Seattle Zero Waste with Bea Johnson


If you're familiar with the zero waste movement, then you have certainly heard of Bea Johnson. Bea is the author of Zero Waste Home, and is considered to be one of the founders of the zero waste movement. Her book has been translated into 22 languages, and she travels around the world, speaking to audiences eager to learn about how they too can reduce the amount of waste in their lives. 


On April 15th, Seattle Zero Waste had the pleasure of hosting Bea in Seattle for an afternoon presentation at the Riveter. The Riveter is a female-forward co-working space, and with its large windows, bright, open floor space, and central location in Capitol Hill, it was the perfect venue for our event. 


With the support of our ever-growing Seattle Zero Waste community, the day was a huge success. Two hundred people came out for Bea's presentation, and thanks to a happy hour sponsored by Green Canopy Homes, we had a chance to mingle over drinks with old and new friends before the talk.


Our generous sponsors were in attendance as well, with lots of information on how attendees could get more involved in local environmental efforts. Zero Waste Washington collected signatures for a ballot initiative (can't remember which one), and provided an update on policy issues in WA state related to litter and plastic pollution. EcoCollective set up shop and provided copies of Zero Waste Home for a book signing with Bea, and Seattle EcoWomen spoke with attendees about their mission and upcoming events. 


It was amazing to meet one of our zero waste idols, and hear her often times hilarious reflections on living a zero waste lifestyle. One of the biggest takeaways for many of the attendees, was hearing Bea talk about the importance of experiences over things. Bea discussed how she and her husband are able to provide their children with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like sky-diving and hot air ballooning, because they live simply, and do not spend money on material gifts. This idea resonated with so many people, who left energized with the idea of “living more, with less.”


Living a zero waste lifestyle in a culture fueled by consumption can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Bea’s talk left us all feeling more energized about the possibilities for a zero-waste future, and thankful for the community that this lifestyle has brought us. 

Alexa Ashley