Today I begin following the steps of the No Impact Experiment. The Man is on board with me, and the kids have been informed.
"Step 1: Type up a list of all the stuff you “need” to buy this week. Delete the items that you can live without for the week. For the rest of the items, figure out if you can purchase them second-hand, borrow them, or make them yourself."
There really aren't many things we need to buy this week. We are good on clothes, toys, household items. My parents gave us a case of pork and a case of beef for Christmas, and we still have chicken from our bulk buy in the fall. We made a grocery run today, mostly produce, some dry goods and canned goods, and lots of bread. I'm going to make my first loaf of bread in the bread machine this week, but we go through 4 or 5 loaves. Until I know I can make it successfully on my own, we do store bread.
The Man will probably need to gas up the company van at some point, which I think counts as he's the primary driver of the vehicle. I think I can get by on the half tank of gas in our personal van, especially with Tuesday's challenge. I'll have to buy a few song downloads for a spoof I'm participating in...does that count as "stuff"? Other than that...I really can't think of anything we need to buy. We've begun stockpiling with coupons again, but we've been trying to do it rationally, and not just hoarding things because we can get them for free. We will put the couponing on hold this week. I'm not so deeply re-entrenched in that lifestyle that it hurts me (much) to set it aside for a bit.
"Step 2: Put an empty re-usable bag in a private place at home. Throughout the day, fill it up with all of your trash, recyclables, and food waste. If you’re out of the house, carry your trash home with you. Make sure that nobody else’s trash gets in there but your own. This will help you get ready for Monday’s challenge."
I've managed to lose the SD card reader, again. So I have a picture of the trash. I suppose you'll just have to visualize for now. We haven't had dinner yet and we've filled a brown grocery bag plus a box from a case of beer we put in the fridge. I'm not sure how much waste dinner will make. I'll update this evening if it's noteworthy.
We cleaned out the fridge today, and I didn't take a picture of that. A lot of wasted produce went into the compost...there was a lot of waste today that isn't in this picture. We have to find a way to use what we have while it's still good. I'm appalled at what we wasted.
I did buy flour, brown sugar, elbow macaroni, rice, cereal, and some spices in bulk today. All of those went into containers that I've had stashed in the cupboard (a coffee can, an old formula can, old spice jars...). My hoarding paid off a bit today. Still, you can only hoard so much before the house is overwhelmed.
"Step 3: Just for this week, try not to shop for new items. Will you find something better to do with your time and money? Could you use this time to spend with friends instead?"
We don't spend that much money anyway...we don't have a ton to spend. I don't go to the mall, and now that Christmas is over, I'm not going to be doing any online shopping. I don't think that I'm going to have significantly more time or money this week. The grocery bill was less today, but that's because of the awesome meat present. :)
The Man & I watched "The Story of Stuff" today (I'd seen it before) as a reminder of what we're trying to break free of. We also watched a little football & made light of the commercials. "I don't have a GMC. I suck. Let's go shopping." "You bought me an iPod, not an iPad. Must not love me enough. I suck. Let's go shopping." It's amazing how ridiculous commercials seem when you put them in that light.
I'm feeling pretty excited about all the healthy seasonal produce in my fridge & cabinets, and pretty depressed at how much waste we're still making. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's challenge.