Tag Archives: reduce

Accomplishments of Sorts

I would like to take a moment to congratulate myself for doing some things that most definitely should have already been done. Is such a self-congratulatory post utterly narcissistic? Yes it is. However, this is a blog in which I am the sole contributor and editor, so despite my best interest I suppose self-absorbed banter has always been the norm. Without further ado, let me share some accomplishments of sorts.

  1. It took us two whole weeks to fill one whole kitchen trash bag. I wanted to cut our trash consumption from the usual almost bag a week to one a month. Looks like we managed to get closer to that previously unspoken goal in spite of ourselves.
  2. Instead of wasting a paper towel or napkin/two every day at lunch, I have packed along my own cloth napkin. Moreover, my lunch napkins were actually repurposed from an old high school skirt by yours truly. This means that my lunches are now officially 100% zero waste.
  3. I made a dinner using most of our collard plant that even Ben found delicious, though I should note that it also included an unholy amount of meat. But let’s focus on the positive – Ben ate and enjoyed collards!
  4. In the past week I have done yoga five times, four of which were credited to the monthly unlimited pass the generous owners of “my” yoga studio graciously sold for a mere $25.
  5. Our yard looks like people actually inhabit the house. We paid people to make it look this way, but it was an investment in a local business (win, win).
  6. I took a moment to finally remove the labeling from the jars I keep stowing away. Out of the landfill, helping with food storage and looking decent to boot.

There is so much that is not getting done, but I want to take a moment to bask in these victories, small as they are

Thank you.

getting a little less trashy

Like most of life’s experiences, this month’s challenge conjures up a Seinfeld reference. Remember “The Junk Mail” (Season 9, Episode 5) where Kramer tries to cancel his mail, stages a protest and is called in for a meeting with the postmaster general? That is almost exactly what I tried to do this week. Well, minus dumping a collection of PB catalogues at one of their storefronts, hauling around a postman dummy with a bucket on its head and being trailed by the United States Postal Service.

It will take four to six weeks to fully determine the success and reap the rewards of this month’s challenge, but I am already excited! Not only am I happy about the prospect of having less junk to sift through, I am also eager to share how easy it was. Getting rid of junk mail is a pretty quick, completely free project. Granted, I have a lot of time on my hands, but I have no doubts one could churn out this challenge on a lunch break thanks to all the online forms available.

I used the following online forms:

– National Do Not Mail List on the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) website:

URL: http://www.directmail.com/directory/mail_preference/

Phone: 1-888-690-2252

– To have your name removed from preapproved credit card, bank and insurance offers:

URL: https://www.optoutprescreen.com/?rf=t

Phone: 1-888-567-8688

– ADVO mailing list (items addressed to Occupant or Current Resident):

URL: http://www.valassis.com/1024/Contact/contact_home.aspx

(select “consumer” from the drop-down menu, then select “I would like to be removed from your mailing list” and fill out the short form)

Phone: 1-888-241-6760

– Valpack Coupons:

URL: http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm

Phone (Houston): 713-849-4477

I also called REI, Houston Symphony, University of Houston and Pottery Barn directly. If you are calling a company about being removed from their catalogue mailings, I recommend having your most recent annoyance on hand as the number on the back will cut down time by a few seconds. I also want to add that REI and Houston Symphony had particularly wonderful customer service!

In addition to the blog that got me started, my friend sent a link to Pearland’s guide, which was a great resource in helping to navigate this very unintuitive path.

Now, if I could just stop all of the door-to-door salespeople and phone solicitations.

monthly challenge

I am trying to make an effort to eschew the lie of perfectionism, but I am sometimes overcome by all I’m not yet doing, or think I should be doing, or would like to be doing in order to be living in perfect harmony with nature and the rest of humanity. To challenge myself towards living more simply without being overwhelmed by my absurd utopian vision, I have decided to introduce monthly challenges. Starting this month, I want to take out 28 to 31 days to practice a new habit, trying it on for size and figuring out how sustainable it would be to permanently integrate it into our daily life.

I have a few ideas, but would LOVE to hear your suggestions. More importantly, consider this an official invitation to join me in my monthly escapades.

Since we’re already halfway through this month, I picked something small for November. Hopefully it’s a one-stop-shop type of endeavor. I was inspired by this blogger’s post to eradicate junk mail. Time wasting, tree killing crap that it is.

Let’s start the insanity!