Wednesday, May 29, 2013

zero

Also: If you are new to reading my blog, I want to apologize for its totally artless appearance. It's both intentional and unintentional. I got fed up with messing around with pictures and thought I'd take it back to square one, just black and white with default everything. Then somehow I got stuck and still canNOT figure out how to change anything again! I don't mind the black and white, but the font and spacing are terrible! I am way more artistic than this blog makes me look, you must believe me.

Speaking of black and white, I just read Bea Johnson's hot new book, The Zero Waste Home. Thanks to my friend Rachel, I have been following her blog for a few months and have been totally inspired. I have to say that the blog frightened me a little bit. In the first post that I read, she talked about freaking out on a camping trip when they had to buy a plastic jug of water. Little things like that made me wonder if this woman was totally immoderate, like in the way that makes everybody uncomfortable. But I was charmed by pictures of her wearing the same black oversize man's button-up shirt every day, all summer, in 40 or 50 different cute ways. So I kept reading, and I'm convinced. I want to adopt new ways at a natural pace, and the last thing I want to do is be weird about it or make anyone else feel bad, but count me in. Here are some very small steps I've taken since I started reading the blog, both to simplify my life and reduce my waste:

  • Ripping up old t-shirts to make "paper towels"
  • Remembering (more often) to bring a bag to the store
  • Finding a store where I can buy bulk
  • Signing up for dairy, egg, meat and produce shares with local farmers/friends from church
  • Recycling more; donating lots of old stuff to the thrift store
  • Using olive oil as a face cleanser and vinegar as a toner (they both really work)
  • Massaging coconut oil into my hair occasionally, so that I don't need conditioner
  • Choosing to buy those recyclable toothbrushes made from yogurt cups (laugh at me!) 
  • Buying a water filter instead of buying so many dumb jugs of filtered water for kombucha
  • Keeping a coffee cup in the car for the free coffee at Half-Price Books... that's a joke, because it was a dirty coffee cup from that morning. But I did make the decision to turn around and get it, and it was raining!

This summer I would like to accomplish a few more steps:

  • Minimize my wardrobe and donate extras (cutting down on laundry!)
  • Composting (for... other people's gardens I suppose)
  • Finally figure out how to do the dishes correctly (I always waste tons of water)
  • Streamlining kitchen and pantry
  • Getting the appropriate containers for buying/storing bulk foods (I drool over her 100 mason jars)
  • Assess weekly/monthly food needs so that I can minimize trips to the store
  • Get the dang bike fixed and find one for Mon Epoux

Those are slightly more daunting tasks than bringing a bag to the store. But not as daunting as say, using moss for toilet paper, which the author used to do when she was even crazier about zero waste. And none of it is as daunting to me as the Diva Cup. Eek.

Please let me know if I ever become judgmental or weird about this. What I don't like about the book is how Zero-Waste seems to have become as important as a religion to the author. I absolutely think that mindfulness about the material world is part of becoming more attuned to God. But it is easier to be zealous in organizing my closet than in rooting out those pesky baobabs from my planet, especially when the former zeal can be flavored so deliciously with pride.

I must go make some cookies.


5 comments:

  1. I just don't understand how the Diva Cup is practical. What happens when it needs to be emptied and rinsed out and the river's still flowin' and you work outside of your home and have to use a multi-stall public restroom?

    Sometimes I think a red tent would be great. Especially if it had a mini-fridge with wine, cheese, and grapes. And I could hang out with all my other "flowin'" friends for about a week.

    You're probably going to ask me to stop commenting on your blog. It's ok. I understand. ~JB

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    1. Don't stop! You're making things interesting around here!

      I have the same question about using public bathrooms. Perhaps Cup Divas just plan things well enough to not get stuck in such situations? Gosh, it already takes about all the foresight I can muster to pack enough tampons. Maybe it would cut down on waste a bit just to use it at home. I am going to research and think about it.

      I am such a brat during that time, but part of it is rebellion about the fact that I'm wearing pantyhose and not pajamas! So a red tent would suit me fine. Sometimes I wonder if we'd all be as sympathetic to one another as we'd like to think, though!

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    2. Ok, looked around a bit:

      "Most users find that they do not have to remove The DivaCup more often than every 12 hours, and that taking it out in a public restroom does not occur very often. However, for those with heavier flows, or on the occasion you need to empty it in a public restroom, simply remove the cup, empty the contents and use a dry or damp tissue to clean the cup and reinsert. Make sure your hands are clean before going into the stall. Wash your DivaCup well with warm, soapy water at the next convenient time."
      http://lunapads.com/tips-and-advice/divacup-overview

      http://www.likeamustardseed.com/2012/03/01/ladies-only-my-thoughts-on-menstrual-cups/

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  2. Good information but I'm still not sold on it. Also, I wish they would have named it something different. ha. JB

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    1. The word "Diva" IS so embarassing...

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