Listen to envinronmentalist and writer Bea Johnson talking on the ways we can reduce our food waste and complete the blanks in the sentences below with up to three words. 0 is an example.
Bea Johnson is the author of the book Zero Waste Home.
1 The bottle with waste Bea carries with her wherever she goes is the size of _________________ .
2 The five rules Bea and her family follow are refuse, _______________ and rot.
3 The first rule of the zero waste lifestyle is _________________ to the things we don’t need.
4 Bea works a _________________ and has a busy life.
5 Making other people have access to the things you don’t need boosts the _________________ and allows you to share your resources with other people.
6 In Bea’s opinion, those things that we don’t have won’t need to be _______________ maintained and eventually discarded and repurchased.
7 People who live in apartments can leave their compost system on their balcony or in a spot in _________________ .
8 Waste-free products can be found in both health food stores and at _________________ .
Bea Johnson is a zero waste guru and an author of a best-selling book called Zero Waste Home. She proudly carries a bottle around with her which contains all the waste she and her three member family have created over the last year. It’s about the size of a marmalade jar. And Bea was one of the stars at the Zero Waste conference, hosted by the non-profit organisation Bezobalu, which took place in Prague this week. I met her prior to the conference I asked her if she could outline the main ideas behind the philosophy:
Zero waste aims at eliminating a maximum waste from your life. So we have been able to eliminate ours to just one jar per year. All we do is simply follow five rules in order: we refuse, reduce, reuse recycle and rot, so at the end we are left with very little waste.
So first rule, for example, is to refuse what we do not need, because in the consumerist society we are the targets of many consumer goods that are free, but every time we accept them, we are creating a demand to make more. So every time we take a free plastic bag, for example, it is a way for us to say that we love plastic bags, and we want more oil to be drilled from the ground to create a replacement and the replacement will be created. So we’ve simply learned to say no to these things and that’s the first rule of the zero waste lifestyle.
Isn't it too complicated, because that’s what many people say, that it’s time-consuming to live this way of life?
People that say that it’s too complicated do not know zero waste lifestyle and I am here to share all the misconceptions that are associated with this lifestyle. I work a full time job and I have a very busy schedule. If I am able to do it, I believe other people are able to do that too.
What takes the most time is actually to find a system that works for you. It also takes time to declutter your life from the things that you do not really need. That’s the second rule of the zero waste life style: to reduce the things that you do need.
So it takes a while to go through the things that you have so that you can let them go and make other people have access to them, so then you are boosting the second-hand market and sharing those precious resources with other people.
But once the system is in place you'll discover that it really saves a lot of time, because it is a life-style that is based on simplicity. Simplicity, by definition, is not there to complicate your life but to simplify it, to make room in your life for what matters the most. What you don’t have won’t need to be cleaned, stored, eventually repaired, maintained and then eventually discarded and repurchased.
Some people also say that it’s complicated, for instance, if you live in a city like Prague, there are no package-free shops. If you live in an apartment you can’t compost your biodegradable waste.
There is a compost system out there for every situation. For people that live in an apartment have a choice of either a worm bin, some people put it on their balcony or they find a spot in their cupboard. It actually doesn't smell. People are afraid of it because they think it is going to smell, it does not smell, so don’t worry about it.
Otherwise, there is actually a system that can be plugged. It’s a kind of composter that you plug in, it does require electricity but it is much faster than a worm composter and you can even add meat and fish bones to it.
And then as far as the bulk food stores, well there is one here in Prague, but also people need to understand that waste-free products is not just what we find in health food stores. It’s also at the farmers markets. It’s anything that you find without packaging, so it’s the bakery shop, your local butcher shop or your local fish shop. You just bring your own containers to these things to stop packaging at the source.
1 a marmalade jar
2 reduce, reuse, recycle
3 saying no
4 full time job
5 second-hand market
6 cleaned, stored, repaired
7 their/a cupboard
8 (the) farmer markets