About the ‘Less is More’ Class

Are you concerned about the environmental issues facing us but are unsure what you can do to help? Reducing your waste is a simple, profound way to decrease your impact on the planet and save money, too.

Master Recycler and waste reduction advocate Betty Shelley and her husband, Jon, have generated just one 35-gallon can of garbage per year since 2006.  After so many people asked how they accomplished  this, they decided to offer a class to help others realize they too could reduce their waste. In the three-session class, Less is More: Getting to One Can of Garbage a Year, Betty Shelley teaches you her techniques for reducing waste and why that’s so important. The format is interactive and encourages participants to examine their behaviors and learn how to make lasting changes.  Curb climate change instead of your garbage!

The class is specifically designed to:

  • Inform about where our waste comes from and where it goes when we throw it away.
  • Explain the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – as well as how to avoid waste before it even gets to your home.
  • Raise awareness of the impacts of water, energy and other resource waste, and ways to prevent it.
  • Help you make a difference with techniques for waste reduction, whether it be to one can a month, a quarter or a year.

Take the Class

The final class for calendar year 2017 runs September 13, 20 and 27. The class meets from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. at the NWEI office, 107 SE Washington St. $30 early-bird fee if you register more than seven days before the start date ($25 for NWEI members) or $40 fee for later registration; non-refundable cash only payment due at the first session. Class participants are entitled to $5 off the price of an NWEI discussion course book.

The class is a series of three consecutive sessions in which the information presented builds on the previous session; please be sure that you can attend all three sessions before registering.  Register early as the class is limited to 8-12 participants; the class may be cancelled if the minimum student enrollment is not met. To register, call 503-244-8044 or email betty@reduceyourwasteproject.com.  Further details, such as how to access the building, are provided when we confirm your registration.

Host the Class

Are you interested in having Betty teach Less is More at your organization? The class has been held at workplaces, nonprofits, libraries, faith centers and more. Contact us to discuss rates and availability. The class is easily adapted to various settings and group sizes.

Our Participants Say:

  • Honore

    "It's funny to think how my change in worldview and passion for recycling and materials management began in that little high school classroom with you way back in 2008(?). I'm very thankful to have met you at that time in my life. And now, here I am, following my passion, as you say, and (hopefully) making a difference in my community and my region."  (in Colorado)

  • Sheen

    “Thanks for doing the class. It truly was life-changing. You are a true inspiration.”

  • Nancy

    “The course helped me feel like there was a more extensive community of support, and it remotivated me to try to make new changes.”

  • Lane

    “Even knowing as much as I know, I still learned quite a bit that I take and use at home and in my business.”

  • Sarah

    “I feel like I was enraptured for the whole of the three weeks. The coverage of this class was so holistic, alarming and hopeful. It's so powerful to sit in a room of people with the common goals of changing this poisonous system we have.”

  • Tom

    "One of the things I liked best about this class was the sense of empowerment I came away with. I really can make a difference!"

  • Chanda

    “I’m a single-income person with a disabled spouse & a teenager. Money is always an issue. At first I kept thinking, ‘Yeah, but green typically costs more.’ By the last day, I was hit with, ‘Yeah…look at how much I waste.’”

  • Laura

    “I pledge to think more about the stuff that I buy – how it’s packaged, where did it come from, where will it go, etc. – so that I can really minimize my household’s waste.”

  • Kelsey

    “I loved how accessible everything felt. I actually think I can do this. Living with less waste is not an extreme or radical thing to do… it doesn’t seem that hard. Tons of people are already doing it. Learning how to recycle common household stuff was so practical, it has really helped in my home…”