Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot

It is no secret that I enjoy getting rid of stuff... to the point I am surprised my friends still love me. I think I have taught them how to saw 'NO' (refuse)better then they ever knew before. I monthly reevaluate my STUFF to see if there is anything left to get rid of before we move(someone will eventually buy our house, right?). I live in a 1100 sq ft home so managing 4 people and their stuff makes living small work. No I am not moving to a bigger house just bigger land so we can be less consumers and more producers... that is a story for another time. We love our little house and would move it to a larger piece of land if it were cost effective. The past 20 years I have really thought long and hard about the possessions I have owned... or did they own me? I have moved over 17 times in my life and after awhile you start to ask yourself why you even bothered to pack certain things instead of getting rid of them. Watch this little video on STUFF and leave me a comment of what your thoughts are.
Some things I started doing to help close the loops:

  • I started looking at how happy the people were in the photos from friends who had gone on mission trips... the folks weren't happy because they had STUFF... they were happy to have Jesus, food, a place to sleep, family, friends...etc.
  • I seriously think about how I am voting with my dollars and do I really need to buy it at all(reduce)
  • Repurposing stuff I already have.... like turning old sweaters into hats, gloves, and scarves(my favorite scarf from my favorite old sweater), old t-shirts into rugs, milk jugs into mini greenhouses, containers into storage for leftovers, etc.(reuse)
  • Recycle computers, cell phones, any packaging I can... boxes, glass, plastic(recycle)
  • My son has a worm farm in the basement that helps to turn some of our kitchen waste into dirt(rot)
  • Before I buy a packaged item I try to think how I can keep it out of the trash after I have only spent a few minutes consuming it... hum.
  • Buy used items and take care of them so they continue to be passed around or sold till they wear out. My favorite items to buy used are books, clothes, and my car(we figured by buying brand new you loose about $5,000 in a 5-10 year period... over your lifetime that is a lot of money saved)
  • Buy quality useful items from local crafts people that could then be passed down to others(I love my wooden spoons!)
  • Make what you can homemade and store the homemade items in glass or plastic jars you have recycled. We make tooth powder, deodorant, cleaning supplies, soup mixes, canned food, blankets, a few clothes items, bread, etc.
  • Buy in bulk the food items you use most
  • Buy local foods and take your own container(our local bulk store will refill my peanut butter jar with fresh ground butter)
  • Lastly... when you pick an item up think about it's function... can you do that function with an item you already have in your home... I don't know about you but I love items that can be used 10 different ways so it not only saves me space but saves me money
If you still need some inspiration take a look at this family that are close to ZERO waste. It is impressive. It is where I got the inspiration to write this post.
My favorite scarf from my favorite old sweater