Consumerism: No Impact Week — The Beginning

I now realize I buy a lot of food.

I started No Impact Week yesterday, and Sunday was all about two things:

Consumerism and saving my trash.

For the first day, I was to make a list of the things that I would buy this week and delete items that I don’t necessarily need. All I buy is food. 🙂 I guess I’m not like other shoppers who make plans to buy shoes, or new clothes. When I need something, I go buy it, which isn’t that often. I hate shopping. LOL

But, with buying food — especially fast food — comes an enormous amount of trash. So to make time easier and meals more convenient, we’ve compromised with wrappers, plastic forks, and lids that can’t be used for anything but a straw holder.

I realized in one day how much my trash does matter. And, how my decisions affect what trash I make.

Some trash can be recycled, while other trash must be thrown away.

I had to buy two drinks yesterday. One I bought in a plastic bottle; the other came in a Styrofoam cup. Now I don’t know about your area; you may be able to recycle Styrofoam. But, in my area it just goes to the landfill. (If I’m wrong about this PLEASE let me by commenting below.)

I never realized how much thought I put into my purchases deeply impacts the world.

I also realized that one person taking the time to be considerate does matter. One person trying to make a change can deeply impact my home, my community, my country and my planet– be that positively or negatively. Being conscious of my surroundings impacts me emotionally, physically and spiritually. God made us stewards of this earth. We need to take that seriously.

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a]and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

So for my second day of No Impact Week, I am to analyze my trash. Did I use the items in my bag for 10 minutes or 10 years? Here’s my list of items:

  1. Paper towels from church
  2. Part of my church bulletin.
  3. My disposable communion cup
  4. A toilet paper roll
  5. A used, soggy tea bag
  6. That blasted styrofoam cup.
  7. The lid from my plastic bottle because they won’t recycle it where I live.

Some trash you have to have. Sadly, it’s just how life is. But, some trash on my list I didn’t need at all. So this morning, instead of making a new used, soggy tea bag to add to the list, I steeped my loose-leaf tea in a tea pot and used a strainer to pour it leaf-free into my cup. It was super easy, and the leaves can now go into my compost heap.

I’m still amazed about how much one day of this event has affected my outlook on trash in my world.

Here’s some ideas to help decrease the trash in your environment. Enjoy!

  • Instead of throwing that gently-used-but-still-in-good-shape item away, donate it to a local non-profit or thrift store. It not only benefits whoever bought your treasure, but proceeds go to help others in need and keep a non-profit going.
  • Can you sew? Don’t throw those pants away because the hem came out, or that skirt because there now is a hole in the seam. Mend it. Or, find a friend or family member who sews and barter with them. Maybe you know how to do something they need done around their house!
  • Freecycle it! The Freecycle Network is a fun resource in most areas where people post their “wants” and “haves”. Visit them online to see if there is one established in your area, or if you want to help get one started, you can do that, too!

May God bless you richly today as you think of ways to honor and serve Him.

God bless!

~Bohemian Christian Chelle


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