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Review: Waste Not, Make a Big Difference by Throwing Away Less (Erin Rhoads)

Waste Not Book l

Martine Wilson is TEAR’s Exposure Trips Coordinator as well as being a busy mum of three young children.

Conscious of her impact on the earth and her call, as a Christian, to steward God’s creation, she has taken a number of steps to live more sustainably. Looking for more inspiration and ways to take this further, she recently read Erin Rhoads’ book Waste Not: Make a Big Difference by Throwing Away Less.

Here are her reflections:

A friend recommended this book to me and - in the spirit of not acquiring more things - I decided not to buy a new copy but to reserve it a my local library instead. I had to wait two months but eventually it was my turn to take it home and get inspired!

Erin’s book is full of great, practical ideas for reducing household waste, including some that we are already doing in our house. Things like doing most of our shopping at a local market and taking our own bags; using beeswax wraps to cover food rather than cling-wrap; wrapping presents in lovely material rather than wrapping paper; and finding room in our kitchen for five (!!) different bins (food scraps for our chooks, other compost items, recycling, soft plastics that we take back to the supermarket, and then the amazingly small amount of things that need to go in the rubbish bin).

She also has loads of suggestions that were new for us - both little and big things - that I want to try out. A few that I am going to start with are:

  • Auditing our rubbish and recycling bins to see what's actually in there and make a plan for how we can reduce these even further (As a side note, Erin includes a whole lot of information about why recycling is actually considered 'waste' too.)
  • Not only taking our own bags to do our grocery shopping but also taking empty containers for deli and meat products
  • DIY recipes for homemade beeswax wraps, scrappy vegetable stock and relish and household cleaning products.

And I’m still working out how to deal with the perennial pile of things I want to repair or re-purpose rather than throwing them in the bin.

Along with her practical tips, reading Erin’s book was a great encouragement to keep doing what I can to reduce waste and be conscious of what I’m consuming. As she writes, "my actions are important and I should celebrate them" because "I can't save the world on my own, but my choices will help".

Erin also has some great advice for making changes that last. Things like how to avoid succumbing to environmental guilt and not forgetting to make it fun! If you’re keen for some helpful and practical advice on how to reduce your household waste, I’d recommend checking out this book. See if you can find a copy at your local library!


Find out more about the book and Erin Rhoads at therogueginger.com