I've read a lot of minimalist blogs, I've read a lot of minimalist and household cleaning books, but none of them truly "brought it home" to me as this woman and her family has done.
The minimalists books are interesting, but as with anything, there needs to be a true purpose to why I do something. And I guess I did kind of know and acknowledge the eco responsibility of simply being on planet means - it's just that no other book truly gave me the information about WHAT was happening to our waste in addition to HOW to do things differently within a family. I have 3 children. We are very busy. Okay, so not all of Bea's suggestions will be implemented immediately, but we can definitely start with the Refuse and Reduce and work from there.
I like it that they are a modern family. These aren't tree huggers and earth muffins who I cannot relate to; they're normal, middle class citizens interested in making a difference for the world.
Since I wanted to increase my connection to the earth anyhow, and was trying to find ways of doing that in my daily life, this feels really natural to me. I've spent around 100€'s buying some things to get us set up. Seems a little ridiculous to acquire in order to simplify, but I wanted to implement the changes as soon as I could in order to change our habits on the easy stuff right away. Our neighborhood has a good recycling program here in Germany, but it's not perfect and we were sending out practically a full bag of yoghurt containers every 2 weeks or so. We've now changed to the recyclable glass containers.
We have 4 sinks in the house on 3 different levels. It finally dawned on me to keep some microfiber towels and a spray bottle of diluted vinegar (used Bea's idea and added lemon/lime to soak before diluting to help with scent) as well as a container of baking soda on each level to help me clean spontaneously instead of having to go to a different level to get supplies.
The glass jars are really wonderful - and yes, I am also re-using jars we've already aquired and cleaned out, but I really like the Fido jars from Italy (less expensive than the french ones she recommends) as they're not such funny shapes as some of the weck jars. I did, however, order 2 of the 2 liter french jars for our spaghetti as they are taller and thinner than others I have seen.
Cannot write enough about how inspiring this book is (even if I doubt we'll ever manage to get as streamlined as she is - it's still really wonderful to have a good example of what's possible).