Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Conservative Conscience.

We live in a consumerist culture.  And, I'm a consumer.  I hate it but I accept it. I don't have any grand solution to our consumerism, I'm just acutely aware of our waste and excess, which makes me conservative in some very practical ways. I try to reuse and recycle where I can-when I can.  I love the creed that was recently posted by a friend that stated "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." Totally aligns with how I try to live!

Simple example, when I have a bottle of any liquid product getting low, I grab a funnel and tip the bottle over and walk away for a while.  Waste not.

I also save leftover water from glasses or water bottles. I can't stand the idea of wasting water, it's a precious resource and I probably worry about it more than I should but I collect leftover water in a watering can, kept under the kitchen sink and later use it for plants.

Additionally, I use the cabinet above my microwave specifically to store empty containers that can be reused later for some purpose or another.  You just never know what you might need one day....

Like when I started saving used coffee grounds for fertilizer, I used an old coffee container from the storage cabinet! 

Going a step further, I buy new clothes from time to time but I also buy previously owned/resale clothes just as regularly.  For example, the outfits Greg and I wore in last years family Christmas picture? Mostly resale!  The only new items I purchased were Greg's suspenders and my scarf, that's it.  Clothes, shoes, accessories were all resale.  Recycling at it's finest, if you ask me.

Speaking of recycling, I do. We have 2 trash cans in our kitchen, one for food waste and one for recyclable products.  Fortunately, our city trash service provides a separate can for recyclable items, making it easy for us to participate in recycling. 

Another area I recycle and reuse is with toys.  Occasionally, I purchase something brand spanking new for Nathan, like Legos.  Very often though, I find used toys that work great. For example, this Playdoh Mega Fun Factory retails for $29.99.  Can you see the price I paid in the picture?  Score!  Ironically, when I gave this to Nathan, he told me he saw it on TV and wanted it so bad that he told me about it.  I honestly don't remember that but in any case, I was hero for the day!

Could I do more? Of course. But instead of getting caught up by what I don't do-should do-could do, I just do what I can, no matter how small it may seem. My little baby steps aren't going to change the world but at least it eases my conservative conscience a little bit.