Monday, August 15, 2011

Low Waste Challenge

A while ago, I posted THIS video of a zero-waste family. The other day, I came across her blog HERE! While I am quite certain I could never get my family, or even myself to go that extreme, I do look Bea's idea that we should consciously live. So many times we just push the auto-pilot button and don't even realize all the mindless things we were doing. It's just easier to unwrap the processed food, pop it in the 'nuke and toss the packaging into the trash. We are also a society of visual people. Years of television have drawn us away from the reality that even if we don't see it, it still exists. Just because the landfill isn't within eyesight doesn't mean that all our waste just disappears into oblivion.

Bea put me to shame! I always thought I did pretty well with my garbage. I'd feel a little self-righteous pride as I drove down the road on garbage day and saw other people's cans bulging while mine wasn't even half-filled. But, after reading Bea's blog, I started realizing all the stuff I still mindlessly toss, and the the needless waste I consume.

I mean, even something as small as switching to bulk teas and using a steeper rather than buying individually double to triple packaged tea bags could reduce my waste.

I also started realizing my mindless spending. I got into couponing for a while. At my worst, I remember returning around $100.00 worth of stuff I'd never really use. I was embarrassed that I got caught up in savings that really weren't. Even now, I'm hoping I can find the receipt for some Christmas presents I bought for my children than I really don't want to give them. I'd rather buy my oldest a couple of handmade wooden trucks on etsy than give him the two plastic nerf pistols with target I got on clearance at Target. My children have proved to me that if it is plastic, they destroy it. Heavily packaged, Chinese made, cheaply made and really no imaginative value. It really makes me rethink a lot of things.

It really is embarrassing. And as I go through my house, I see so much waste. Toys broken after only a few months of use. Clothes bought on the cheap that don't really fit or aren't really worn. Food that just gets tossed out. Silly items bought on impulse, like movies, magazines, and nick nacks. Hobby items for projects never finished.

Big box stores are becoming more and more discouraging, too and quality plummets and everything is so disposable. My parents still have appliances from when they got married in the 70's. I haven't been married for 10 years yet, and I'm on 2nds and 3rds of appliances already!! It really is taking a conscious effort to live quality lives! It isn't just about the environment, but about our lives and the lives we provide our children with!

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