A woman who has eliminated trash from her California-based household is coming to Charlotte to encourage others to do the same
Charlotte, NC – Bea Johnson and her family adopted a zero waste lifestyle in 2008 and they now produce a half a litre of trash per year. Her blog and subsequently her bestseller, Zero Waste Home (translated in 14 languages and rated number one on Amazon.com, waste category) launched a global movement of waste-free living.
“I can testify of a shift in mind-sets from the bulk of emails and messages that I receive each day: they are much different from those that I used to get in 2010, when my family’s lifestyle was first exposed to the general public. People back then said that we were ascetic social pariahs, that we were depriving our children. People also thought we were hippies; some commented that I probably do not even shave my legs” said Johnson with a laugh.
“In giving this way of life a face, in showing that zero waste is possible, that it can be stylish, that it can save time and money (40% on our overall budget!), we changed people’s misconceptions. And our lifestyle turned into a movement. Thousands are doing this now.”
Dubbed “The Priestess of Waste-Free Living” by the New York Times, she has become a guru to a fan base of close to 100 000 followers on Facebook, 70 000 on Instagram.
“The Zero Waste lifestyle might, at first sight, be about reducing as much household trash as possible, but what you ultimately discover is a simple life, a life based on experiences instead of things. It’s the opposite of what we would have expected it be; It’s improved our lives so much that we could not envision going back to the way we used to live.” the French native explains.
“Making room in life for what matters most is what waste free living is really all about”, she says.
A will to create a more sustainable world for her children’s future is what got her started 10 years ago. And today she is driven to spread her message as far and wide as possible. Johnson speaks all over the globe, counting the United Nations, Google, Adobe, and the European Parliament as recent gigs.
“Contrarily to what most people think, Zero Waste is also not about recycling more, but less, by preventing rubbish from coming into your home in the first place. And doing so is not as hard as one might imagine: The first thing one can do is to learn to say no. Turn down flyers, freebies, party favors, business cards, single use plastics (such as plastic bags), and fight junk mail, you’ll be amazed how much stuff and waste you’ll be able to stop from coming in.” Johnson says.
Bea is known to talk about her personal journey with humor and without preaching, inspiring self-reflection and change.
On Saturday, May 20, 2017 at Charlotte’s Symphony Park in Southpark, Johnson will be the The Fresh Expo’s keynote speaker addressing practical ways to eliminate trash.
“I’m really excited to share my lifestyle in Charlotte. There’s been a lot of interest in this way of life in the United States. And I am honored by The Fresh Expo’s invitation,” says Johnson.
“Every man, woman and child deserves to know the hows and whys of a healthier environment so that we can truly understand the essence of healthier living,” says Cynthia Hill, President of The Fresh Expo. “I’m hoping that Bea Johnson’s insight on zero waste living will inspire change.”
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 11am-6pm
Symphony Park – Southpark – Charlotte, NC
Tickets via here.