refuse, REDUCE, reuse, recycle, rot…continuing thoughts

To refuse what I don’t need:  A simple statement. In practice … all I can say dear readers –  it’s an interesting exercise.

To reduce what I need: Ah, so easy to reduce what I don’t need; alas, to reduce what I need – this is a horse of another color, and I think a scrappy one.

However, based on my endeavors to lower our waste at home, I’ll share with you some of the not so scrappy horses I saddled:

  • The manageable task of decluttering: I have an “outbox” (please tell my husband it’s not the garage) in which I place unneeded items. At the end of the week or month, depending on how full this box is, I decide on the fate of the contents – being reused (by some one else) or being recycled.
  • Reducing home cleaning products and toiletries: this morning I took our grandson for a walk around the neighborhood. From the street side I could smell the perfume of fabric softener in some of the houses. Can this be good? The toddler in our house can open the cupboard under the sink. I am not worried. This reducing task is easy.
  • Buying magazines or rather, not buying them: all the shelves filled with ideas, pictures, recipes … in waiting, read me, try me. I stopped buying magazines. It’s now 18 months.
  • Less shopping trips –  leads to less car usage, less petrol, less car repairs….do I need to add that less shopping trips also mean less retail therapy sessions?
  • Tackling the kitchen and pantry: reducing food waste, packaging, plastic products, not buying products one can make at home, removing the kitchen bin!
  • Unpacking the wardrobe…saddling a wild,  obstreperous horse…

These ideas merely scratch the surface of waste reducing methods. I think of reducing one’s home size, cleaning the house from unwanted heirlooms, eating less meat, letting go of unfinished so-called hobbies and projects, using less paper, less technology…

I invite you to read more here.

Aside from all these endeavors I found an unasked for? happening – a kindred softening of the soul. A hardness calloused by a built-up of waste over the years slowly being reduced …

… or is it perhaps the other way round?

And you, dear reader, do you ask for a simple(r) life?


2 thoughts on “refuse, REDUCE, reuse, recycle, rot…continuing thoughts

  1. Sonya, I loved reading your thoughts on reducing what you need. We have similar thoughts on this I think. For me it’s a continuing process which started 10 years ago after spending some time in a dear friends house who has lived a simple life for a very long time and experiencing for myself how she exists so beautifully and contently in her simple surroundings. Mindful consumption includes for me the thinking that everything has a beginning, a middle and an ending. What processes has been involved in the production of a product. Is it ethically produced? Will my money be supporting something worthwhile or something exploitative. What plans do I have for the product. Is it something I really need or is excess? And what happens in the end. Is there packaging to be disposed of and at the end of the products life how will I dispose of that. If I feel comfortable with the answers then I feel comfortable buying. And yes less weight being carried around with stuff frees up the soul.

    • Kate, thanks for sharing your valued thoughts. What I find frustrating is to sit with an empty container in my hands on its way to be recycled, and then to hear that its recycling process in our part of the woods is too expensive and sophisticated…so, it can only go to landfill. Well, then I have a choice: to buy the product again or not…

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