a family of five living zero waste

Jan, 01, 2016

We’re a family of five living zero-waste, plant-based, & mindfully minimal so that both our kids and our planet can enjoy a beautiful, thriving future.

I grew up in the forest—the trees were my playground. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined the climate crisis we find ourselves in today—but it wasn’t until I became a mother that I felt a deep sense of urgency about it. Fueled by that maternal, protective instinct to leave my children with a healthy planet to call home long after I’m gone— we’ve slowly (and clumsily, at times) embraced a zero-waste lifestyle—and we’re figuring it out as we go.

growing pains don’t last forever

We made the decision to intentionally reduce our environmental impact eleven years ago, and took the plunge into the deep end when we went zero-waste in 2015 (basically, if we couldn’t compost or recycle it—we wouldn’t buy it). We were living in Sweden at the time, and I vividly remember the days when I wanted to give up—feeling like it was too hard and wishing there was someone to help guide me along the way. I wish someone had told me then that while the initial zero-waste transition is difficult, the growing pains don’t last forever—and that the adventure would lead our family into a deeper happiness than I could ever imagine.

I love sharing our story, and the things we’re doing to help save our beautiful planet.

Fredrika Harker

We now live on an urban homestead ten minutes off the freeway in the middle of San Diego. Together with my husband James and our kids Bella (13), Noah (8), and Liam (6), we care for our 400 square foot backyard garden, which replenishes many of our meals. We’ve slowly integrated changes like eating vegan, going plastic-free, and buying organic—but not without a whole compost pile of trial and error along the way. Living zero-waste in a consumer culture isn’t easy—so we do our best to make it as transparent, straightforward, and light-hearted as possible. And while there are hard days, the unexpected benefits like more time, more money, and deeper connection have made it well-worth the lifestyle change.

Text about the movie

Link to the Guide Book

Fredrika Syren

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