A Beautiful Downsize: How to Live Totally Trash-Free

From on February 03, 2011 in Green Remodeling

Bea and Scott Johnson’s addictive quest to live with less began three years ago when they downsized from a 3,000 square-foot home into their current 1,400 square feet. Out of necessity, the couple began to get rid of stuff, and the concept caught on like wildfire.

trash free family

“When we started getting rid of things, it was kind of addictive,” Bea said. “In a recession, people are inclined to keep things, but I feel the opposite.” Lightening their load felt freeing.

The Johnsons are among an increasing number of people trying to lighten their landfill burden and decrease their footprint on the earth. And reports all around of these seemingly radical living experiments say that doing so is much easier than expected. With 4.5 pounds of trash generated each day (day!) by the average American, it’s worth the effort.

zero waste kitchen

One hint on how to live with less trash is asking how much you can live without, and streamlining your home. The Johnson family, for instance, doesn’t buy and keep unnecessary stuff—and what they do purchase is either recycled or without packaging. They avoid plastic bags at the super market by taking their own containers to fill.

zero waste bathroom

Though the process would take some getting used to, the Johnsons and others like them have shown that it’s worth looking into.

zero waste home

“The less I have, the richer I feel,” Bea said. “Stuff weighs you down.” No wonder the Johnsons seem to levitate with free-flowing glee.

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Photo Credit: USA Today