Halloween is here again and I must admit that I’m not much of a Halloweener. The recent commercialization of Halloween makes me a little crazy. There are tons of Halloween products and most of them are landfill bound. Maybe Halloween products should be renamed “Landfill?” Yes, I’m a Halloween Grinch (and my daughter agrees).
That said, my resourceful story for today is about my daughter’s costume. Yesterday my daughter (the Queen of last-minute efforts) decided to put together her costume. To do this, she retreated to her bedroom and emerged as a hippie.
Her costume was nearly complete. She had plenty of tye die and beads, but nothing with a peace sign. She asked if we could go to the party store, but I wasn’t really hip to this idea. So the wheels in her head started turning and she decided to make a peace necklace out of clay.
Perfect! Just what a true hippie would do. I applauded my daughter for being resourceful (and saving me a trip to the store).
The non-consumer Halloween
Last week I hung out with my parents in the home that I grew up in – from 5th grade on anyway. They’ve lived in the same home for 32 years (is that right? - my how time flies).
While I was home I ate at this table:
My parents bought this table when I was born, 43 years ago. Many meals, games, art projects, and conversations have taken place around this table. My parents have no plans to replace the table. Why would they? The table is solid wood with leaves and an indestructible finish. It’s the perfect table.
In our increasingly disposable world, it’s so refreshing to see something built for the long haul.
Take a bite out of landfill waste:
- Buy quality – things that are made to last.
- Take care of your things, so you don’t need to trash or replace them.
My kitchen table is ten years old and I hope to play cards on it with my grandkids someday. I don’t need a new table. My table is accumulating memories and it’s built to last.
How old is your table?
Sidenote: I’m not a Deadhead, but found it interesting that ‘Built to Last’ was the thirteenth and final studio album by the Grateful Dead (released in 1989).
According to Colin Beavan of No Impact Man fame, 80% of what we produce is made to be used once, which means that 80% of the resources on our planet are going to a landfill. 80%.
Even if this statistic is inflated (the percentage may be closer to 67%), compare our culture today to say 100 years ago, and few would disagree that our society has become overly disposable. Our current high-impact lifestyle is not sustainable.
What can you do?
Take a look at your trash.
What are you throwing away? This week is National Zero Waste Week – a campaign aimed at reducing the amount of household trash produced. To participate, take a look at your trash to see what you can do to reduce, reuse, recycle and compost as much as possible.
I’ve worked to reduce my household trash the past few months. What remains? Plastic. My trash is largely a collection of plastic food bags and containers. What can I do to reduce my trash?
- Stop buying food products wrapped in plastic, or at least not plastic that can’t be recycled
- Stop using plastic baggies in my kids’ lunches – switching to Lunch Bots and reusable snack bags
What can you do to reduce your household trash?
Need inspiration and ideas on how to reduce your household trash? Jump over to Mrs. Green excellent blog: My Zero Waste.
Remember the story about the guy (Ari Derfel) who saved his trash for a year? I love the tagline on Ari Derfel’s blog: