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Innovative Ideas for Living More Sustainably, Part 2 of 3

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On today’s program, we’ll visit Jess Morales of Montreal, Canada who, along with her husband and their two young children, are living zero-waste lives. “When we first began, we did a trash audit, which is just a fancy way of saying we looked in our trash can to see what was in there. We realized that most of our garbage was food waste and food packaging. So, we stopped buying pre-packaged meals and snacks, and now we buy loose fruits and vegetables. And we also opt for things that we can buy easily available in bulk, like seeds, nuts, and raisins, things like that to snack on. And, instead of buying packaged meals, we cook a lot of our stuff from scratch.”

Let’s now return to Jess and her family, and discover how they deal with inedible food waste, such as vegetable peelings and fruit cores. “So, we started composting. Now our compost is nothing fancy. It’s just our old garbage can with holes drilled into it. But eventually, our city started a curbside compost collection as well. So just this very simple change of composting helped us reduce our waste by about 40%.”

“So, to prevent us from accumulating unnecessary things, we asked our family members to give experience gifts or activities, or simply just to give the gift of their time. So, for Christmas this year our kids got snowboarding lessons. They went bowling for the first time with their auntie. They loved it. And for their birthdays, they got swimming lessons and dance lessons. So, we find these types of gifts really enrich our children’s lives; they create memories, and also long-lasting skills.”

Our most gracious Supreme Master Ching Hai frequently encourages us to minimize our possessions and simplify our lives, because a simple life has many benefits. “It’s not that we have a big house and a luxury place, then we feel happy. I can guarantee it. You have my word. The more stuff we have, the more troublesome it becomes. We have to wipe and to clean it, and worry about it getting taken away by others, worry about thieves. If we have nothing then we have nothing to worry about. If we have little and cherish what we have, it will be just the same as if we own a lot. We feel even happier than having more stuff.”

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