and playthings? Do you think she just did a super whirlwind declutter for the tv cameras and threw everything in huge rubbermaid containers in the car trunk or under the beds?


Jessica April 14, 2011 at 4:58 am

In her blog she has outlined that the kids have very few toys, something like 4 bins full and that uncluttered is a part of their lifestyle too.


Sue April 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

I can’t believe I haven’t noticed before, but Katy has a link in her sidebar to a fantastic British site called My Zero Waste which is not only written by someone in the UK but by someone who lives very near to me. I thoroughly recommend it to Katy’s UK readers and thank you Katy for providing the link.


602Laura April 14, 2011 at 12:30 pm

I”m all for reusing, recycling and not wasting, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and be completely honest. The Zero Waste Home looks much too white, cold and sterile for me. I’m a person who loves to cook, sew, and surround myself with cozy, old stuff that I use and enjoy. It would drive me crazy in no time to look at those stark white walls & empty rooms . I guess it’s a good reminder that there are different ways to live the life of a non-consumer.


Andrea S April 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm

I have been obsessed and inspired by her since February. We had been purchasing 25lb bags of local spelt flour and freezing the majority of it; however, I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. All the flours available in the bulk bins at our natural foods store are either cross-contaminated with gluten containing flours in the bin right next to it or are processed in factories that process gluten containing foods. The best tasting noodles (and the only ones my husband is willing to eat) are the ones that come encased in plastic, not the ones in the bulk bins. I am a little discouraged at the moment.


Jenny April 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I don’t see myself getting to where she is anytime soon! But even if a lot of people make a little change it starts to add up. Making mesh bags for produce has been on my list for a while now and it’s time to move it to the top.
I do wish we could buy milk in glass bottles, but not an option here.


Jinger April 15, 2011 at 4:15 am

Like 602 Laura, I live in a homey home. While I live a very frugal, simple lifestyle, I still want a cozy feeling inside my house. Also, I think this family must have the means to shop at high end groceries to get everything . On my very limited budget, I need to get the most for less and often that means more packaging.


Maddie April 15, 2011 at 9:35 am

You should check out The Zero Wast Home. Her family actually saves money. It is a pretty cool site.


Mrs Green @myzerowaste.com April 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

Oh yes, I have kitchen counter envy too! I LOVE what this family are doing, they are such an inspiration to me. I love the minimalist lifestyle look, but with a hoarder husband, that won’t be happening any time soon at Zero waste towers!

@Sue; I’ve just connected with you on your blog – we’re only a county away from one another and I LOVE your site. Looking forward to sharing more with you!


Katy April 15, 2011 at 9:29 am

I feel like a matchmaker!



Sue April 16, 2011 at 12:45 am

You are 🙂


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