Zero Waste Champions with Children

So here’s the deal. We’ve been ‘trying’ this zero waste thing for two and half years now, (you would have thought the novelty would have worn off, but it hasn’t. ), and we’ve been screening our film at as many events as we can fit in to our spare time, so we get to meet lots or interesting people. People just learning about zero waste and people who produce less than us.  But no matter what the audience, one of the most popular comments we get has to do with having children.

“You couldn’t possibly live zero was with kids”, they say. “Your project wouldn’t have been possible.”

So to those nay sayers, I give you my zero waste champions with children:

Marcia is from Kamloops, BC.  She saw Grant and I speak a couple years ago at the RCBC conference and (to toot my own horn) has been pondering her own waste ever since. Well, truthfully, she works in the waste management field, so she has probably been pondering it for a bit longer than that, but this month is the month. This very April (Earth Month), Marcia is taking the zero waste plunge with her somewhat reluctant husband Trevor, and her 16 month old daughter. (Marica has secret inspirations to continue once the month is up, but don’t tell Trevor). They’re much better at their garbage inventory than we ever were, and I have a feeling I’m going to learn a lot about parenting zero waste style. You can follow them from day one at

My Zero Waste – The original (in my mind) zero waste family! Mr, Mrs, and Little Miss Green are based in the UK and have a fabulous website with tons of resources in addition to their daily blog posts. They’re all about making zero waste accessible and fun.

Say No To Trash – It started off in Toronto, but now they live in Kingston. Sarah was one of the first Canadian zero waste bloggers I read. They started off trying to go 31 consecutive days garbage free, then they had a kid, and the saga continues into all kinds of sustainable lifestyle choices.

Zero Waste Home – I just recently found Bea and her fabulous zero waste family of 4. They are the epitome of an ubber modern, zero waste American family (with some distinctly “euro” undertones since Bea is from France). They live a seemingly super organized lifestyle in a gorgeous home in California that I think will appeal to those who want to try zero waste, but don’t want to labeled as a hippie.  Check out their awesome yahoo video here.

The Rubbish Diet- Karen Cannard is another UK zero waste icon. She’s a housewife (and now freelance writer) with two young children who meant to have an 8 week challenge back in March 2008. Needless to say, she became addicted to the lifestyle and has never looked back

MareBare Necessities – Marin is on a one-year journey of attempting to ‘live with less’. She’s not  purchasing new items (with the exception of basic essentials such as groceries, toiletries, etc.), buying locally whenever possible, and trying to reduce her overall environmental impact. And yes, she’s a Mom.

Glenbrook Zero Waste – An entire street of folks (14 families – many with kids) doing the zero waste thing.

And I’m sure there are many more folks out there zero wasting and living with less while dragging their children along with them. Or maybe it’s the children who are dragging the parents? Either way, if you have more fabulous families to add to the list, please put them in the comments.



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7 responses to “Zero Waste Champions with Children

  1. Keith & Pauline

    Good summary of folks who are managing this challenge. Thanks. Keith

  2. Oh bless you, thanks for the mention and lovely comment. To be honest, I find the whole “You couldn’t possibly live zero was with kids” comment really offensive to the amount of dedication and passion you have put into your work. We are all parents of the earth and the future, right?
    There are a couple on your list I’ve not heard of, so I’m off to take a nosey – thanks so much!

  3. Thanks for plugging our efforts Jen, and for making this whole thing a reality (because you are right, we would never be in this life changing moment if it weren’t for that glimpse of zero waste reality that you and Grant proved at RCBC). I don’t know why, but overtime I hear these stories (of all the wonderful people out there who seem to give a darn) I get tears in my eyes and goose bumps all over.

    I’m looking forward seeing you again on the mini TNRD tour, whenever that shall be.

  4. Alison Richards is a Burnaby woman that’s trying to spark a region-wide Zero Waste Challenge. She’s doing a “Live at 5” live-stream each day this month chronicling ways she’s finding to eliminate trash from her life. You can follow Alison at

  5. Yet another inspiring story of how individual responsibility can really foster change at a global level. We started with reusable drinking straws and noticed how other people asked about them, and then adopted them too. It is a real mindset shift!
    Thank you,

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