Thursday, February 28, 2008

Lifestyle side effect

Here's a side effect that I hadn't thought about.

It's halfway through the "garbage week" (our collection day is Monday). Usually, by now, our garbage can out back is half full; usually by the end of the week we have to push down on the garbage to get the last bag in. This week, it only has half of a bag of trash in it (brought out before it was full because it was stinky). We are cutting down on the stuff that is going into landfills - hurrah!

It makes sense: we're not buying things that we don't need right now, and since we don't really need anything, there's no packaging to dispose of. I'm making so much of our food from scratch, I'm not generating garbage from packaging. The vegetable scraps go to the worm bin or compost, the junk mail goes to recycling. The farmer's market doesn't have much packaging; the fruit is sold by the piece and not in plastic boxes. I'm even being intentional about using plastic tubs (Tupperware style) instead of plastic bags, because the tubs are re-usable. When I send Ryan to work with a lunch for microwaving, he uses a microwavable dish that's ceramic with a plastic lid (I don't microwave plastic); his carrots or whatever go into a tub not a bag.

That's pretty cool. I'm doing it to save money, and to cut back on how much stuff we consume, and it's WORKING!

We're about two weeks in on this lifestyle shift. We'll see what happens next; I'm certain that there will be a lot of tweaking, but I know we're on the right track.

And as for me, I'm not shopping for pleasure at all. I'm reading a lot (just finished "Sunstroke" by Tessa Hadley), I'm planning a trip to the Seattle Art Museum (where I am a member), I've been going to yoga classes, I've been frequenting the library and reading all kinds of gardening stuff, I've been drinking tea from fancy little-old-lady teacups in my living room, I've been having friends over or visiting friends. I do not feel deprived by this lack of shopping. We have what we need, and more, and I've got some pride that I'm not adding to the consumer production of stuff. (Want to know why? Go to in case you haven't already. It's eye opening, interesting, informative.)

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