A few months ago Sunset magazine ran a story about the Johnson Family of Mill Valley, CA called The Zero Waste Home. The day-to-day intention of the family is to live simpler and lighter on the planet.
One of the quotes I loved the most from the article was made by Bea Johnson who decided she wanted to truly love, use and know everything she kept in her home. “Even down to the vegetable peeler,” she says.
To live a savvy life is to live intentionally, which also means to buy intentionally. Everything you bring into your home – from the clothes in your wardrobe to the vegetable peeler in your kitchen drawer - should be something you love.
When I originally read The Zero Waste Home article, I was particularly inspired by how the family manages their kitchen. When they go to the grocery store, they take their own jars and buy bulk snacks and pantry supplies. In addition to the glass jars, they also shop with fabric bags and canvas totes.
Another thing I enjoyed is their philosophy about cooking equipment. The majority of what they own is multipurpose to ensure their kitchen stays clutter free. For example, their cheese grater doubles as a zester.
A lot of what they do speaks to my heart. I haven’t had paper towels in my house since 1999 – except when my mom comes to stay to take care of Dante while Paul and I travel. It drives her crazy that we don’t have them so she brings her own. I just hate purchasing something I am going to use once and then throw away. I feel it’s a waste of money and makes a negative impact on the environment.
I keep the gadgets to a minimum using our strainer to do everything from sift flour to wash rice.
I put much of our dry goods in 3-quart sized Mason Jars, but it is more to keep the items fresh and organized rather than from an environmental standpoint. Also, I love how they look on the shelves.
The Johnson family’s lifestyle may not be for everyone, but I appreciate the fact that they are living with purpose and focusing on what is important to them – to live simpler and lighter on the planet.
* The Johnson Family's Kitchen Pantry