this is not the answer.
their best advice on an index card.
and a good listen.
enjoy the weekend, friend! :)
it's a rare thing to step into the extraordinary lightness of wanting nothing. despite having more physical resources in my 380-square-foot efficiency than any of my ancestors had accumulated since the dawn of humanity, the number of times i could claim to be totally satisfied with the sum total of my possessions was alarmingly few. desire was an insatiable beast. yet by eliminating the possibility of new acquisitions from the outset, i'd moved into a surprising state of satisfaction with the basics; food and shelter shared with someone one who made my heart beat a little faster. ~no baggage by clara bensen
this is not the answer.
their best advice on an index card.
and a good listen.
enjoy the weekend, friend! :)
it would not be an exaggeration to say that my klean kanteen is one of my favorite things. it has been my constant companion for years. i pretty much only use it for water (my drink of choice), and it is usually full. i love the wide mouth, because i can be certain that it is clean since there are no dark invisible corners. i love that it is insulated, because it keeps my water cold even on the hottest days. i love that it doesn't leak, because i can lay it on my velvet couch and not be the least bit nervous.
i started to notice that when i cleaned the inside of the lid, it did not seem clean. when i pulled out the gasket, it was not clean. i tried to scrub it and then to soak it, but it wasn't coming clean. i wondered if it was possible to just buy a new gasket... and it is!
just thought i'd pass on this tip...in case at some point anyone could use a replacement. the website says that it might be a good idea to replace the gasket if the bottle leaks or drinks are getting residual taste from past drinks. i am so happy when i am able to make a tiny repair instead of having to replace an entire item. from now on, i'm going to wash out my bottle daily and leave it to dry overnight...and hopefully i won't have this issue again.
i like to continually check in with my zero-waste efforts to see if there are further steps i can take as time passes. during the last few weeks, i have been focused on my bathroom.
here are the steps i've employed to keep moving in the right direction:
1. reduce needs and give away excess
2. list everything left
3. evaluate zero-waste-ness of each item
4. research and try alternatives as necessary
5. repeat steps 1-4 :)
1. i try to keep the number of items i use small...that means no q-tips, nail polish, or collections of lipstick for me. i regularly go through the drawers and make sure they only contain essentials. we say no to freebies and samples at the dentist office, hotels, or in stores. the only make-up i usually wear day to day is lip balm, so what i have lasts a long time. i love that all of our bathroom items fit into the drawers under the sink...and that there's no trash bin in the bathroom.
2-4. this check-in involved listing each and every thing in our bathroom (well, not each and every one of his things). :) one by one, i considered if that item was as zero-waste as possible. if there was room for improvement, i tried to address it. i'm so happy with the few changes i made this time around and now feel even better about our bathroom.
here's what's currently in our bathroom:
**toothbrush- brush with bamboo + refuse the dentist freebies
*toothpaste- *baking soda (no coconut oil, because it clogs the drain) or tom's (because we've had some tooth issues + i want to be safe)...but toothpaste tubes, you haunt me
*floss- using what we've got, then trying *unraveled twisted threads from silk fabric (compostable)
**soap- bulk soap bars
**shampoo- bulk shikai
-conditioner- currently acure repairing, but *bulk shikai for summer when it's not so dry
*razor- preserve recycled + refillable + recyclable handle (trying to work up the nerve to try a *safety razor, because i am the queen of nicks as it is)
**shower curtain- have nylon one that can be washed. if i ever need to replace will try *hemp
**bath mat- cotton + washable
**towels- one for each of us is enough
-face lotion- acure face lotion (the face oil brand i liked disappeared, so i tried *sweet almond oil, but it seemed to just sit on top of my skin feeling oily)...i don't use any once winter is over, because my own oils are enough in warmer weather :)
**lip balm- homemade in reused container
**face powder- homemade corn starch + green clay in reused container
**blush- tiny natural fusions, tried *bulk cinnamon but doesn't work for me
**bamboo brush- for powder + blush
**lash curler- same one i've had since i was maybe 13
-mascara- rarely use
**comb- longtime companion
-hairspray- use sparingly- tried *lemon juice + water recipe, but did nothing for my fine, thin hair
**hair elastics- reusable for years
**bobby pins- ballet buns have given us a lifetime supply- i reuse the same 2
**hair claw- i've had mine for 20 years!
**scissors- for cutting hair
**hairdryer- i have one but can't remember the last time i used it
**deoderant- *crystal or stronger in the summer
**nail clippers- had forever
**toilet paper- seventh generation recycled + paper wrapped - from our grocery store
**tampons- no applicator + organic- i have tried 2 menstrual cups, but can't use with my issues (please do try them though- amazing zero-waste option! i appreciated this video showing and comparing cups.)
**liners- instead of disposable liners, i'm using period panties (or these are organic cotton)
* =lower waste choices
** =zero-waste (or lower waste) choices that i am happy with
- =room for improvement
- keep trying to go baking soda only for toothpaste- ask dentist's opinion at next appointment
- floss more + buy a piece of silk to try for compostable floss
- try shikai conditioner + go bulk
- recycle razor handle when it breaks (send back to them) + try a safety razor??
- look for recyclable hairspray and face lotion containers when these need replacing
this is one of those meals that is easy, quick and so yummy! jo and julia always say that it's one of their favorites...and ask for it just about any time i ask them for meal ideas. it also just tastes like spring, so i thought now would be a great time to mention it. we plan to forage some spring onions next week for a fresh batch of super seasonal lemon pasta!
simple lemon pasta
pasta (in a recyclable cardboard box)
plate the pasta, add a bit of butter and toss a little to coat. top with grated parmesan, snipped green onions and pepper. squeeze a lemon wedge over (then we always stick the squeezed out lemon in our water) and enjoy!
this month i've been working on a zero-waste bathroom check-in. it's easy to get discouraged when i look around and still see some things i would like to be different... especially when i begin to compare myself to others. i've got dreams...
my zero-waste dream bathroom would include:
-bamboo toothbrush bartered for in exchange for eggs from my backyard hens
-baking soda for toothpaste
-silk thread floss unravelled from silk fabric bought straight off the bolt (compostable)
-outdoor private shower in a consistently warm climate with no unwelcome guests (bugs)
-grey water collection to water my wildflowers
-natural bulk soap bar for body and hair
-laser hair removal once and for all
-linen waffle weave towel woven on the farm where it was grown
-my naturally dewy skin could sometimes benefit from a little bulk oil
-homemade lip balm
-smooth comb carved by someone i know
-a single hair elastic
-beautiful heirloom scissors
-a crystal wrapped in a vintage bandana meeting all my underarm needs
-nail clippers from my childhood
-recycled toilet paper available without a wrapper
-menstrual cup wrapped in a vintage handkerchief
the problem is that it hasn't all worked out like that for me. there is the occasional (or not so occasional) pimple, stinky pit, cavity, and bad hair day. certain zero-waste ideals have not worked for me at all...and some elements have taken quite a bit of trial and error. my zero-waste bathroom is a work in progress...but progress it does. :)
we use these:
shopping at the grocery store
shopping at the flea market
as suitcases on roadtrips
to corral dirty laundry away from home
carrying books back and forth from the library
for a snack sack on a roadtrip
like a backpack on a hike or bike ride
as a picnic basket
for lazy, but cute gift wrap
as a farmer's market tote
as a sleepover bag
as a makeshift bulk bag, mmm bagels...apples...jelly beans...
for a beach bag
as a great gift
any time we need to carry something
i always have a couple in my purse. the other two belong to jo (well-loved purple) and julia (dots). ethically made and machine washable...we love you baggu.
the test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function. ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
i read this quote a couple of weeks ago and it keeps coming to mind in different situations. a lot of our lives are lived in tension between two dichotomous ideas or desires. too much...and...too little. not being judgmental...and...holding accountable. idealism...and...realism. want...and...need. appreciation...and...greed.
i've felt this tension played out in my closet before...and here it is again. maybe not a test of intelligence, but a test nonetheless. i was actually feeling that i had my jeans situation figured out. i've got one of each shape and a variety of shades. i own a pair of full length skinnies and a pair of cropped skinny jeans. a pair of flares and a pair of straights are in the stack. i have boyfriend jeans and black jeans. it could be excessive, or it could be prepared to never have to long for a pair of jeans again. see...tension. :)
i wrote that my march simple wardrobe was a journey...and this is where some of the struggle comes in. i tried on all of my jeans...and while i do like them...i realize that i enjoy wearing the somewhat higher rise that i've been wearing this winter. i haven't had to wear a belt...and i haven't had to check that everything is staying covered back there when squatting or leaning forward while sitting. :) i appreciate that not everything has to be perfect, but if i'm not going to reach for certain items much...then i'd like to let someone else enjoy and use them.
i realized that i could do without those 2 cropped (and a bit lower rise) pairs of jeans in black and faded denim. i can wear my skinny (and a bit higher rise) jeans with a little cuff rolled at the bottom and accomplish the look of cropped jeans. would it be better to have 3 pairs instead of 1? it's possible that they would all last longer and i'd have more variety...but maybe they'd last long enough that they wouldn't be my real preference anymore...and then i'd want new ones anyway. i liked wearing the black jeans for a bit dressier look, but i barely ever needed to do that in the last year...and i can wear a dress instead.
so...i'm letting 3 out of 6 pairs of jeans go (the third pair is lower rise and straight). one more is on trial this month. as i've said before, i am not saying that anyone else should do this. i'm not sure anyone else will even want to read this. :) i write this to expose my process and the struggle that is real...for me. it's honestly not about getting things down to the smallest numbers possible- heck i have 6 pairs of jeans! it's, for me, about being mindful. consumption doesn't just happen at the shops. it happens in my closet and cupboards...what i choose to keep and use...what i choose to hold and save. this in turn affects what i choose to release and give...how i choose to be generous, not just with used clothing, but with my time, my affections, my compassion, my money, my devotion.
do i choose to be mostly about my own comfort, or can i see beyond myself to someone else's need for help. do i choose to see all of 'mine' as what i earned and deserve...or as what i have been blessed enough to receive...and what i can use to share with others. the less i need, the more i have to release. it's not just about clothing...but it might start there. our closets are a place where most of us have something extra to give. maybe they can be a gateway to seeing the connection between our plenty and another's need. maybe they can open for us a window into seeing that jobs and health care and education and healthy food are for everyone...and we have something to offer.
i'm glad i was able to inject a little bit of 'new' into my february wardrobe with two handmade linen tops. i had already donated two items, so these fit in just fine with my 50 total items. i am at the point where i have to remind myself that there good things about cold weather...hot tea, cozy blankets... and i'm out. :) climate change has given us a taste of things to come weather-wise...so i'm march-ing on. wow- punny. anyway...i almost did not wear my jumpsuit in february, but those last two days were warm...so i wore it two days in a row right at the end.
march's simple wardrobe has been a journey. i ended up getting a bunch of my transitional clothing out and going through it... decided to let a few things go. i'm (hopefully) channeling some creativity in this month's wardrobe...wearing a couple of things a bit differently. the weather is forecast to be 10 degrees above normal for at least the first half of the month...so i think i'll be able to go without a sweater...and that will be new. :)
indigo check linen
heavier stripe tee (doesn't layer under a sweater well)
cream stripe tee
flare vintage levis (seeing if these will stick around)
what can i say? it's march 8, so i've already been living in these pieces. i wondered about just getting out a bunch of pieces this month and wearing what the weather called for with a bit more choice. i decided against it, because then all of those pieces will have at least sight monotony. i'm a broken record, but i like little changes and this method works for keeping a 'small' wardrobe fresh.
happy wardrobing however you choose to do it! :)
on a journey toward zero-waste, simplicity, + compassion :: daring to choose fair one choice at a time