Zero Waste Lifestyle Wins Parent Green Award

Editor’s Note: This week we’ll be featuring stories of people working to make a difference either at home, working with students, in the community, or working within local governments. The Green Awards were sponsored by Green Giant and the winner received $25,000 to continue and expand their work. The runner-up finalists each received a $2,500 prize. The project was supported by Green Giant and 19 environmental organizations, including Bioneers, the Rainforest Alliance and the Nature Conservancy. For more information on these and other Green Awards finalists and winners, please visit

There were several amazing parents who submitted entries into the Green Parent category. The parents are working with their own children and children in their community to positively impact the environment. 

Bea Johnson of Mill Valley, California has gained national recognition for her blog and her family’s choice to live a Zero Waste lifestyle. She has created a very simple, but well-developed system to keeping her families’ trash to a minimum – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot (Compost). Johnson currently runs a blog where she writes about the zero waste culture and offers tips on how others can lead a similar lifestyle. Johnson wants to use the Award to expand her website and offer more creative solutions to families wanting to live simply and waste free.

Helping kids fundraise to raise money for small, local environmental projects is the goal of Spare Climate Change by Paul Zehrer of San Anselmo, California. The kids who choose a project would be able to order collection globes that they could give to local businesses to collect spare change. In the future, Zehrer also hopes to supply educational tools and matching grants to help make the kids programs successful.

Pamela French of Green School Films in New York works with children to create greener schools and teach them how to be environmental stewards. Her goal is to make videos about the importance of recycling, reusing and reducing waste in schools and give students and teachers motivation to create programs in their own schools.



federico bortoletto

Grazie per la condivisione.

federico bortoletto

Grazie per la condivisione.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener5 years ago

Wow... in my own case, composting certainly helps a lot in diminishing waste.

androniki koutsoureli
NIKY NINA5 years ago

this is obsession and hypocrisy!!! first of all stop producing useless things and then let's make zero scarcity my dear market system instead of zero waste...sounds more reasonable

Carole C.
Carole Chowen5 years ago

I'm not quite at zero waste, but if it wasn't for cleaning litter boxes for 4 cats, I could put my trash can out for collection once or twice a year. Instead of using plastic bags for the litter, I use the bags that coffee, chips & granola comes in. When I finish a box of rice or almond beverage, I cut the top back to use that as well as cartons from an occasional frozen non dairy treat. For the small amount of trash, the bags that cat food come in serve well. Its rather silly, and wasteful, to buying plastic bags to put trash in.

Katie K.
Katie K.5 years ago

It's so easy & I don't understand why everyone doesn't do it. My trash has gone down 95% since I started recycling years ago. I have 2 recycle bins while i share a single garbage can with my neighbor. I even bring home plastic bottles and break down all cardboard boxes and shipping packaging from my jobsite and place it in my recycle bins. It just feels good to do.

Zee Kallah
.5 years ago

Zero waste sounds like obsessive compulsive to me.

Christine S.

I would not be able to lead such a zero waste lifestyle, but I applaud this family for doing it, and I think everyone can glean useful ideas from their example. My badness- I need to use plastic bags when I buy my bulk items from the grocery store, because the kitty litter waste shouldn't be put in the compost pile! ;-) ....

Amanda M.
Amanda M.5 years ago

Mary K, proper composting doesn't invite varmints! They're attracted to compost that contains animal bones, meat, or fat, none of which compost properly. Keep those things out of the compost pile, and you won't have to worry about uninvited "guests."

We have two compost piles in our yard that we "flip" when one is full so we have one with "black gold" that is used on the vegetable garden, and one that is "processing," aka the one we dump fresh compostables into. What goes into it? Coffee grounds and filters, vegetable peelings and whatever leftover vegetables don't get eaten in three days (unless they've got butter on them, in which case they go into the trash), eggshells, fruit pits, stems, and peels, weeds pulled from the vegetable garden, leaves (our next-door neighbor dumps the leaves he rakes in it), used tea bags, melon rinds-basically anything fruit, vegetable, paper, or eggshell, to name a few. There's several websites which have whole lists of what can and cannot be composted; our pile contains merely about half. The result: "black gold" that is wonderful fertilizer and doesn't cost a thing!

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey Williams5 years ago

thank you for sharing.