So its no secret that I am slightly "hippy"-ish. However pinning me as an extreme lefty would also be highly inaccurate. As my friend Alana defines hippy, I'm a bit of a "free spirit". My DH may also surprise you in this. Lots of people see him as super conservative- not entirely so. (However some of my political beliefs might surprise you!- but we're not going there today...)
Where I am going is a little followup to my "seven" post. I do still plan on some sort of official short term hiatus on areas of excess<I've not yet planned that out. This book has made me rethink about some things considerably.
One of these areas where I am deeply affected is "waste"
In our home, we already recycle (we are constantly emptying our inside recyling bins into our outdoor one). We have a "compost" pile outside in the tree-line. We throw food scraps out there, though don't officially turn it or use worms or anything. its just better than the trash. Just got a flex fuel car last year. And we use cloth diapers.
And yet I look around and with fresher eyes, am seeing other ways where we (I) waste or can reduce.
First example that comes to mind is cereal. Who doesn't love cereal? I strangely eat it without milk, always have. But this affords me the luxury to put it in little baggies and have it as a snack or eat it on the way to work. But have you seen the big boxes they come in? Why? whats the point besides marketing? I look at the 5 boxes sitting in my pantry and feel pangs of guilt over the waste. They will get recycled, but are so unnecessary. I balanced my guilt with a stop at Woodmans today (aka largest grocery store on the planet) and found some slightly more organic cereal that comes in a resealable bag. No box. I stocked up on those. I'm also making my own granola...but more discussion on this in another more food simplifying post.
Additionally on this trip I brought the reusable grocery bags. We've had these for a while, but honestly I'd gotten super lax about using them, as evidenced by the horrendous stockpile of plastic bags that took up the entire bottom shelf of my pantry. Since reading "Seven" I've made it a point to always have these or to not use a bag at all when doing a small quick purchase (which is often accompanied by strange looks as I leave the store- so I wave around my receipt)
I have looked into a few other things the reduce waste. Using cloth wipes for baby (I'm shocked by how much more "waste" is cleaned up by one cloth wipe versus 3-4 disposable). Trying to reduce how much unused food we throw away. Drying laundry and diapers outside.
And really, you have to wonder if me doing this makes any difference in the grand scheme of things. I may have less in my garbage can going to the land fill, but my neighbors may be able to make up the difference in a day. Maybe it makes no difference at all.
But what I do know, in the words of Jen Hatmaker, is that I can only answer to the earth, to the God who created this earth and to myself, for what I have done. At the end of the day am I proud of myself. I don't think the earth was made to be wasted. But to be preserved, enjoyed, appreciated. And each decision I am making I do feel a little more proud. Even if its a pain in the butt. But who said that anything was supposed to be easy...except the media, marketing, big business. That is not who I want to answer to.