Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Why We Do, What We Do

Stuff. Yes, STUFF. Stuff has literally been on my mind. Try to follow my train of thought if you will. I wanted to share all the trash picked and used items we have received in the last week.
  • 8 - 4"x8" Plexiglass windows
  • 2 - mostly wood nightstands I hope to re-purpose to suite my needs
  • 1 - broken dresser
  • 1 - van full of baby clothing and toys from a cousin visiting out of state
While I love free stuff and depend on it actually. There is a point of no return. Do I really need to trash pick a broken dresser? Is it worth the time to fix it? Will I use it? Do I "NEED" it? I might for all the children's clothing I have. But as I sorted through the clothing, I realized that I have more than my new baby could ever possibly use or need or WEAR! Why do I keep this STUFF?

Re-purposing and recycling stuff is part of what is "green", "sustainable", "eco-friendly", and shall I say it? "Trendy". I hate being "trendy". But I do believe in the concepts mentioned. I believe that we are called to be good stewards of the Earth and everything in it. It is our responsibility and duty to others and ourselves. In addition, it is a necessity for our family pocket book. For example, if we want a fence around our yard we do the work to salvage two old and discarded decks.

At some point though I have become a bit obsessive. I force myself to not take home kitchen scraps from my parent's house because they don't compost & cringe over every container, no matter what kind, I throw out thinking about what I could possibly use it for rather than pitching it. Never mind that I have zero place to store them in the meantime. Our house is small. Under 1000 square feet and lacks good storage.

But becoming a pack rat is not practical or responsible. I don't want to keep "STUFF" just to have it. The dresser will probably end up back in the trash after the drawer tracks have been removed to be reused (just remember it was someone else's trash first) & much of the baby clothing and toys donated to a non-profit after my other cousins have a look at them. I will continue to weed through my stuff and keep what I need and find new homes/purposes for the rest but the truth is that our family has much work to do to continue to be "sustainable", "green", and "eco-friendly".

To help keep me focused I have visited some helpful websites and close this post by sharing them with you.

The Story of Stuff - The title is self explanatory.

A Throw Away Culture - A UK site but my Graphic Designer self really enjoyed the icons and layout of this site.

Ecological Footprint Quiz - My footprint is misleading but I couldn't find the original carbon foot print quiz I took years ago and liked much better. According to this quiz if all people lived as I do we would need 3.54 Earths. However, I would dispute those results (to be discussed on a later post - maybe).

Please feel free to share how you deal with "STUFF". What motives you to live with less? What ideas do you have for re-purposing old stuff.

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