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#1 of 97 Old 01-04-2011, 06:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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http://www.sunset.com/home/natural-home/zero-waste-home-0111-00418000069984/ 

 

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#2 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 08:54 AM
 
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That is my dream!  My super sentimental husband would make that impossible though.

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#3 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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Although I found the space a bit cold (I'm not a fan of all white) this is my dream as well! I don't know as we will ever get to quite that point but we strive for it, or close to it. I think even if one doesn't have the desire to go that extreme, they can incorporate some of the ideas (such as mesh bags for produce, cloths instead of paper towels, and getting rid of clutter).

 

Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed this!


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#4 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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I think it's a little fake. Sure, there's no waste now, but how much was tossed to get to that point?  Everything looked new.  Why weren't they using old food jars instead of the matching jars in the pantry, you know? 

 

The concept is awesome, but it's too staged for my liking.  It also seems a little joyless.  I like art and books and things, and you can buy these things used and make art yourself. 

 

I'm not an eco-saint, but I think this seems more like a show house/project than a replicable way of living.  I'm a "both" "and" kind of gal though. 


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#5 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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No BOOKS?? cold.gif  WTF is wrong with books?  And I think its pretty funny that they painted their 1400sq ft house as small.  I would love that much space.

 

How are they going to recycle that big screen TV when it goes?lol!

 

There is some good stuff (no pun intended) in there.  I like that she gets her bread in bulk from the bakers, but I wonder what she freezes it in that it doesn't get freezer burn?  Plus it helps that she has access to stores with very good bulk sections (Mill Valley has two Whole Foods and an independent crunchy grocery) as well as access to great seasonal local food.  But I too found her house to be too spartan.  And I thought it odd that they didn't have a garden.  It seems a garden would be perfect for their lifestyle.

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#6 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 10:44 AM
 
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And really....they are buying lots of things and just leaving the garbage at the store! Or they put the plastic strip back in the envelope and mail it to Netflix?  They're still making garbage--just transferring it to someone else to throw away!

 

Lots of great ideas, but I agree...it looks too sterile, model home-like and not lived in. 

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#7 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:07 AM
 
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It was fun to read and see their house, even though I can't imagine living like that!

 

And, hey, the link to environmental toothbrushes was worth it!


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#8 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:08 AM
 
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one pair of pajamas?? huh.gif it seems so sterile, not at all warm or inviting. hide.gif


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#9 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Way too sterile for me. I prefer this house and lifestyle! Adding in using cloth instead of paper, buying bulk and recycling!

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#10 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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I love minimalism and decluttering, but no books or photos? My family would look at me as if I sprouted another head if I suggested that.

 

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#11 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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I agree it does look a little staged. If I had to start all over, this is what I would aspire towards though. I admire anyone who can truly live as simply as they do. For now, I'm simply striving to love everything we own and have a place for each item. Stuff really does weigh us down and the more I let go of, the fresher I feel.

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#12 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

I think it's a little fake. Sure, there's no waste now, but how much was tossed to get to that point?  Everything looked new.  Why weren't they using old food jars instead of the matching jars in the pantry, you know? 

 

The concept is awesome, but it's too staged for my liking.  It also seems a little joyless.  I like art and books and things, and you can buy these things used and make art yourself. 

 

I'm not an eco-saint, but I think this seems more like a show house/project than a replicable way of living.  I'm a "both" "and" kind of gal though. 

Yes! Way too uniform. And not really recycling. I mean, what is bad about reusing glass jars to store things in. Buying those matching jars causes waste in that it doesn't reuse what is already there.

 

And wow, it was WHITE! Was anyone else thinking of their little ones playing outside then coming in and, say touching walls, sitting on the couches, etc?Sheepish.gif
 

 



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Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

No BOOKS?? cold.gif  WTF is wrong with books?  And I think its pretty funny that they painted their 1400sq ft house as small.  I would love that much space.

 

How are they going to recycle that big screen TV when it goes?lol!

 

There is some good stuff (no pun intended) in there.  I like that she gets her bread in bulk from the bakers, but I wonder what she freezes it in that it doesn't get freezer burn?  Plus it helps that she has access to stores with very good bulk sections (Mill Valley has two Whole Foods and an independent crunchy grocery) as well as access to great seasonal local food.  But I too found her house to be too spartan.  And I thought it odd that they didn't have a garden.  It seems a garden would be perfect for their lifestyle.


I know!!! The thought of getting rid of my books...hyperventilating right now!!! And no art. Just plain blank walls. What's wrong with some color on the walls? Minimalism doesn't have to be sterile. Some personality needs to be injected in that house.

 



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Originally Posted by lookatreestar View Post

one pair of pajamas?? huh.gif it seems so sterile, not at all warm or inviting. hide.gif


Yep. And does no one get sick? The amount of clothes my ds has thrown up on or smeared mucus on when he's sick....and he doesn't have many clothes either! But one pair? How realistic is that? Isn't it more wasteful to wash one pair over and over again rather than have a few (like, say 3 pairs)?

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pariah View Post

I love minimalism and decluttering, but no books or photos? My family would look at me as if I sprouted another head if I suggested that.

 


Lol, yep. Dh already thinks I'm crazy with the amount of stuff I get rid of and how I prefer things to look. He does love being able to find his stuff though. Somehow he hasn't made the connection between those two points. :)  And I love photos! I love putting them up and looking at other people's photos. Especially when there is a time element--like baby pics, toddler pics, child pics, teen pics, etc. <3

 

Ami


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#13 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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I'm with you guys... books and art make a home. And I find white walls to be too sterile or apartment -like. Yuck.

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#14 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 04:25 PM
 
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She has more clothes than I do! And what about the environmental impact of importing their toothbrushes from the other side of the world? I think they are hypocrites actually.

And my kids would KILL me if I said no books except from the library.
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#15 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 05:28 PM
 
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I like the idea of this...I would have to add some color to the walls and I love my photos, which are ever changing as I love taking my own pictures and making my own art. I love the pantry. As I work in corporate, I have to have a bigger wardrobe but can downsize in other areas and I love my shoes and accessories too much. But I can live minimally and I have learned to enjoy what I love the most. I would be simple to clean and I like challenging myself to the reduction of anything, whether it be clutter, less packaging or driving less. : )

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#16 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 06:00 PM
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i'm thinking the woolypockets for our kitchen wall, where i can then do herbs and lettuces and such in them. 

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#17 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering what kind of feedback this would get. I have to say it seems way too sterile for the way we live-especially with little ones. I do like that she is very committed to a certain lifestyle. I thought the toothbrushes from around the world defeated the eco-purpose though. I was inspired by parts of it and turned off by other parts.
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#18 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 06:54 PM
 
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I think it's awesome for the adults to live that way, but it seem somehow unfair to the kids to limit them to some of the aspects of that lifestyle. 


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#19 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 07:36 PM
 
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I liked the weird garden-looking thing in the living room.  That was very pretty.

 

Her home is pretty.  Perhaps it is calming to be a kid in a house where you know where everything goes.  I can see how minimalism might be stressful to kids if it's done in a very rigid or controlling way, but at the same time, I strive to have a place for everything so that my daughter won't have to feel stressed by too many choices, or by not knowing what to do with something when she's done with it.  I think the balance is finding a way to not be ruled by your things, whether it's having too many or too few.  They seem to have a decent balance to me.  I could totally imagine living with that amount of stuff.  I mean, it's not that far off from how we already live.  (We're not zero waste by any means, but I hope we'll continue to reduce or sheddings over the years).  I love books but I try to own very few of them.  Some people don't read.  My DP owns like... six books, and he's totally happy just reading stuff on the internet.  And he's a pretty smart guy.

 

I think that billing it as "zero waste" is probably part of the strongly felt reactions.  I'm not sure there is really way to live "zero waste" except to go totally off the grid.

 

But to give her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps she had most of these things from before they decided to downsize, and perhaps she donated (rather than throwing away) most of the stuff that they removed from their home.  It seems to be a nice example of restraint, though not something I'd try to follow as a script.


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#20 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 07:49 PM
 
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And although the thing about netflix seemed pretty corny to me, everyone's got their battle.


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#21 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 08:22 PM
 
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I really don't see how they are reducing because they are still buying things from the store and all they are just leaving the waste at the store. To me that is 1) not reducing and 2) kind of rude to except the store people to deal with their garbage. Id never expect my local grocery store people to throw my trash away for me which is what it seems that they do (maybe I missed something).

 

My family would definitely not be happy about the spartan no pictures no books all white either. Also, its to staged. I can guarantee they didn't get that furniture second hand which is much more environmentally friendly than getting everything new. Same with the jars and all. Kind of strikes me as someone saying "look at me, look how great I am".

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#22 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 10:07 PM
 
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I'm confused about the comments about leaving packaging at the store - the story sounds like they're buying from bulk bins, putting their block of cheese right in their own container so it doesn't get any plastic wrap, and so on. Did I miss something?

 

I'm surprised that they get Netflix through the mail - a lot of the Netflix library is available streaming - they could avoid even the paper envelope that way.

 

I agree that it looks almost aggressively, pointedly sterile. The walls could be in warm colors just as easily as that intense white, and I don't see how a few framed pictures and perhaps a fabric wall hanging or two would undermine the principle, especially in the playroom.

 

And no books?! I am reducing books pretty drastically, and I certainly approve of heavy library use, but there is no scenario where I'd ever have _no_ books.

 

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#23 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 10:44 PM
 
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I agree that it is too sterile. Like staying in a super modern hotel. I like the idea of bringing containers to the store for bulk items, but the people at Kroger can't tare, so that is a no-go for me. And no trash cans? Really? What do they do with their worn out undies or dead mouse bits from the cat or bone infused dog vomit...compost it? I'm all for reduce, reuse, recycle, but I don't think we have to live in a catalogue to achieve it. eyesroll.gif. LOVE the kitchen light fixture. They can buy that but have no money for art? Weird.

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#24 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:03 PM
 
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Doesn't appeal to me much....except for the dining table and chairs, and the light in the kitchen which is really cool!


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#25 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:05 PM
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here's me in total:

 

1. this is what i loved--

 

A. i love the scandinavian, hard-core lots-of-white decorating style. if i had my way, and eventually i will (lol), i would basically be in an all-white place. so from that perspective, i *loved* her home. i love white walls with white floors (or really, a sort of pickled look on wood) and white furnishings. 

 

B. i only have once piece of artwork that i find truly compelling emotionally -- and it was a gift from a client. it's a gorgeous blank and white photograph she took at a temple in Nepal when hiking the himalayas. my photographs and stuff are generally online and i prefer it that way. i like to "flip through" my albums. I make paper ones for family members (made online, printed, and delivered to them). but, i prefer to have my photos online and don't have them around the house.

 

C. books -- we have about 23 boxes of favorites, and a fair few here with us (probably about 30 in all), and so i can't say much. i would prefer to either 1. have them behind doors (in a bookcase) or 2. have them all in matching dust jackets to minimize impact. but, i just have them. LOL ah well.

 

we are also library users. it's a great way to get fun books without the expense. we read a lot.

 

D. food -- this part isn't hard. if you buy bulk and have your own bags, it's easy. for spices, we take our own spice jars with us. we use a lot of wet mustard, so we save those jars and clean them and take them to the shop and put the spices directly in there (having weighed the jar and lid first). the shop does not mind. all of our jars match because we use so much mustard. i use it in just about everything. LOL

 

our dairy comes direct from the farm, so it comes in plastic, but we are supposed to give the containers back for washing and reuse. we have asked them to switch to glass, but no luck yet. :) our dairy in the US used glass. :D we get milk and yogurt there. 

 

our meat comes direct from farm and is shipped in plastic. it sucks, but there it is. we found a decent butcher near us (cost wise and location) who would put our meat into our own bags/containers, but his grass-fed meat is very limited. so, we do what we can. 

 

we don't eat a lot of cheese, but we can get what we do eat cut for us at the shop and put into our own containers. so, when we get cheese we do this. 

 

E. toothbrushes -- i haven't actually found a viable alternative to conventional toothbrushes *except* to use a wash cloth. a friend of mine makes these wash-cloth finger puppet-like things for her family. she washes them by boiling in hot water with vinegar, and then rinsing and line drying. you use one per day, and she washes them all once a week. assuming you source your fabric, it could be a viable option. 

 

i think between that and oil pulling (which can replace flossing), one could be covered.

 

but, i still use a toothbrush. i'm thinking of moving to the cloth, though.

 

F. clothing -- she has a lot more clothing than i do, and her children too. I have one set of PJs and so does my husband; my son has two. we do fine. my son has a lot of clothing because my parents and ils can't always contain themselves. my son doesn't get sick often, but i also have no problem with him sleeping in a "daytime" shirt and pants/shorts if he needs to. 

 

G. bathroom -- very similar. we don't have any normal OTC medications. We have a small amount of homeopathics (i think, 3) for cold/flu season, plus our oils and ointments (calendula oil, etc), and our toothpaste and such. 

 

moving toward family cloth, so that should square away the toilet paper issue. individual rolls wrapped in paper are easy to come by, but more expensive per roll. nevertheless, moving to family cloth means less paper, so. . .

 

H. our netflix here doesn't have any waste. we reuse envelopes here. it's cool. one envelope gets used twice: once to get the thing to us, and then once to get it back to them. sweet deal. (it's fatso, btw, not netflix, and no, it doesn't download).

 

what else?

 

oh yeah, wooly pockets. that's how she got that fun wall. they are actually quite affordable, and after looking at them more closely, DH and I are considering 3 for our kitchen wall (wally) to grow herbs, plus one for the floor (meadow) to grow some veggies (tomatoes mostly). our kitchen is very sunny. 

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#26 of 97 Old 01-05-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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Oh, zoebird, I use washcloths for brushing my teeth quite a lot too.  I feel that it gets them cleaner and is gentler on my gums.  DD uses a washcloth too.  Not any special cloths, just the washcloths we keep in the bathroom.  Occasionally I wonder, why do we buy toothbrushes?  Mainly habit and probably partly because DP would be like, "Oh here is goes honey with one of her endearing but batsh** crazy ideas again...."  I kind of feel like toothpaste isn't good for your mouth flora and I was telling him that the other day and he was just like, "Sigh..."


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#28 of 97 Old 01-06-2011, 06:35 AM
 
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Toilet paper rolls come wrapped in paper, not plastic.

 

I am shocked that with their level of waste-free that they do not use family cloth. Perhaps that was too much for the Sunset magazine audience?


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#29 of 97 Old 01-06-2011, 06:58 AM
 
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Memories get stale when photos are displayed for too long, Béa says. To keep the past fresh, albums come out yearly around the holidays.

Oooh, this statement and this house is cold.gifcold.gifcold.gif

 

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#30 of 97 Old 01-06-2011, 09:21 AM
 
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I love it!  Not my style with nothing on the walls, but kudos to her if it rocks her boat.  I'm an author, and have managed to whittle down the books that I keep to two small bookshelves.  We take about twenty kids books and ten adult books out a week, so that cuts down a lot on the space and expense of my literary addiction.  


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