Thursday, April 17, 2008

Too Much Stuff

So being the woman of leisure that I am (for the time being), I watch Oprah almost every day. I can't help it, I really love it. Today was an interesting show: Oprah challenged families to use less stuff, cutting back on the amount of non-necessities they buy, the TV they watch, the time spent in front of the computer. What really blew my mind was the amount of trash generated by this one family of five. With the refrigerator and pantry stocked, the mother would throw out nearly a quarter to half of her inventory before going out and spending hundreds more dollars on groceries. She threw away things that had gone bad, pop that was flat, leftovers never eaten, and the amount of food wasted was tremendous. And I do the exact same thing, maybe not to the same degree that she did, but only because my family is much smaller. But I'm always throwing out things that are bad because I've bought them and not eaten them or things that aren't bad but that I know I'm never going to eat.

The show served its purpose, forcing me to think about how much I waste. Another issue was water bottles. I use the same bottles over and over usually, and John and I have begun to recycle, but something as simple as investing in a water purifying pitcher and refilling aluminum containers would cut back so much on waste. I was excited to convince John to start recycling with me, and I have already noticed a decrease in the amount of trash we produce, but this show definitely made me want to examine all other aspects of our lives and ways in which we can live greener. If anyone has any tips or can recommend any good books on the topic, I'd love to hear them. The one big problem we have is opting for convenience in favor of conservatism. But really, it can't be that hard.

One thing I have been thinking a lot about, and this may be a tough sell to John, is switching to cloth diapers once Isaac is three months or so old. At the beginning of this pregnancy, I thought the idea was outlandish, but just thinking of the amount of waste disposable diapers create makes me want to give cloth ones a shot. And Shelly seems to have had some good luck with them and says they aren't much less convenient than disposables. They are a little expensive up front, but I think the money and waste saved will be worth it. Again, the toughest part will be convincing John to participate in the switch.

1 comment:

Ginger said...

It is funny you talk about the cloth diapers. My mom swears by them...about the only time she used the disposal kind was when we where traveling. Of course, she said we generally were allergic to the disposal diaper. Of course, she felt the cloth was a lot healthier for the baby's skin.
That might be the argument you use with John...that it would simply be better for Isaac.


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