Mar 30 2011

I don’t need no stinkin’ plastic liners [day 307]

I quit using plastic garbage bags, or any type of plastic lining in my trash cans.  Why?  I just don’t see why we need to place trash in plastic bags, taking much longer for it to decompose in a landfill.  I thought back to my kids earlier diaper days and the Diaper Genie.  I had one and used it for about a week, but I never understood why it was a good idea to turn dirty diapers into plastic sausage links.  It made no sense to me whatsoever.

I have, what most people consider, a very small trash can and recycling bin in my house.  They’re so small they fit under the sink cabinet.  They’re both plastic bins, making them easy to wash and they don’t leak.  Also, the small size makes them easy for my kids to empty into the outdoor containers.

I ran out of plastic liners a few months ago.  I decided to try going linerless.  It felt a little weird at first, but soon I started to wonder why I ever used plastic liners in the first place.  They really don’t do anything other than make the trash less biodegradable.  If I have some wet trash, typically food, I can place that in another piece of trash like a plastic wrapper from another piece of food.  This new system has been good.  No issues to report.  Buying things to purposely throw away is making less and less sense to me.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned in this process and a few tips I’ve picked up in researching this topic.

Biodegradable garbage bags. These bags cost a bit more, but if you absolutely need a trash liner, this is a good way to go.

Repurpose shopping bags. Instead of buying bags, reuse the ones you get from shopping.  They’re usually not big, but just consider it a motivation to cut down on the amount of trash you produce.  Use these for the ‘wet trash’ only when needed.

Learn what can and can’t be recycled. You would be surprised at the list of what can and can’t go into the recycling bin.  Pizza boxes?  No, because they have grease on them.  Styrofoam?  Yes, they started recycling this a couple of years ago.  I’ve found that most waste can be recycled.  We fill up our recycle bin way before the trash bin.

Separate your trash into bins. Some people have a compost-type bin for food trash, separate from the regular trash.  I have a separate bin for plastic caps so I can take them to Aveda for recycling.  I don’t do composting yet, but the change in our grocery shopping habits yield way less waste and trash.

Consider composting. I’m still considering it.  :)

Repurpose you trash.  If you need a liner for something, use a bread wrapper or potato chip bag.  You’re not adding anything to the trash and you’re not spending money buying fancy plastic liners to make your trash more attractive for the garbage truck.

Use plastic washable containers. Get rid of the metal trash cans, use small plastic ones, then you won’t need liners.

If you’re not sure about this, try it for a week.  You can always go back to using liners.  If nothing else, you’re saving money on trash.

 


Mar 22 2011

stud finder [minimalist challenge item #33]

[item] Zircon stud finder

[purchase info] Purchased new at full price

[time in my possession] Approximately 10 years

[last used] 5 or 6 years ago, before I bought my level with a built in stud finder

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Freecycle

[info] I had two stud finders until giving this one away.  I don’t need two of these.  Heck, I probably don’t even need one.  Clearly these things don’t work.


Mar 8 2011

apple slicer [minimalist challenge item #19]

[item] Apple /pear slicer

[purchase info] Given to me by a friend that had 2 of them

[time in my possession] Approximately 5 years

[last used] 6 months ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I rarely use this and I can do the same job with a knife.  Not needed in my new world of minimalism.


Feb 25 2011

ice cream scoop [minimalist challenge item #8]

[item] Ice cream scoop

[purchase info] Acquired from previous marriage

[time in my possession] Approximately 12 years

[last used] 4 years ago

[difficulty level in getting rid of it] Easy

[destination] Thrift store

[info] I have two of these, time to get rid of one.  If I used 2 scoops at one time, wouldn’t that make me some sort of ice cream addict?


Feb 23 2011

I found a psycho guy in my garage [day 273]

Before

After

This cleaning and purging job took about 4 full days.  Not bad since it’s been in there for 4 years.  Heck, I could even park my car in the garage if I wanted to.  I gave away several car loads of stuff to the thrift store and had my driveway filled, and I mean the whole thing, for freecyclers to pick up.  I still have a long way to go on the “garage minimalist” approach, but I sure have made significant progress.

Here’s the deal.  Most people, including myself, can get help or clean an area like this by themselves, but how do we maintain it?  I’ve cleaned out my garage several times and it always ends up looking like the before pictures within weeks.  The difference this time?  I got rid of a lot of stuff and I have a new minimalist outlook on this whole thing.  I might like stuff, but knowing the stress associated with it, the high cost and the gridlock factor, I can let go.  Even if it’s just a few things at a time, the process is in motion and will stay that way.

Here’s one little guy I’m keeping, as I found him in my garage this week.  He’s been hidden away for 4 years.  He’s broken and he’s part of my weird stuff collection.  He’s a vintage Kreiss Psycho Pottery piece from the 60’s.  He depicts how I feel when I’m in gridlock with too much crap in my house.  I need to prominently display him where I see him everyday, reminding my that life is not about collecting a bunch of stuff, but about the people in our lives.

Would anyone out there like to name this little guy?


Jan 23 2011

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


Nov 23 2010

ready. set. action! [day 180]

I have to go shopping today.  It’s for work, so I can’t ditch my job to not shop.  I have to get paint, glitter and fabric for a stage set.  I’m not looking forward to going shopping, even though Home Depot has always been one of my favorites.

I’ve always liked doing stage sets with old objects or stuff from thrifts stores.  When we first moved into our church building, we asked people to bring candles, any size, any type, but they had to be white or cream colored.  I placed metal roof flashing around the edges of the stage, built candle risers out of scrap metal wall studs (I have a nice scar from that dumpster diving excursion) and placed over 500 candles around the stage.

No, it didn’t set off the fire alarms.  I tested that before the services.  It was beautiful after the candles were lit and the lights were all turned off.

The most fun set ever was for a series called Exposé.  We used 23 vintage tube television sets, creating a large sculpture, with a few also on the edges of the stage.  We ran 2 signals to the tv’s, the graphics coordinating with the screen graphics.

This was an effort of many people, Rod with a tv idea, Jerod and Bob for the wiring, Peter hanging the sign and Tony and I building most of it.  This was 3.5 years ago, so if I missed anyone, please let me know.  You can see all of the pics on flickr.

This set cost very little.  The only new stuff purchased was the wiring for the tv’s, the Ikea lights and the metal grunge mesh panels around the tv sets.  The tv sets were $10 each at the local thrift store, with the agreement that we donate them back when we’re done.  A set to support people in need, gotta love that!  Our budget was only $500, and although I don’t remember the final numbers, I do know we came in substantially under budget.  We reused the metal mesh panels for a couple other series, but in different ways.  We also used the Ikea light boxes for a few different events and series.

I guess I’m blogging this to show how old junk can make cool new stuff.  I guess I’ll go get ready and shop now…