I recently hit upon this little gem; No Impact Man: Saving the planet one family at a time in my local library’s catalogue. It was a great read! It’s along the lines of Super Size Me, in that the author takes everything to extremes but sometimes that really helps to get your point across. But, he does it gradually- as like for most of us, adopting a zero waste lifestyle represented a huge lifestyle shift for him (and his family, who inevitably got taken along for the ride!)
Throughout the book we see him ditching many forms of transport in favour of his bicycle or walking, opting for re-useables instead of disposables, going from takeaways every hour of the day- to learning to cook and actually moving to shopping local at a farmers market. And so much more! He even stops using electricity.
I really warmed to this book, and as much I don’t think all of his personal changes would work for me- it’s so heartening to see someone try. I do think he found it easier because he lived in a big city. At the end of his year (not to spoil it too much for you!) he really wanted to keep many of the changes. It was also lovely to read about the relationships that developed through conversations about why he was making these alternative choices. He and his family also shared some wonderful experience which simply wouldn’t have happened, if they had taken public transport instead of walking, or if they had been at home watching TV instead of spending an evening in their local park.
I don’t want to spoil your read by going into too much detail about the contents here. But the thing that I think this book did best was to highlight the values underlying the choices that we make and to teach us to challenge our assumptions. The part that most hit home for me was about shopping local, from small retailers and producers with good ethics and standards of production. Low food miles are equally as important to becoming zero waste, as no packaging. Also, I think if this family can make these changes- anyone can! It’s important to remember that you don’t have to be as radical as this and that the small, sustainable changes are more likely to last.
There is also a dearth of information available for you to follow-up on, from the index of this well researched book. If you’ve read it (or do following reading this), please share your thoughts!