I’ve been inspired by packaging [day 28 & 29]

I’ve been inspired to create an art series, or maybe this will be a new addition to my Excessable series.  The extreme disposable excess in packaging baffles me.  In some cases, I understand where they’re coming from, however that equates to about 10% of my understanding.

mens-shirt-blank-canvasMen’s shirts.  I wrote a blog post about the ridiculous amount of packaging in men’s shirts.  It takes a good 10 minutes to take a shirt out of the package.  I’m thinking Whodini wouldn’t even be able to do it much quicker.

My idea is to use the shirt as my canvas.  I’ll attach all of the packaging to it to make info graphics to educate people about the waste.  Why buy a shirt that’s packaged like Fort Knox, using 13 different types plastic, paper and metal when you can just buy one off a hanger?  Then you can give the hanger back to the store for reuse?  Continue reading

I hate cleaning the garage, but I love an art project

The garage (cleaning) art project.

My garage is always a diaster area.  I couldn’t fit a car in there if I tried.  Heck, I’m not even sure a bike would fit.  Now let me be clear.  Even if I could fit a car in my garage, I wouldn’t put one in there.  I like to use my garage space as an art studio, a place where I can do crazy projects like projectwarm.us or any other crazy idea that pops into my head.

Being an artist, I see everything as a blank canvas and every little trinket having some artistic value.  My garage clearly reflects my views.  Continue reading

A guide to homelessness: No such thing

Another journal entry from day one of studying homelessness.  That is what I was doing, I guess.  There’s no good politically correct name for it.  If I call it a project, that seems to distance me from anything I feel or learn.  An experiment would make it sound like I’m joining a pack of lab rats.  Posing as a homeless person for 2 weeks will never give me an understanding of what it’s like, as I’m not and I have an exit date.  I’m glad I did though.

What am I doing here?

Again, this is not feeling right.  I can’t quite pinpoint why.  Maybe I shouldn’t have told anyone what I was would be doing.  I have now placed these expectations on myself through this process.  Can I really make people rethink homelessness?  Why not focus on the things I know or things I can do differently, like change my shopping habits or downsizing my material possessions?  What if God didn’t really call me to do this?  I could have made it up.  I make up stuff all the time.  This whole thing feels uncomfortable.  Not from the standpoint of being homeless, but from the fact I’m faking it.  I didn’t expect this feeling.  I guess homeless people should be offended at what I’m doing.  I don’t know, maybe I’m just too close to it right now to be objective.  Is this much different from the guys that did this in the book Under The OverpassContinue reading

the excess depletion project [minimalist challenge item #313]

[item] Small table lamp

[purchase info] Given to me by some good friends

[time in my possession] Approximately a year?

[last used] A month ago in my kitchen

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[replacement item] None, I moved a lamp from another spot in my house.

[info] I got this from my friends Jason and Carrie.  That’s important because they are now doing their own version of a minimalist project.  You can read about the Excess Depletion Project on their blog at blessedorexcess.blogspot.com.

the 7 shopping holidays

Black Friday:  So I didn’t go out for Black Friday like I did last year… to make fun of people shopping.  Here’s the video from last year.

Small Business Saturday:  Why is this after the big retailers get all the money (applied credit card debt) the day before?  Seems like people supporting this cause may want to skip Black Friday.  I like supporting small businesses whenever I can, and I also like supporting service based businesses.  Less buying stuff, but it still keeps people employed without creating more waste for this planet.

Cyber Monday:  Is there really any money left for this?  Lots of credit I guess.  It seems as though you would want to start with this, as you don’t have to fight crowds and drive around.  If I was going to shop, this would be the way.

So there’s still four more days in the week that are not associated with shopping.  I would like to take this opportunity to use and name all of them now.

No Shopping Sunday:  Just don’t shop.  Do you really need the stuff you’re buying?  Take a break.  Spend some time with friends and family.  Take a long bubble bath.  Do a staring contest with your dog.  Clean your car.  Fix that loose door knob you’ve been ignoring for a year.  Stay out of stores.  Your bank account will thank you.  This particular shopping holiday can be applied any day of the week.

Service Only Tuesday:  Instead of buying stuff, use services.  Get your nails done.  Get your car washed.  Get a massage.  Support people that use their skills for a living instead of filling the planet with more stuff.

Resale Wednesday:  Buy used stuff.  Shop at a thrift store or resale shop.  Buy on eBay or craigslist.  If you buy it with door dings, you don’t have to worry so much about it looking perfectly new.  A lot less stress.

Benefit Others Thursday:  Buy something that benefits other people with your purchase.  Buy a pair of TOMS or a pack of gum from Project 7.  If you just need to spend money, go give a Kiva loan or support a cause through micro lending.

Okay, so I’m being a bit snarky, but at what point do we say enough is enough?  You can try and keep up with the Joneses, but let’s be real.  You really think they paid cash for all that stuff?  I wouldn’t want to be sitting on their nest egg.  Did you notice all of this is based on Christmas, yet I didn’t even have to mention that word.  Did you miss it?

it’s bent and broken [minimalist challenge item #175]

[item] Bent tire rim

[purchase info] Came with my camper

[time in my possession] Approximately 2 months

[last used] 2 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Says salvage, but I put it in the recycling bin

[info] I have no idea if this qualifies as recycling.  I was going to use it for an art project… like all of the other good art intentions in my garage.  No salvage yards near here and the rim is not good for a tire anymore.

 

slate tile [minimalist challenge item #24]

[item] Bin of 4″ slate tiles

[purchase info] I got these for free, as they were leftovers from a tile project

[time in my possession] Approximately 3 years

[last used] Never

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Medium

[destination] Given to a friend

[info] I had to get rid of a lot of tile.  I have projects I want to do, but I just don’t know when or if I will ever get to them.  I gave the tile to someone that will use it.

downsizing my girlie stuff [day 242]

As I stated a few days ago, I’m behind on my 2-per-week goal of creating trashograms.  Although these are fun to make, I’m finding other opportunities that have much more impact in the trash society world.  I have a few trashograms to share, then some news to share.

Makeup

I don’t wear a lot of makeup, as a matter of fact, most would say I don’t wear any.  I do wear a little bit of eye shadow and sometimes lipstick.  (I cringe as I say these things)  I’m not opposed to makeup or people that wear makeup, as it’s a personal choice.  My reasons for not liking it is it takes way to long to put on and I prefer to stay low maintenance.  I also hate the way my face feels with all that paint clogging my pores.  I had horrible skin that used to breakout all the time.  I stopped makeup foundation and about 98% of it cleared up.  Anyway, this is makeup that I’ve had a long time, most of it I was talked into buying.  I downsized my makeup by approximately 75%.

I gave this to a couple of pre-teen girls to use for playtime.  I don’t like to play dress up.  Continue reading

AWESOME dumpster diving video! [day 199]

This video was created for a school project by a student at the Clarion University of Pennsylvania for a Physics of Energy and the Environment class.  It’s a wonderful video on the how-to’s of dumpster diving with some alarming statistics.  Check it out.  It’s well worth 8 minutes of your time.