Is it tacky? Millard family practicing zero-waste lifestyle deals with neighbors’ concerns | Home & Garden

Morgan Rye-Craft, 27, hangs clothing to dry. The plan is to add a fence when prices for materials are more reasonable.

Rye-Craft quit her job when Quinn-Michael was born to devote as much time as possible to making their lifestyle a success. She’s now working part time.

“I try to describe it as a mindset. It’s not necessarily that we don’t make waste,” she said. “We try not to buy anything that gets thrown away or reuse things we have. We always try to find a purpose for every item that gets brought into our house.”

After losing a chance at several other homes in a hot housing market, Rye-Craft was happy to return to Millard, where she grew up while soaking up her recycling skills from her grandmother.

She knew not everyone would appreciate the way they’re putting their yard to work, but the couples have been very careful to follow city rules. There are no covenant regulations.


Rye-Craft holds a chicken for her son, 18-month-old Quinn-Michael, to pet while she works in the yard.

Neighbor Chad Johnsen says it’s different from the majority of the neighborhood, and he’s heard some negative comments, but he thinks what they’re trying to accomplish is a positive.

“Growing your own food in your own yard is fantastic,” he said. “And having chickens for fresh eggs is great, too.”

The couples hope to become involved in the neighborhood association and welcome questions about what they’re doing in their yard. They try to keep the lawn, the coops and the garden beds as tidy as possible.

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