As May is book month I wanted to add another book review before we enter June. I was intrigued with Bea Johnson’s book Zero Waste Home and decided to see what I could learn from her as I continue to try to reduce my household waste further.
I am still trying to figure out what I think of this book. It became clear early on that the author and I live completely different lifestyles.
The Johnson family previously lived in a 3,000 sq ft home with “two cars, four tables and twenty-six chairs”. This began the introduction. I have never wanted to live in a home that large. But I continued reading.
The current lifestyle of the Johnson family is one of dinner parties and frequent travels to Bea’s home country of France. They are part of a professional working group of people, which you know isn’t me either.
Their home appears to be what I believed minimalism to be when I was first introduced to the term. The few pictures of their home show white walls, white floors, and all white furnishings. Walls are apparently devoid of art. While crisp and clean-looking, it isn’t something I could live with.
I did find a few things had not heard of before. For example, in the chapter on beauty products she mentions lightening gray hair to blonde by using turmeric. I had never heard of this before and while I vowed I would never color my hair again I may just try this.
But at the same time “no poo” is dismissed unless you have short hair or can tolerate smelling of apple cider vinegar. I think Ms. Johnson could have done her homework and suggested alternatives such as white vinegar or even lemon juice before adding this section. As I let my very thick hair grow out I find “no poo” to work just fine.
My overall take on this particular book is that it was well written, but at times I found myself feeling chastised for holding on to items, such as a vegetable peeler.. I can only explain it as the way it was worded. I don’t mean to say the author was preachy, but there was something that didn’t sit right with me at times.
I give Ms Johnson credit for attempting to makes everything from scratch in the beginning of her journey, but when you include a recipe on making your own paper…I have better things to do with my time, just as the author, eventually concluded, as well.
If you have already purged your home of chemical cleaners and gotten rid of everything you don’t love or need, there may be little new for you in this book. Someone just starting out may find more of value.
If am to be honest I would suggest you borrow this first to see if there are enough new ideas to justify the cost.
Have you read this book? What did you take from it?