21 August 2019

A book I loved #4: Waste-free family by Lauren & Oberon Carter

This visually stunning book written by a Tasmanian family gave me a much-needed shot in the arm when it came to my waste production. The most admirable thing about it was that their knowledge and explanations extend well beyond zero waste to the bigger environmental picture. I find that this big picture is so often lacking.

This book is a visual stunner.

For example, instead of extolling the virtues of waste-free travelling, it points out the massive contribution of aviation fuel to greenhouse gases. It's not just about travelling with a reusable straw - holidaying close to home is going to give vastly bigger gains!

A clean bottom

And when it comes to the frequent task of butt-wiping, they point out how many trees are grown and felled each year to keep our backsides clean. Turning trees into toilet paper is an energy-hungry and polluting practice. Their answer is "family cloth" toilet paper, which is somewhere we're not quite ready to go yet, but we are looking at better alternatives (the latest is this recycled toilet paper because recycling paper is much less environmentally demanding than producing virgin paper).

We're currently using this recycled toilet paper from Pak'n Save.

Daily bread

I don't eat bread any more and my belly is much happier for it. But for the rest of the family, as a result of this book I've dialled back the bread purchasing and resumed making my own. Our bread machine makes that fast and easy.

Canned food

I've also resolved to grow more tomatoes this year - we love tomatoes! I regularly use tins of them in cooking, but when you think about the energy and materials required to produce and then recycle food tins, it's not trivial. This summer I'm keen to preserve enough pureed plain, unseasoned tomatoes in jars to last us the winter.

This book is easy to read - but it's not a shallow, fashionable skim-over that extols products like stainless steel lunchboxes (although interestingly, the family do run a zero-waste shop). They've done their homework and done a great job with this book. It would be a great gift for any environmentalist, including those who already seem to live the life but would enjoy a burst of inspiration - and I think we all do!


  1. This is a good book !!
    I will buy it ! It is suitable for reading on weekends.
    It's fun to read books and relax with music from the best speakers.
    and maybe the book will help our family Mao Sararith !!
    Thanks the author !!

  2. If we could replace oil with green energy then we are resolving two problems at the same time- the energy and environmental problems. The green energy is not only renewable and sustainable for our future energy needs but it is as well great tool to save our natural environment. ארנק אנרגטי


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