Book – A Zero Waste Life In Thirty Days

Another of my library borrows was A Zero Waste Life In Thirty Days by Anita Vandyke. Once again prior to reading the book I knew nothing about the author, the title caught my attention as I was looking through the online library catalogue. Anita is actually from Sydney so it was nice to a zero waste book written by a local.

The book is written as a 30 day challenge to start the reader off on living a zero waste lifestyle. The book has the traditional introduction to zero waste living chapter then is broken into 2 halves
Days 1 – 15 – Think and Do
Days 16 – 30 – Reflect and Review
The book focuses on broader activities instead of physical items to swap out of your life. Each day is like a mini chapter where you are asked to an activity that day and then an explanation is given as to why you are doing that activity, it is important to understand why you are doing something.

For each activity there is 3 levels of participation

  1. Reduced waste
  2. Low waste
  3. Zero waste

It allows the reader to perform the activity at the level they are most comfortable with at the time, the reader can ease themselves into zero waste living slowly. Anita points out that the key to living a sustainable life is that it needs to be sustainable for you. As someone who is lazy I find that point very true, for you to actually change your lifestyle it needs to be changes that you can continually do easily or you won’t stick with them. Zero waste or sustainable living isn’t hard but it is somewhat of a change to how the majority of people live and it can take time to adjust and create new habits. By starting small and reducing you can overtime increase to a level you can maintain.

This book has a big emphasis on the link between zero waste living and minimalism. Only having items that you need or that are meaningful to you means you are consuming less which is better for the plant but also for your mental health as there is stress or visual clutter. One of the activities I found interesting, but it may sound a bit morbid is to write your own eulogy. Wait what does that have to do with zero waste? It allows the reader to think about in the end what do they want to be remembered for? Will people remember you for your values and generosity or because you had the latest fashion clothes? You character and values are more important than keeping up with the latest trends. Zero waste living is also about using your time more meaningfully, doing activities which have a purpose instead of mindlessly consuming social media. Social media has a purpose (you’re reading a blog post which is considered social media) but the types of social media you consume is important. Informative or educational social media helps to broaden your mind but social media that is feeding ads to get you to consume and purchase items you don’t need is zapping time away from you that you could better use to do all things you say “I would if I had the time”

I didn’t do the 30 day challenge, I read the book in an afternoon/evening. It was a hot summers days, I sat on the balcony after a swim, it was really relaxing. I even remembered to take notes as I read. I’m not a novice in the zero waste world but I still found the book interesting. The way the book is set out with the mini chapters and the fact it measures 5.5″ x 7″ (14cm x 18cm) makes it the ideal “waiting” book for your bag. You know the times when you’re waiting for public transport or sitting waiting to see a doctor, you just want a book you can whip out and read in small chunks. This would also make a great gift for someone who is interested in the topic but doesn’t know where to start.



One thought on “Book – A Zero Waste Life In Thirty Days

  1. That sounds really interesting. I’ll add it to my Goodreads and look out for it over here. I have Audible and a library app so will have a look. Fits in with my word of the year “less”. We used to have a good initiative run by the high school where local producers sold stuff and you took your own containers along for plastic free shopping of dry goods. Unfortunately lockdown happened and they’ve never re-introduced it. This post has reminded me to search out if there’s anywhere else doing it up here.

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