Ranch & Coast Magazine

April 2022

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Page 39 of 99

I REMEMBER READING SOMETHING, somewhere, when I was a kid that has stuck with me ever since. It was a question, not a statement: When we throw something away, what does "away" really mean? It's intention — to make me more aware of what "disposable" truly means for our environment — was fulfilled. But in practice, tackling our footprint when it comes to waste is no small feat in today's single-use society. A family of five here in San Diego, the self-proclaimed Zero Waste Family, has taken on just that, not all at once, but as a lifestyle of learning and adopting best practices gradually over the course of the past 15 years. "I have always worked toward recycling and buying organic food, but once my daughter was born 15 years ago, I consciously decided that I needed to make much more of a personal effort because this was for her planet and her future," says the family matriarch, Fredrika Syren. ough her husband, James, originally didn't share her commitment, it was he who ultimately made the push for the family to go entirely zero-waste in 2015. e first step was what Fredrika calls a "trash audit." "It's not as horrible as it sounds," she laughs. "Literally, we were much more con- scious of what we were put- ting in the trash can, and then trying to come up with a solution for that. Everything was one thing at a time." Small changes, like replacing store-bought pastas packaged in plastic with those sold in cardboard, were stepping stones to putting less in the trash can and more in the recycle bin. "at is exactly how we did it," she says. "One Zero-Waste Goals No, really! Local family advises on ways to take out the trash — for good BY DEANNA MURPHY Focus The Zero Waste Family: Fredrika Syren (center) with children (L to R) Bella, Liam, and Noah, and husband James PHOTOGRAPHY BY JAMES HARKER environment @ranchandcoast ranchandcoast.com 40 APRIL 2022 RANCH & COAST MAGAZINE The Syrens converted their thirsty lawn into a robust, functional garden

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