The quote above is one that often runs through my mind and I find myself asking, what change do I want to be make in this world?
It’s easy for me to fall back into my old behaviors and continue doing the things I’ve always done but I want to be the change in any way I can so I’m starting with making some changes around our home. Changes that will not only impact us but also our environment and are piggy bank.
One of the biggest goals for David and I is to simplify our life and downsize. We have this dream of one day living small and sustaining as much as we can on as little as we can. I think it’s safe to say that we live in a society, or a world better yet, where we spend a lot of money on things that we don’t necessarily need.
Our dream of downsizing, as important to us as it is, sometimes seems very far off because well, we are human and often fall back into our old ways.We continue to buy only to feel the negative affects of our purchases later. I mean, how much stuff do you really need after all?
We live in a big 1970′s, multilevel home and it’s so easy to be tempted to fill all the spaces but we both realize that it is completely unnecessary. Sure, spending helps the economy but so much of what we buy is forgotten shortly after and becomes a fixture someplace in our home.
I’ve started cleaning out every room and closet and I’m beginning the huge job of purging our home of unnecessary objects, most of which are either being sold, recycled or donated to The Goodwill.
With summer right around the corner and the opportunity to grow as much of our own food as possible, I’m realizing that now is the time to begin eliminating certain things from our life. I read an article about this family, The Johnson’s, who have a no waste policy; they have only thrown out, in one year, enough waste that could fit into a 1-liter mason jar. I’m using their blog, Zero Waste Home, to gain inspiration and ideas and apply them to our life. You should check it out too!
This could easily become a very overwhelming task and as they say, old habits die hard, so I’m taking small, baby steps to begin this big journey.
As mentioned above, I’m beginning with going through the house and getting rid of everything that doesn’t have some kind of use anymore by selling, donating, recycling, or putting into storage because it belongs to the business. We have a lot of stuff. Who the heck has three big screen TVs, two desk top monitors, a spare queen size bed, three lamps, etc, just sitting in a corner of their basement? US!
As for waste, this is what we are doing. We recently signed up for Mint.com to gain a better idea of where the heck all our money was going to and since David and I are both very visual, being able to track it really helps. We realized that we were spending a ton of our monthly income on food. Now, I’m not exactly willing to compromise on the quality of food I buy. I try to only purchase organic foods, but to be honest, the amount we were spending was pretty ridiculous.
My plan is to start buying more things in bulk and more fruits and vegetables that are in season. As our garden starts to get bigger, I’m hoping to really be able to sustain as much off that as we can. Instead of using those plastic baggies for produce, I recently got these little gems, reusable veggie bags from Simple Ecology.
Yes, I had to buy them but I’m setting ourselves up with the things I need to help reduce waste and spending in the future.
As for garbage, my goal is to only throw out one kitchen garbage bag per week and this is including ALL the garbage in our home, totally seven. The rest goes into recycling or our gigantic compost seen below:
It’s been about a week since I started really paying attention to what I throw out, what I compost and what I recycle. I’ve gotten rid of so much already and I already feel the weight being lifted off my chest. It was truly amazing how much we were wasting. It’s been over a week since I’ve had to throw out the garbage!
I’ll keep you all posted on the little changes I make but what are some things you do to be the change you wish to see in the world?