Have you heard the phrase, “Use it Up. Wear is Out. Make it Do. Or do Without.“? I did years ago and was recently reintroduced to it when I started following the Non-Consumer Advocate’s blog. It’s a place I find myself these days. Some of that has to do with living on a smaller income, but I have been moving toward the “reducing waste” lifestyle for a couple of years now.
Since this month is about committing to change, I want to commit to continuing doing the “non-wasty” things I do now and begin to add others.
Food: I have followed the Frugal Girl’s blog for a couple of years now and she has a feature she calls “Food Waste Friday”. This has been incredibly helpful in being mindful of wasting food. For years I was really good at buying vegetables in an attempt to be healthy and stocking up on sale items, but inevitably much of it went to waste because I was too busy/tired/lazy to cook dinner. Additionally, this past year Mike (my husband) and I started supporting a child called Tom who lives in South Sudan near the border of Darfur through Make Way Partners. As I educated myself about Tom’s living situation and the global food crisis facing that area, I became convicted about how much food I waste and have made efforts to menu and just buy what I need each week. I also try to shop in the bulk bins at our local Winco to reduce container waste. I haven’t always been successful, but it’s getting better.
Potential craft supplies: In my previous job, I worked with kids and regularly had to come up with craft projects. For the past couple of years I have collected egg cartons, cardboard from boxes, tin cans and about a billion toilet paper tubes (a slight exaggeration: it feels like a billion). I get absolutely giddy when I take an item that is considered trash and turn it into a teaching tool or a cool craft. This race car on the right is made from a toilet paper tube and you can link to the instructions if you’re interested. Not only does this help to reduce container waste, but it’s wonderful for the budget. Pinterest has links to tons of ideas and I created a board on Pinterest dedicated to Repurposing and Recycling.
I want to be better at: reducing my use of Ziploc bags, not needing to buy new, when used is just as good, using cloth napkins (need to make some), line-drying out clothes (I will need to address the dust issue in our backyard first) and remembering to use the coffee cozies I knit when I go to Starbucks. Mostly I want to be a better caretaker of what we’ve been blessed with. I’m sure there are a hundred other things I could be doing, but these are where I want to start.
“Our contribution will be to solemnly swear not to waste a single kibble or treat. Is that a deal?”