I always carry a handmade (from leftover scrap fabric) bento or bandana or scarf in my bag for impromptu bulk buys. It saves me from trying to carry a couple of bagels home for lunch in my hand or passing up a treat of bulk chocolate covered cherries. :) I dug out a couple of "special" little scarves that I'd previously thought too special to use (except for tied around my neck, which I almost never do). It is nice to see these a little bit more often! Now (along with a few sewn bentos) I have a little stash, + I can put a clean one into my purse as soon as I use one.
Above, I've shown how I quickly + easily tie a scarf into a useful little container. Tie loose knots in opposite corners, add the treat into the pouch formed, + tie the untied corners together. The scarf takes up almost no space in my bag + could also be used as a napkin, handkerchief, paper towel (after washing hands), or scarf to tie back unruly hair...and I can always tie it around my neck too. :)
About once per week, I wash these used bentos + scarves along with my grocery bulk bags (turned inside out), kitchen towels + washcloths.
Overconsumption is a 'cancer eating away at our spiritual vitals.'
It cuts the heart out of our compassion.
It distances us from the great masses of broken bleeding humanity.
It converts us into materialists.
We become less able to ask the moral questions.
~Richard Foster in Freedom of Simplicity quoting T.W. Rieman
It occurred to me recently that I need to take action against what comes into our mailbox...again. Junk mail reduction is something that needs constant tending. It's easy enough to stop by the recycling bin on my way inside from the mailbox, but all that paper waste is maddening. And unfortunately, one big push to stop junk mail is just not effective enough.
The following are great places to start:
-Catalog Choice- stop the catalogs (we can now see/shop everything online)
-DMA Choice (Direct Marketing Association)- stop catalogs, magazine offers, other mail offers (USA) :: Canada's version here
-OptOutPrescreen- stop credit card offers by mail
Here are a few direct marketers' lists to request removal from (it helps to know the way the name appears on the label + it may have to be done again if they change it):
-Valpak (the coupons can still be accessed on the website)
-Abacusoptout@epsilon.com send an email with "remove" in the subject line...and your name with middle initial + address (don't forget to send another with any other adult names in your household)
While we're at it, we can sign up for the National Do Not Call registry (USA) to curb telemarketing phone calls. (This should only have to be done once per number.)
One last action puts the junk mail back in the hands of the ones who sent it: Write, "Refused. Return to sender" + "Please remove me from your mailing list" on the unopened envelope + put it back in the mail, if any of the following phrases are found on a piece of junk mail: (via)
-return service requested
-forwarding service requested
-address service requested
-change service requested
-or if addressed to:
(These are all probably quite USA related. Apologies.)
Sometimes I end up receiving a catalog or mailer again for whatever reason, even after putting it on these lists. I need to just take the time to call the catalog + request removal from their mailing list. It is worth it. :)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time