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Waste Not Want Not

Super old saying right? So why does everyone think that the “green movement” is this awesome new idea? It baffles me when I go shopping and I see all kinds of “green” items that are disposable. You name it, they’ve greened it – paper towels, garbage bags, all purpose cleaners (hydrogen peroxide is new!), detergents – pretty much everything. While I think it’s great that companies are responding to the demand and trying to clean up their act a little bit, I still don’t see why certain environmental wastes are necessary. I’m glad that our paper goods are coming from sustainable sources, and for every tree they cut down a new one is planted blah blah blah.. but how many toxins are being pumped out by plants and factories to process all of this? I don’t think we’re fixing a problem or moving toward a better tomorrow environmentally, I think we’re just putting a band aid on the problem and affixing our blinders firmly to our faces so we don’t have to give anything up.

Now that I’ve gotten my little rant out of the way, I will happily announce that I do not know much about the environmental movement, and this blog is not for asserting any stance on anything environmental or political. This blog is simply what it states itself to be – the way that I have found to subsist in suburbia.  My finding the joy in all of this was of course out of necessity  – I think a vast number of us have found ourselves falling on hard times lately, and I think it’s time to remember to “waste not want not.” I think we as a society have really skewed the idea of “need” around convenience items that we all grew up having in our homes, and just don’t think about life without them. While these things are great, they are primarily disposable things that are a waste of our money and resources – we simply don’t need them.  The big ones that really baffle me are the things that we literally purchase just to throw away. Let’s make a list!!

Garbage bags – DOH! Just go put your money in a dumpster now. Keep a smaller garbage can that will accommodate having a plastic shopping bag in it. You’re saving money, doing nature a favor, and you have to take your garbage out more – you will never have to deodorize that again because you’re taking it out too often for it to get stinky! And you just saved money on not buying chemical spray or extra baking soda too!

Paper Towels – I think a lot of people are baffled when they hear that it has been a year since I purchased paper towels, and I think some are even grossed out, but no one in my home is ever sick, and we run a very tidy ship over here. I use wash cloths – I have a huge stash of them, and I just go ahead and keep one out on my spray bottle everyday for messes – it gets rinsed and used with cleaning stuff all throughout the day, and I use a separate one just for things like raw meat and poultry ooze – those I only use once. I do laundry everyday, so I just toss them in with everything else and they come out white as snow and clean as a whistle.

Napkins – Again, why?! Upscale restaurants have fancy cloth napkins (that suck and are totally non-absorbent when you spill your drink) so why on earth do we insist on buying disposables in our homes where we most certainly have better food? At every meal I pull out one clean wash cloth, dampen it, and set it in the middle of the table for when my kids have finished eating. We wipe them down nice and clean – no little paper sticking to jam spots mind you, and they’re on their merry way with much less fuss and practically no waste when compared to napkins. My husband and I do the sensible thing, and go over to the sink and wash our damn hands like you’re supposed to anyway! Napkins don’t get anything clean! They just dab stuff off the surface and smear it into your pores!

So, on this mission, we’ve saved money, helped out mother nature, and the only extra work we have to do is put 5 (our max is 8 in a day) little old wash cloths in with everything else you probably have to wash anyway. I will have more oh so fun save you money and quit buying crap posts for you in the future, but these three just were too self explanatory in my mind to get their own displays. Happy Saving!

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