I wanted to highlight two of my favorite inspirations, women who are doing more than I can ever imagine doing in their efforts to reduce waste and reshape the way we think about what’s possible and realistic.
The first is Bea Johnson, a European transplant and mother of two, who has streamlined her home and life in Northern California. Her blog, “The Zero Waste Home,” is one of the first I found online that changed my desire to shape the interior of my home so that it more closely matches my goal to reduce my impact on the planet. Her website is filled with tips on everything from the best jars for storage to the benefits of composting, from a waste-free approach to holidays to refusing freebies at kid’s parties.
What I appreciate most about Bea is that she has taken the image of the environmentalist from the hemp and patchouli image of the 1980s tree-hugger to an elegant, streamlined minimalism. From her wardrobe to her cupboards, her home is not only waste-free, it’s beautiful. Of course, I also love that her mantra is not simply reduce, reuse, recycle–her primary mission is to refuse, to turn down those easy moments of plastic, packaging, and products that clutter our home.
The other woman I admire is Beth Terry, another Californian, who has been plastic-free since 2007. Her blog, “My Plastic Free Life,” chronicles her quest not only to eliminate all plastic from her life, but her advocacy work, too. Her website includes a helpful guide, several weekly challenges that readers can participate in, and a list of resources. What I love about this site is its interactive nature. Rather than approaching people as an expert, Beth is a coach, answering questions, providing insights, and encouraging her readers to join her.
She was compelled to act after discovering a photograph similar to this one, showing a dead Albatross filled with plastic. It’s the same image that made me hoard plastic bags in my cupboard for months, unable to bear the thought of throwing out something that would end up in a bird’s gullet. Later, I would discover the Pacific Garbage Patch –that was the beginning.
Who inspires you? What other women are out there inspiring others with their actions?