March 2010 - Our Daily Green

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why I Love my Home Green

Nature is spectacular this morning!

Today's post is merely a way to share the beauty of this planet we call home. Last night, when it was snowing, my first reaction was dismay. Not so this morning.

Look at the defiant robin in a tree, daring winter to dampen his announcement of Spring.

Or consider the (I am blanking on what they are called, readers?)
*weed* in a blanket of snow standing proud.

The flag flutters in the breeze reminding us that national pride isn't seasonal, it's a way of life.

And I look to the west and see nothing but beautiful blue skies, waiting for the daily visit from the sun at the end of a long journey.

It's a beautiful day to love our home. What is your favorite season?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Story of Stuff Green

Last summer I posted a link to a video about streamlining our lives. With the new year upon us, my posts have focused on getting rid of "stuff" that clutters our lives and the environment. This week, Annie Leonard, the producer of the video, released her book The Story of Stuff, that expands upon all the information in her video.

It will make you want to drop before you shop again. Really.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Confessional Green

To maintain the level of efficiency on my 80/20 plan, I thought I would harken back to the religion of my youth and confess... asking for your absolution.

Here is this week's box of purge: A beautiful basket fashioned from a gourd that I bought at a craft show in 1998. For over 10 years now, that basket has served as a catch all for clutter in my bathroom, some of the things I discovered in that basket included magazine subscription cards (apparently they fell out when I used to store magazines in there?), free samples of beauty products I'll never use and a handful of candle stubs. (Which as I referenced earlier, I did put to good use).

Other items in my purge box include placemats, wall pictures that fit in really well in my old home, but after 2 years I have no place for them here, a plastic child's step stool that looked like a turtle from when the kids were too short to reach the sink when they brushed their teeth (but it's still adorable and cute!), and other assorted miscellany from the corners of my house. I confess that I am really reluctant to part with the gourd basket. (hurry, before I rescue it to see another day of holding clutter!)...

Instead of rescuing it, I'm enshrining it forever on my blog. Bye bye gourd basket!

I'm almost at the 20% failure goal (which means 80% success!) since I also threw out a few bottles of hairspray that never held my locks in place, as advertised. (But I did empty it and put the containers in the recycling bin, that counts, right?)

Happy greening and simplifying!

Monday, March 1, 2010

How to Get There Green

For many years now, I've confidently considered myself "green", before it was even vogue. Afterall, I have been separating trash for over 20 years, we've fixed things versus trashed them, I used cloth diapers for my babies, I compost my kitchen scraps, avoid chemicals and processed food, etc., etc. I had a laundry list of touchpoints for proof that was I was green. (such laundry even hung on a line). My green confidence was so high, I decided to write this blog, in fact, certain I would have things to share with you.

The more I read, the more I realize how little I know. It can be quite daunting to get there. Overwhelming in fact. Proof of the overwhelmingness(?) that greening hit me full force this past weekend.

2010 began with a pledge to organize and simplify my life. I tend to packrat-ism, filling my space with potentially useful things so that I don't put them in landfills OR needlessly consume if I need something. I started with my bookshelf. I pulled out all the books I don't really need and decided to sell them. They moved from an overflowing bookshelf to a staging pile on my floor. (I've sold five, so far). The pile grows, though, as for every one I sell, I find two more I don't need.

Next step was the craft closet. As my children have gotten older, I no longer require the rainy afternoon craft supplies that once kept us busy many afternoons. I no longer make cute handprint shirts and bags as gifts for family members. But all the stuff remained in overflowing bags and boxes ready for the next project. I wanted to find a worthy recipient for all my still good craft supplies, so the pile languished.

Then, I was at a silent auction over the weekend and saw items made out of old vinyl record albums. I started to think about the boxes of old albums I have and that I ought to do something "green" with them. I don't listen to them, and even though I suggested it in the aforementioned blog post, I'm not going to make bowls from the old records or wallpaper a room with old album covers. So that pile languishes.

At this point, I've completely stalled my plan to simplify with complications. I allowed my wheels to spin at every attempt to dig out from the clutter and "too many things-itis". It wasn't enough to clear out my things and start fresh, but I had to clear such things out with purpose and thoughtfulness.

It's made me overwhelmed to the point of non-action.

Until this past weekend. My practical, engineer, manufacturing spouse reminded me of the 80/20 business principal. In short, 80% effort is way more productive than 0%. I've embraced a 20% failure as "good enough", and want to take my 20% loss right off the top and move forward instead of stalling wondering how I can achieve 100%.
I boxed up all my treasures and headed to a drop off charity point. I won't agonize if they will utilize those items properly, I won't stress that they won't appreciate my cast offs, and while it may seem irresponsible, it's no longer my problem. I can only move forward, not keep looking back.

I am simplifying my thinking and learning to let go.

That is my green tip for today, start small and let go. Do something little and let it grow instead of starting everywhere and making yourself crazy. Mental clutter is no better for the planet than physical.

Good luck!

A great resource: Click here to visit Becoming Minimalist.