Halfway there and frustrated [day 16]

We’re about to hit the road again.  A challenge to use nothing disposable while travelling is really difficult.  There just aren’t any options for eating on the road.  Eating in the car would require prepackaged food, or having prepared things in advance.  Since this was an unplanned trip, for the most part, it was not on my radar to make travel snacks.

5ba0c05a8d0411e2914322000a1f984e_7My family and I visited my favorite restaurant in Wisconsin, LeDuc’s Custard Shop.  I brought in my supplies, so as not to use anything disposable.  They would not allow me to use any of it.  “Health department regulations.  Sorry, we just can’t do it.”  How does a national chain like Starbucks get away with it then?  They have accommodated every request in every state so far.

I think restaurants could to more to generate less waste.  I think as consumers, we could help the process by asking for alternatives.  If we all, on some small level, chose to not take all of the paper and plastic items when there’s a choice, that would make them rethink what is unnecessary.    Continue reading

halfway there! [minimalist challenge item #183]

[item] 8MB SD card and neoprene case

[purchase info] Purchased new

[time in my possession] Approximately 6 years

[last used] 5 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[replacement item] None

[info] I don’t know what you could possibly fit on an 8MB card these days.  Maybe someone has a use for it.  This is the halfway point in the one year of minimizing.  This item might seem small and insignificant, but how many of these “small” items are cluttering up our lives?  For me, way too many.  Just for the record, I do have some big items coming up.

half way! [day 183]

Today maks the half way point for the no retail shopping challenge!  It’s hard to believe it’s been one half of a year already, but it also feels like I have a long way to go.  Today is Thanksgiving, and no, I did not plan for this day to fall on a holiday.  If I had, I would have made it fall on black friday, as that makes more sense.  I was going to do a daily recap, however the search features on the trashsociety.com blog are a much easier way to find past posts.

I get a lot of questions about this challenge, once people process it and quit giving me the crazy look.  Here’s some questions I’ve heard.

What will you do when the challenge is done? Once I’m done with the challenge, I will organize the site into an resource blog, categorized by topics.  I’m sure I will also find another related challenge to do.  I also plan to make this into a book.

Will you go shopping the day it’s done? No, that would feel weird.  This is really changing my shopping habits, and although I will shop again, I will do it very differently.

Have you bought anything? Yes, I had to buy one thing.  Tires for my car.  They were bad and it was a safety issue.  If I wrecked my car or hurt my kids because of a challenge, that would be horrible and I could not live with myself.  No, I didn’t start the one year over, and I did learn a lesson about planning for tire purchases.  Even though I had to buy tires, the challenge purpose was accomplished, I had to learn and think differently.

So, you’re really going to finish this? Yes.  Why not?  Half way there…

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned? I’ve learned much, but the biggest is that I made a lot of impulse purchases.  I can live with much less stuff.  I don’t need that colorful stuff to sit on a shelf or another gadget.  Some of them might be nice, but most will probably end up at the thrift store.

Are you saving money? The quick answer to this is yes, but that was not my motivation at all when I started, although it’s a nice benefit.

What are the benefits of doing it? There are many, but the best one is not one I expected.  Less stuff = less mess.  It’s so much easier to keep my house picked up.  Not only are we not shopping, but we give things we don’t need or use to the thrift stores or to people we know that will use these things.  Our closets are not full, there’s extra space in all of our drawers and my garage, well, it’s made progress, but we still have a little way to go out there.  Need some motivation to clean out an area of your house?  Watch an episode of Hoarders.

Later today, I will be adding a new artistic twist to the challenge.  Stay tuned…

no what??!! yes, that’s what I said, know what! [day 178]

Thanksgiving day will be day 183 of no retail shopping, marking the one-half  year point in my challenge.  Along with a recap of what I’ve learned so far, I’ll have a 1/2 year celebration surprise challenge, adding it on to the no retail shopping.  Clues?

    • it’s an art thing
    • it will utilize trash
    • it will help repurpose stuff
    • it’s fun