Erin Augustine and her family are striving for a waste-free life. She is the founder of the Carbon Free Family Blog and alongside her family, the Michigan resident posts actions she hopes will inspire others.
Erin and her husband, Robbie, began talking to their children about waste and its impacts. The idea quickly caught on with their two daughters. Now the family has made lifestyle changes including driving less and using solar-powered bikes for long-distance trips.
To combat waste, the family avoids resealable plastic bags in favor of mason jars, uses reusable bags and avoids single-use plastics. The family shops at places that let them use the glass containers to purchase food. Any paper goes into the compost.
Augustine said that zero waste feels like a stretch, but “Like absolute zero is unattainable. For me the mindset is recognizing that everything I bring into my life will eventually be waste and then managing for that. We said, ‘Hey let’s try to live waste-free or zero-waste or with a specific focus on plastics,’ so eliminating single-use plastics.”
A family mentality around waste means everyone is focused on reduction. “When we get in the car, my children remind me of the impact. Hazel will say, ‘Mom, do we have to drive, because you know we’re harming the polar bears,One of the things I love about children is they have ‘A’ plus ‘B’ equals ‘C.’ It’s a very simple narrative in her head. When we drive we’re hurting polar bears,” says Augustine.
She says she hopes she inspiring others who either haven’t heard of this lifestyle, or are unsure of where to start.
There are products you may be using or habits you may have that contribute to plastic pollution. Learn more about how the use of Teabags, Cotton Swabs, Laundry, Contact Lenses, Glitter and Sheet Masks pollute our oceans so you can make more informed decisions going forward. There are also numerous simple actions and switches that can help cut plastic out of our lives including, making your own cosmetics, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household cleaners and using mason jars, reusable bags/bottles/straws, avoiding microbeads!
The United Nation recently released a report warning countries about the dangers of climate change and has urged people to eat more plant-based as a way to curb it. We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
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