Friday, January 28, 2011

the less waste home

We found a home to rent today.  Moved most of our stuff.
Now I will take a few minutes to relax by blogging.  

I actually got in the pool today.  I am proud of myself.  Since we have a place to live tomorrow, I didn't sit with my laptop and scour Craigslist while my kids enjoyed the pool.  I went down the water slide.  The same water slide that I had noticed only kids and dads went down.  Wahoo!  Look at me reeeeelax!

When we decided to move to Hawaii I immediately started thinking about my stuff.  After purging most of what we owned in our garage sale, I was left with stuff that I really cared about.  All stacked to the ceiling in bins in my parents' basement.  How will I get it all to Hawaii?  

One day we were driving somewhere and Karl tells me about an article in Sunset Magazine about a family that has no waste. My first thought?  (And please don't judge my judgmental self)  It was, "Ew, I bet they stink."  I was imagining people that threw away nothing.  

A few weeks later, I was checking out a few of my favorite blogs (aka relaxing) and my friend had a link to her sister's blog who is rely into healthy food.  Since I am into that (most of the time) I clicked (aka blog stalked).  She had this photo up:
The most beautiful cupboard of food that I have ever seen.  Well, except for that old tin.  While charming in the photo, I have to admit it grosses me out.  I would love to be one of those cool people that loves old rusty bumpy stuff.  But I am not.  Oh, hi!  We were talking about beautiful cupboards, weren't we?

I saw the photo and the part of me that loves organization met up with part of me that likes to be less wasteful and I swear I heard heaven music playing in the background.  And then part of me that loves to buy stuff was the loudest in my head and it wanted to know where she got those awesome jars.  You know, so I can be less wasteful, right?

Turns out this is the cupboard of the family in the article that husband was telling me about.  And THAT does NOT look like the cupboard of stinky every thing saver people.  That is just lovely.  

I read the article, I read her blog, and when I have more time to relax, I will read about it more.  

But this was my answer.  I will go to Hawaii and have less stuff.  Um, and still miss the stuff that I have on the mainland, but I won't go crazy trying to attain everything that I lived with before.  

So, why less waste?  Because, for me zero is just not realistic.  So, say I was at about a ninety before.  I am now shooting for fifty two.  It's not all the way, but for sure a big improvement.

I won't be taking my cute jars (that I don't have yet because I can't find them) to the bulk section at the grocery store to save plastic bags.  It sounds too heavy, I don't plan ahead that well, and to be honest I would be embarrassed (unless I had a friend with me that was doing the same thing.  I am a wimp that way).  I will make changes where I can.  I have always tried to use my own grocery bags.  I happened to come to an island where it is actually illegal for stores to give plastic bags.  When we went to the store, I didn't buy plastic baggies.  I actually love plastic baggies.  I can totally admit that.  I buy them in all sizes.  Even special tiny sizes from the craft store.  I packed the kids bento boxes a few days and I prevented a boat load of baggie usage.  

I need a solution for water bottles.  I get grossed out by reusable plastic water bottles and I don't like drinking out of the metal bottles.  I have tried a few a I swear I can taste the metal.  

I am sure I can do more.  I don't have any concrete goals, it is more a way of thinking.  I keep thinking of things that I should have brought because it is such a waste to rebuy stuff that I already have.  Things like a needle and thread  because the airlines ripped the umbrella on my stroller.    

And tomorrow when we leave this hotel and I throw away (when my dad isn't looking, he hates waste) the half eaten Costco roasted chicken because I was too lazy to take the meat off the small parts, I will feel bad.  Okay, I would have felt bad before but now that I am shooting for fifty two, I will feel even worse.  And maybe next time, I will remember to not buy the chicken because I wasted half of it the last time I bought it. 

By sharing this, I risk not doing it and having people see me fail but I will say it anyway... I want to see if I can go the next six months without buying clothes for me AND for my kids.  Yes, so maybe I had isolate myself on an island where my choices are severely limited to try this out but there is always the internet and there was the year that it seemed like all my clothes came from Costco. Okay, this may not happen, my shoulders just got tense as I was typing this last paragraph and I just remembered that I only brought like two things to wear to church.  Okay, my point is, I am going to buy less.  

As I try to set up my home, I will try to buy more things second hand (except beds, and sheets, and towels, my cootie phobia is getting worse as I age).  That means less packaging, less stuff that ends up in the land fills, and since I won't have as many options, I am sure that it means I will buy less. 

Wish me luck in this next silly endeavor.  
Seems like when life gets a little comfortable, I have up and move, or take on a new challenge, I guess. 


Emily said...

you always make me think of so many good ideas. We waste way too much. WAY too much. But I'm in love with plastic baggies too. And paper cups. And so many other convenient wasteful things. Ugh - how do I break all my lazy habits?

You inspire me. I think next time I'm at the pool, I'll try the water slide too. :)

Abbigail said...

I have thought about this too and wished that all packaging was compostable. Then, I could put most of my trash in the compost bin and all would be good.
I too want to buy less because everything is starting to cave in on me and I spend too much money. Plus, I would like my kids to be less materialistic.
However, Kitty LOVES to get stuffed animals. It is terrible.
Please post the link to the story of the family with no waste. I would like to see how they manage that. I have read blogs from families who stop using paper towels and only do cloth.... I think it was on simple

Lady L said...

Ahhhhh, Christina, I think we're kindred spirits these days. When we moved to England in September, we brought 1 suitcase, 5 duffel bags, a portable crib, carseats, and a stroller. Oh, and we shipped one small box of toys for the kids. That's it. I'll be honest, at times it's been hard to live without all of the "stuff" we left behind (I miss my Bosch like I can't even say, and I also left most of my church clothes in storage, which I thoroughly regret). But, we're enjoying the upsides, too; I think our time in England has forever altered our ideas about what we need. Good luck in your Hawaii adventure -- I'm excited to read about your new life and all the changes it brings!

Amy said...

Wow, this post really has me thinking. Way to be a better person. When I went to Washington last month, I was kind of amazed by all of the efforts people were making to compost and recycle everything. It's practically illegal not to (or, you get fined or something). I guess I'm getting behind the times. I'm glad to hear you have a home! Can't wait for more posts.


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