Book Review: Waste Not by Erin Rhoads

Erin Rhoads’ fabulous book ‘Waste Not’ is filled with incredible DIY recipes for every area of the home, from the kitchen to the bathroom – A must read for anyone keen on creating a more eco-friendly home and lifestyle!

When I was growing up, my parents would always try their best to live as environmentally friendly as possible. My dad would use fruit and vegetables from the backyard for delicious organic snacks and homemade juices or cordials while mum would be able to clean the entire home with just a few lemons she picked from the tree that morning. Our friends and family also grew their own produce and we would all exchange bags full of incredible homegrown fruit and veg or homemade food that was full of said fresh produce. We’d spend every evening outdoors, picking figs, watering the veggie patch and drinking our fabulous homemade cordials, all the while swatting away the mosquitoes and dabbing vinegar onto the stings left on our skin to relieve the itchiness. We didn’t realise just what an awesome job we were actually doing at this whole “eco-freindly” lifestyle – This was just an average Tuesday night at our place! I thought nothing of all these little habits and daily rituals of ours until I made my own home as an adult. Thrown into the Real World, I suddenly realised just how much I had taken for granted growing up. When setting up my new home for example, I completely neglected to buy any cleaning products whatsoever, assuming I had a never-ending pile of lemons growing on the tree in the backyard. I got home from my epic shopping spree, all set to start the Big Clean when the realisation slapped me in the face (like the taste of a sour lemon!) that it was my old home that had the magic lemon tree in the backyard; there was no tree here… What the hell do I do for cleaning supplies?! Back to the store I went to buy a pile of lemons…

My mum was the Queen of what I liked to call “Recycling” food – Not as gross as it sounds! To feed our massive family, she’d save everything she could and find ways to re-use it. Yesterday’s leftover spaghetti bolognese was cooked into today’s lasagna. Lemons are out of season? No worries – Mum had a stock pile of freshly squeezed lemon juice and rind stashed in the freezer and had even made sweets out of the leftover bits of lemon! Anything else would go straight into the compost. Once again, I was so used to this lifestyle that I couldn’t fathom anything different.

Unfortunately, some of these habits have been replaced by some not so great ones in my own home. In an effort to just Get Things Done as well as the fact that I don’t have an abundance of space to grow an insane amount of produce or room for a substantial compost pile, I lost a lot of these habits along the way.

Cue Erin Rhoads.

I picked up this book recently and have not put it down ever since!

Erin Rhoads
The incredible Erin Rhoads showing off her waste jar – That’s 18 months worth of rubbish in that tiny jar! Image source

Rather than sitting here, wallowing in a pile of single use plastic and un-composted veggie scraps, I am now finally well on my way to replacing so many things around my home with natural (and CHEAP!) alternatives! I thought I had no room for composting then Erin Rhoads saved the day by telling me all about Bokashi composting. I got sick of buying shampoos that would leave my hair dry and damaged then Erin Rhoads told me all about making my own shampoo, using nothing but a bit of fresh rosemary and water. As you can see, I am a huge fan of the lovely Erin!

Written in a very refreshing “non-judgy” way, Emily Rhoads shares her insight and tips on various ways you can easily reduce your carbon footprint and take simple steps towards living a zero waste lifestyle. She is constantly reminding the reader that it is a JOURNEY and not something that can easily be done overnight, which makes the whole concept of living a zero waste lifestyle much easier to swallow.

The idea of Zero Waste can seem very daunting at first. As you read this post, have a quick glance around you: How many plastic items can you see? Now consider the fact that nearly every single piece of plastic that has ever been created has NOT broken down into nothingness – It still exists in its entirety and only a small percentage of these plastics has ever been incinerated. It’s a rather sobering thought really: That realisiation that all these bits of plastic are going somewhere when we throw them away rather than just magically vanishing every week on bin pick-up day.

My home is not zero waste by any means however, I am now making a conscious effort to be as close to zero as possible and this book has been an excellent guide, providing inspiration and ideas for every area of the home without making me feel like a disgusting, lazy slob for not living in a hut made of mud and living off grass and dew drops!

All the wonderful ideas I’ve implemented from Erin Rhoads’ amazing book have not only helped me to reduce my carbon footprint but have also saved me a TON of cash in groceries and household products! Order your copy from Dymocks online here!

Erin Rhoads describes her journey towards a zero waste home, offering detailed solutions for every step of the way. From swapping out cosmetics, hair sprays and shampoos with natural solutions to re-using your kitchen scraps in incredible ways, compositing solutions and so much more!

The book is split into three key sections, making it simple to quickly look up an area of interest:

  • Tools: Providing an excellent summary of why we should be striving for a cleaner, zero waste home, Emily Rhoads details the effects our waste actually has on our environment and health – you’ll find some very alarming facts here about the different types of plastics available and the very serious effects of each on our health and development, as well of course as our environment.
  • Tips: This sections focuses on all the different aspects of our lives where it is possible to make changes, including the kitchen and bathroom to event planning and family health.
  • Tricks: This final section discusses how to take your new-found skills, knowledge and equipment on the road! Find Erin’s best tactics for achieving a zero waste lifestyle while out and about (where the dreaded single use plastic can be found just about everywhere!) as well as helpful information you can pass on to friends and family.

This excellent read has filled me with so much excitement in implementing more eco-friendly (and healthy!) solutions for my home. I’ve already swapped out my shampoo with Erin’s Rosemary Tea alternative (you’ll find this recipe and many more in the Beauty + Body chapter!), purchased a Bokashi Compost Bin for our kitchen (we have a small home with not much space for traditional composting; The Bokashi system is the BEST alternative! Not only does it provide me with amazing fertilizer for the garden but I can also use the liquid produced to clean my home’s drains) as well as finding ways to re-use food scraps, make my own toothpastes, and a hell of a lot more.

If you are looking for inspiration and easy to follow tips to achieve a more eco friendly lifestyle, this book will become your ULTIMATE guidebook – A definite must read!

Visit your local bookshop to grab your copy or click here to order your copy online from Dymocks!

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