Zero waste living with Bea Johnson

Zero waste living with Bea Johnson

Bea Johnson is a guru of zero waste living. Her family of four produce barely enough rubbish to fit into a small glass jar – every year – and she now spends time teaching others how to reduce waste and live simpler, more sustainable lives. She also has a kick-ass accent.

I have to be honest, coming in to this conversation I was expecting to walk away feeling overwhelmed and a little inadequate. Not because of Bea herself – she’s positively delightful – but because the subject of zero waste living has always seemed so all-consuming to me. So all or nothing.

But it took me only a few minutes to realise I needn’t have worried. As Bea and I got chatting, I realised that creating a zero waste life is really similar to creating a slow, simple life – it’s something created over months and years. Change by change, day by day, one improvement at a time.

We chat about her husband’s hesitance to adopt the zero waste lifestyle and how she eventually convinced him that it was worthwhile pursuing, and we also get into the practicalities of making a change like this – something I’m asked about a lot.

Interestingly, and somewhat relief-inducing for me is the fact that Bea doesn’t advocate the ‘make everything from scratch’ approach. In fact, this has been one of my biggest obstacles in looking to live a zero waste life, and to hear someone as successful as Bea tell me that she doesn’t necessarily make everything herself, well, that made it feel a whole lot more achievable.

I think you’ll walk away from this episode feeling optimistic, and if you’re anything like me, far more excited about the prospect of embracing the zero waste lifestyle.

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8 Responses to Zero waste living with Bea Johnson

  1. Woaw, my favorite slow living blog offers a chat with Bea Johson the same week I saw her for a conference about Zero Waste here, in Belgium ! (that draws a straight line between Australia and Belgium ;) )Talk about a coincidence !
    I will listen to this podcast with delight and I’m sure I will be amazing -as always with you Brooke.
    Thanks so much for all the experiences you share with us, all around the world, through your blog and your podcast !

  2. This was one of your best episodes so far. I enjoyed it so much. You and Ben have nice voices. It makes it easy and enjoyable to listen to even for non-native speakers. I loved your blog too and while I miss it I can totally understand why you had to stop blogging the way you used to. Tanks for the good work.

  3. I don’t use iTunes to listen to podcasts but wanted to make sure you know that your podcast is one of my favorites. :) I’m often recommending it to friends or through my blog. I especially liked this conversation with Bea because she took such a “normal person” approach. As you noted, she went to an extreme and then realized there had to be a balance and then took steps toward the zero waste lifestyle from there. There was just so much liberation in hearing that. This was a super encouraging (and challenging) episode. And, as others I’m sure often say, you and Ben just have the most calming and lovely voices for podcasting. Sometimes I don’t even care what you’re saying–I just enjoy listening to you because your voices are so soothing to this Northeast American girl. :)

    • Thanks so much for letting us know, Debbie. We appreciate so much everyone who listens, no matter where they get the show! And I agree – Bea was so realistic and accessible with her advice. I loved her honesty and walked away feeling very inspired. xx

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