Waste: noun

  1. an act or instance of using or expending something carelessly, extravagantly, or to no purpose.
    Synonyms: misuse, misapplication, misemployment, abuse;
  2. material that is not wanted; the unusable remains or byproducts of something.
    Synonyms: garbage, rubbish, trash, refuse, litter, debris, flotsam and jetsam, dross, junk, detritus, scrap;

Defining what in my life is waste based on the above definition requires in me an awareness of purpose – what do I myself derive purpose from? Monitoring every morsel of garbage that I produce can be demeaning. I feel like the black plague each time I toss something in the trash. Demoralizing our efforts is counterproductive to our individual revolutions. The first step towards solving any problem is recognizing that there is, indeed, a problem. Then comes the slow process of making changes.

The problem.

I throw things away to the garbage abyss as if it were the air I breathe, a thoughtless act that accumulates into mountains on the outer edges of every city, town and village, unbeknownst to those who can avoid it. A culture of consumerism subsists on disposables. The life of our things does not end in the garbage.

Call to action.

Consciously consume products, make purchases that will sustain a life in which minimal trash is produced.

The tools.

  • Reusable Nalgene water bottle
  • Kishu activated charcoal water filter
  • Cotton muslin produce bags from Reuseit
  • The Diva Cup because womanhood
  • Tote bags I’ve collected over the years for groceries
  • DIY deodorant (recipe courtesy of Trash is for Tossers blogger, Lauren Singer)
    • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
    • 1 tbsp baking soda
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil
    • 1 tbsp shea butter
    • 5-10 drops essential oil of choice (lemongrass and lavender are both nice)

The little victories

Last night I asked my waitress for no straw with my water, which prevented me from having to deal with throwing something away that I did not even want in the first place! As I picked up food from a nearby restaurant for some clients, I had them exclude the plasticware as we have silverware in the office. I shook my hands dry instead of using a paper towel. We aren’t perfect. Being mindful of our waste is a practice that we continually improve upon with diligence and effort.

Here I stand at the bottom of the learning curve, looking up