March 17, 2015

Trash: Week Three and Four

The past two seminary weeks were a bit insane! Weekend intensives + Papers due = Perfect Storm! Needless to say, I am beyond pumped to be enjoying Day Four of Spring Break and happy to be catching up on some blogging. I kept photographing my trash--even though I didn't have a chance to blog about it yet.

Week Three
- Brown Sugar Bag
- EmergenC packets (2)
- Biscoff cookie wrapper
- Contact foil tops
- Contact lenses
- Sticker from Pizza Box
- Butter wrapper
- Zip tie
- Apple Sticker
- Pad wrappers

Week Four
- Two butter wrappers (lots of baking!)
- Popcorn bag & wrapper (last one!)
- Fruit stickers
- Covering from self-sealing envelope
- Dried out bar of soap (not sure what to do with it!)
- Piece of floss
- Car tag from auto shop

Ultimate Sin
Father, forgive me for I have sinned. 
Yeah, this is literally the worst offense I could ever have done. Ugh. After church last week, we went to a Mexican restaurant to eat and I hadn't brought any leftover containers to re-use. With half my meal leftover, Tim and I shared a styrafoam container. I didn't include it in the trash picture because I am hoping to recycle it...even though in my former life it would have just gone in the trash.

Trash evaded--something to celebrate!
Feminine Hygiene Products: Last week, I kept a couple pads and a few tampons from venturing into landfills. I invested in a MoonCup and a few re-usable pads from Sckoon.
Shower Supplies: Last week, I finished up my face wash, body wash, and conditioner and replaced them with homemade face wash (honey, baking soda, and coconut oil), a bar of soap, and ACV. I am finishing up my shampoo and won't be buying plastic products for the shower again. Next up is finishing my plastic tube of toothpaste!
More Popcorn Bags: I finished up my bags of microwavable popcorn this week and have been using popcorn kernels that I bough in bulk.
Peanut Butter Jars: I am addicted to peanut butter and eat it almost every day--so I can move through a couple plastic jars in a month. First, I filled a glass jar with peanut butter from Whole Foods, but last week, I bought some peanuts, made my own, and saved money!

March 12, 2015

Letting Go

About a week before Lent, I went through my wardrobe and pulled out all of the clothes that I didn't LOVE or hadn't worn in months or years. I wrestled with some of them. "This rainbow tie-dye skirt is ME!" but I couldn't remember the last time I had worn the sacred thing. The clothes sat in bags on my floor for a few weeks until last week when I pulled them all out and looked at them one final time.
Letting Go. Detachment. 

I enjoy shopping second hand (and the occasional clearance rack). I shop second hand because it's thrifty and it doesn't support the commercialized, capitalized, ever-changing fashion industry. I also love dressing in unexpected ways, i.e. tie-dye rainbow skirts. As much as I want to say I am a child of God not defined by my clothes, my clothes say something about me to the wider world. For the most part, I have enjoyed ditching half of my wardrobe to focus more energy on the clothes that I love.

However, a little doubt crept in after I posted this picture on Instagram and mentioned I was getting rid of some clothes. They were all sad about the rainbow tie-dye skirt. One friend, was sad to see it go. Another friend, said "that rainbow skirt was YOU." Regret. Had I done the right thing? Had I been too brash? No, I had done the right thing. I was not that rainbow tie-dye skirt. I am Katie and creative clothing choices is just one of the fun-loving, carefree things about me. My clothes are not the only thing that speak for me. If my whole house burned down, I am still Katie, without all of my things.

So far, Lent has been a good practice in letting go. It's hard to let go of clothes that I might wear or are cute or have sentimental value--but it's cathartic to let go, knowing I will have a happier life and so will another person in that rainbow tie-dye skirt. It had more gyspy life in it and I needed to share the love. I dropped off three bags of clothes to the "Free Store" at Earlham--hopefully, they will find new life on the hipster, grandma, 80s, college style of the Earlham students.

Don't worry, I kept the pink overalls.

Benefits of Donating Half My Wardrobe
Less Clutter, More Options. The past couple weeks, I have loved not having to pour through my drawers to find something to wear. My drawers and less full and so is my closet. It's easier to find things and what is in my drawers--I love. Why would I keep something that I don't feel awesome in?
Rewear Clothes, Less Laundry. I am awful at doing laundry. I would wait until I had nothing left to wear and then have about 3 loads of laundry to do every week and a half. Also, I'm in seminary and really only had enough focus and time to do one solid load of laundry. I've taken to re-wearing an item of clothing 3-4 times (I do the smell and stain test!) before I wash it. The past three weeks, I have had one small load of laundry to do at the end of each week.
Feel Good, Stress Less. Clothes were often a sense of stress for me--figuring out what to wear, letting dirty clothes pile up on the floor, having things that I didn't love but took up space. Now that I am re-wearing my clothes between washings--I roll them back up and put them in my drawers so that they don't end up on my floor. Plus, I know exactly what is in my drawers and what goes with what.

March 1, 2015

Trash: Week Two

Each Sunday in the season of Lent I am going to post how much trash I have created in the previous week. This was my first full week of trash.
This week I trashed: 
- a "Wacky Mac" pasta bag
- the film top from a tofu container
- a straw I didn't have a chance to refuse
- apple cider vinegar top and freshness seal
- piece of tape from chili leftovers
- Klondike Bar wrapper
- two pieces of gum
- gum wrapper
- piece of floss
- plastic popcorn bag wrapper
- popcorn bag
- cereal bag
- two Emergen-C packs
- PET film of a Chipotle bowl

Things I avoided: 
Honestly, this week felt indulgent. I have a plenty of plastic and non-compostables or recyclables that are in the house that I have yet to use up. However, while I am using up these things...I don't have to go back to them. I can make new choices that won't produce the same trash.

Here are the Zero Waste alternatives to the waste I created this week:
- a "Wacky Mac" pasta bag: I can buy this bulk from a local co-op. 
- the film top from a tofu container: In theory, I should be able to get this bulk, but I haven't found a place, yet.
- a straw I didn't have a chance to refuse: Mention I don't want a straw when I place my order and don't open the straws set out on the table. 
- apple cider vinegar top and freshness seal: I can buy Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar at Whole Foods.
- piece of tape from chili leftovers: I don't have to mark my leftovers, or I could use a dry-erase marker.
- Klondike Bar wrapper: Refuse!
- two pieces of gum: Stop chewing gum!
- gum wrapper: No, really, stop chewing gum! 
- piece of floss: Invest in a gum stimulator
- plastic popcorn bag wrapper: Buy popcorn kernels in bulk! 
- popcorn bag: Bulk popcorn kernels! 
- cereal bag: Buy oatmeal, granola or cereal in bulk. 
- two Emergen-C packs: Eat lots of vegetables and take pill vitamins? I'm doing more research into this!
- PET film of a Chipotle bowl: Don't eat out! 

Transitions I made: 
- I finished my bagged popcorn and bought bulk popcorn kernels, so that I can make Zero Waste popcorn!
- I bought some bulk peanut butter from Whole Foods!

Things I learned this week: 
- How to pop Zero Waste a microwave!
- Chipotle bowls can be composted, if you remove the inside liner!
- I should mention I don't want a straw when I place my drink order.
- Zero Waste eating darn near impossible.