Zero Waste House : Joy

- Categories : Yodistas Community

My name is Joy, I'm 35 years old, 3 children who are living life to the fullest, a husband always ready for new adventures and a super nice dog. We met over 10 years ago at L'Oreal, the world of beauty is a real family story ! 

We left in 3 weeks in Seoul then Jakarta and landed 3 years ago in Los Angeles. The city of all contradictions and excesses. This over-consumption in the middle of the wild and fascinating nature.

I've always been sensitive to the respect of the environment but the click was made almost a year ago when I walked my dog in the street. I must have passed by dozens of times... I read on a manhole cover in front of our house "no dumping go directly into the ocean" with this adorable little dolphin that looked so happy. I looked up and saw our house, and it clicked! But where did the water go when we were doing our laundry?

In the ocean too ? And our garbage ? I've always been skeptical of recycling in Los Angeles, everything went in that blue bin - paper, plastic, glass and aluminium. So I started doing research on the Internet. Objective number one: find a recipe for homemade laundry. I was obsessed with the water that flowed only a few miles away from our house, where our kids bathed and surfed on the weekends, right where you could see that dolphin swimming on the beach among the sea lions. I soon had in my hands the bible of any beginner who wants to reduce his waste, the Zero Waste House. The story of a French woman, Bea Johnson, who lives in California, she had this ecological awareness in 2008 ! Their annual waste for a family of 4 fit in a jar of jam ! I was bluffed. I thought recycling was the solution but I was wrong.

So my first step was to empty our 2 garbage cans in our garden and take stock of the situation. The report was irrevocable. Plastic, plastic and more plastic. Everywhere! I was appalled. I thought I was doing the right thing by putting my vegetables in reusable cloth bags but it wasn't really enough. We had to change our habits. Consuming less but better, consciously. The next day I went into the kitchen. Everything was done. I took stock of the glass containers we already had, added cloth pouches and the adventure began.

The easiest change was the cleaning products for the house. A simple base of white vinegar, baking soda and Marseille soap. That was it. No more big cans of washing powder, chemicals, bleach to disinfect everything. Back to equally effective natural products and homemade recipes. After a little groping, do some volcanic experiments - there were a few spills to the delight of the children! I have my 2, 3 magic recipes. Now I spend much less time on the supermarket shelves buying my litres of washing powder and dishwashing liquid. I prepare in 10min chrono 2 big cans of washing powder, in less than 5min my spray to clean the house and the washing up liquid has been replaced by a bar of Marseille soap which is also used to wash my hands.  

The house smells just as good as with synthetic perfumes thanks to the essential oils of sweet orange, lavender or lemongrass.

Fast, effective, natural and economic. 

Tried and tested recipes that are becoming more and more popular. Talk about it around you, I'm sure you know at least one person in your entourage who does his laundry!

The second stage was more chaotic, the universe of the bulk... 

In the beginning, I always bought too much or too little. I put it everywhere when I poured it into my jars, there was as much in the jar as on the floor, I forgot to make the tare. The real beginner. I felt like I was spending my time in the bulk stores, I sometimes went there 3 or 4 times a week. I was desperate, discouraged by all these trips. I wondered what all this was for. It's true, deep down, our entourage kept telling me that it was a drop in the ocean!

At the end, the children were just as happy with their packet of industrial biscuits but I held on, the routine set in. 

I wanted to be that drop in the big ocean and make things happen. I got used to it, I only buy what we need for the week. We've limited our organic waste, there's almost no more packaging in our kitchen, only glass jars, and every now and then a little deviation from a fun purchase! We consume much more consciously. This little drop has inspired some of our friends who have also decided to start this awareness. It is this snowball effect that will make things happen!

Now, we never leave home without our "survival kit": 1 bottle, bamboo cutlery and a box as a "doggy bag". We apply to the maximum the precious rule of the 5 R's (reuse, refuse, burp, repair, recycle). Refuse a bag at the checkout, try to repair the toaster before going to Amazon to order a new one, reuse the containers to store food, compost when possible, recycle this old toaster at the appropriate organization.

Our children have become real plastic hunters ! They spontaneously refuse straws or disposable cups. They never leave without their canteen. To made them aware and made them conscious is my greatest pride.

We can't part with our bad habits but we can replace them. We don't have to go that far right away. I wanted to change everything at once, but it's not possible. You have to adapt and see what can be done to change everyone's life. For us, it was food. It coincided with my career change. I had just returned to school to become a nutrition coach. All the planets were lining up to support our life change. We were turning the corner.

As you remember, beauty was a true love story and therefore our bathroom cabinets are the most difficult to "revolutionize". They are filled with products brought back by my husband. I have always been lucky enough to get all the new stuff before anyone else. I have become aware that the most important thing is to have few products but quality products, in line with my new philosophy of life.

The objective for the moment is to sell our stock worthy of a parapharmacy. It is not a question of throwing everything in the trash but to finish what we have in our possession or to give and no longer keep "in case" you know this sentence by heart I am sure. This is the first step for a fair and lasting awareness. 

I tried to make my creams but I was never satisfied. I couldn't find the greediness of fragrances that weren't always very natural, or the smoothness of a cream filled with petroleum... You quickly become "addicted" to this comfort.

The zero-waste bathroom stage is the most frustrating. I'm always looking for THE brand that will combine the generosity and comfort of the formulas, the effectiveness of natural ingredients, transparency in the manufacturing process and above all its commitment to the planet.

More than a way of life, it is a true philosophy of life, which often has an ultra positive impact on who we are. Awareness of our planet cannot take place without self-awareness. We are what we eat, what we put on our skin and above all what we want to do with our sweet blue planet. Being conscious is a whole. You will see, to try it is to adopt it!

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