Elizabeth 's Reviews > Zero Waste Home: The Ultimate Guide to Simplifying Your Life by Reducing Your Waste

Zero Waste Home by Bea Johnson
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did not like it
bookshelves: 2013-reads, non-fiction, ugh

So pretentious and illogical.
The author, Bea Johnson spends much of the intro discussing how much time she saved now that she no longer spends weekends shopping for furniture for her massive house.
Okay, that's reasonable but then she goes on and on about how much time you will save by eliminating possessions and becoming zero-waste. But when you actually read her account of her activities in her new lifestyle you realize she has only reallocated her time. She doesn't seem to have any more free time.
No doubt Bea Johnson is doing impressive things to lower her environmental footprint but her claims of time-saving when she is clearly spending hours making all her own food from scratch, shopping at multiple places all over town, calling dozens of places to find one place that will recycle an item she owns, etc. rings so false it was hard for me to give credibility to much else she said.
Furthermore, I found her tone so pretentious and rather snobby. It may have been unintentional but it left a distinct impression that one must be well off, able to have a SAH parent in the home, in order to live this lifestyle. The shopping for calamari steaks is what did me in in the first chapter.

I did get a few ideas for reducing my own footprint, but it was a struggle to even read the book because her tone rang so pretentious and false.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
October 24, 2013 – Shelved
October 24, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013-reads
October 24, 2013 – Shelved as: non-fiction
October 24, 2013 – Shelved as: ugh
October 24, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Lisa An interesting assessment. While I didn't find her tone overly pretentious, I completely agree on the time-saving thing. I would have preferred something a bit more honest in that regard, like admitting that the amount of time saved at the end of the day is minimal, but that it's worth it anyway if the cause is truly close to one's heart.


Ronel Bester Obviously you have not been to one of her real life talks to know that she is a normal person who is funny and genuine and truly making a diference


message 3: by Nada (new)

Nada At the beginning you won't save time because you are changing your lifestyle but with time when you know the right places to shop, recycle and compost you will start saving time and everything will be on autopilot.


Terri I'm about 50% into this book snd I'm so sick of her ridiculous lists! It's such a lazy way to fill a book. Some of her advice is rubbish and you really get the impression that she is desperately trying to pad out the book. Such a tedious read!


message 5: by Ksenia (new)

Ksenia If you heard her interviews and followed her blog for several years, you would see that she wrote the book to be concise (thus lists) and to the point (which you found snobby). She discusses in the book the fact that there is a time investment upfront and an adjustment period. As a biologist, I can assure you that her way of life is not illogical. We can have the American life style of waste and pollution if we have 2-3 billion people on the planet. But with 8 billion people on the planet we are ruining our planet and our own selves with the wasteful, irresponsible lifestyle. If you didn't like her book in particular, then that's fair enough, but I highly encourage you to look into other resources that plea for us to reconsider our wasteful, polluting, stuff-obsessed lifestyle.


message 6: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Oh my God the calamari steak line did me in too. She literally recommends refusing to make eye contact with deli counter employees while airily demanding they use her container. That is her literal advice people. Actually, she used the word "aloof." I don't care how personable she seems in her TED talk, guys. Grade A pretentious a-hole right there.


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