Bea Johnson and her family produced just one quart of trash in all of 2012. Here’s how she did it.

From SF Gate:


Bea Johnson’s recently released book, “Zero Waste Home” ($17; Scribner), shares her experiences, as well as the expertise she has developed in attempting to create a trash-free household. To learn more about how she and her family cut their consumption and reduced spending by 40 percent, go to

Here are some simple yet effective ideas she and her family have implemented:

1. Shop in bulk and bring cloth bags, mesh bags, glass jars and bottles to the store. They can hold different types of foods – such as grains, fruit, meat and olive oil. Bring totes, too, to carry all of your groceries home in.
2. Many beauty and bath products, including liquid soap and lotions, can also be purchased without packaging and some can be homemade. In Johnson’s case, she makes her own tooth powder (instead of toothpaste) and bronzer; the recipes are included in her book.
3. When it comes to housekeeping, again, Johnson goes the homemade route. She uses a vinegar mixture in lieu of a range of other cleaning products.

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