29.6.07

8 Things I Used to Do

reaching for soap

Thanks, Haddock, for tagging me with an 8's tag. I'm going to bend the rules, as usual, to fit my fancy (I guess this means I actually play by the rules, if my rule is always to break the rules?)

Here are 8 things I used to do. On my journey into stewardship living, I've changed my ways. And I'm still changing. The key is to start where we are and make changes as we learn, grow and discover, isn't it?

1. I used to buy liquid soap in plastic bottles (see lovely green bottle above). Now, my daughter Sara taught me something new. I can make my own liquid soap by cutting up a bar of regular soap and letting it sit in a cup of water overnight. No new plastic bottles to buy. And most of our soaps are used-soaps that we keep from hotel stays.

2. I used to eat meat. Then I read too many things about the "third world" and how "first world" eating habits impact that. The article that "tipped" me into veggie land was about a poor woman in a famine-stricken area. She sold her children after she simply had no other means to care for them, and then committed suicide out of grief. The point of the article was more about market forces, but when I put it together with all my other reading, my heart was touched. I don't expect other people to feel the same way, or make the same decisions I have. But I feel better living this way.

3. I used to buy granola, ketchup, bread and peanut butter. Sometimes I still do, but mostly I make my own. It's amazing what we can make with our own two hands once we discover how.

4. I used to throw my kitchen scraps in the garbage. Now I compost them. In the winter, I use the vegetable scraps to first make vegetable broth.

5. I used to bag up produce in plastic bags, take it to the register and carry it home in more plastic bags. Now, when I remember (which is more and more often), I just put things into my cart loose and bring them home in canvas bags I provide.

6. I used to shop solely at the grocery store. Now I belong to a food co-op, where I buy foods in bulk. This means less packaging in the end. I'm also making an effort to go to my farmer's market every Saturday, where I bring my own containers and bags to carry things home.

7. Number seven hinges on numbers 1 and 3-6: I used to put out three bags of trash a week, to be "taken away" to landfills and incinerators. Now I put out one bag about every two to three weeks. I haven't bought trash bags in months and months.

8. I used to worry that I could never do enough to save the world. It's true, I probably can't. But somehow I don't lose hope. I wrote about it here.


Liquid Soap photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Green Inventions Invitation: if you write a related post and LINK back here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

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9 Comments:

Blogger Haddock said...

I never thought about the soap thing - thats a great idea! :)

3:46 AM  
Blogger Donetta said...

Now folks think of that as living poor. Who is the true rich man here:) One who waist what he has or one who has because he does not waist.

12:03 AM  
Blogger Ted Gossard said...

L.L., I ought to show this to my wife as she is a vegan (no meat or dairy).

Interesting and good thoughts. It would be nice if something more like this would become a way of life for us here in the United States.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Llama Momma said...

I've got a question for you on the plastic bag thing. (I'm also trying to reduce my consumption.) Some produce sits fine in my cart -- a couple of eggplants, red peppers, a bunch of cilantro, ears of corn. But other things are trickier. Ten apples. A dozen apricots. I've stopped bagging up the other stuff, but still find myself using a fair number of these pesky produce bags at the store.

Is there a solution out there that I just don't see?

Your list is inspiring!!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Lloyd Irving Bradbury said...

I understand all this but I find it ever so hard to comply
now i must lose weight to save on gas so that machines get nore miles per gal.

8:36 AM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Llama... of course, I just throw the 8 apples in the cart, much to the dismay of the cashier when I get to the counter. Still, I believe you can purchase (or crochet?) reusable net-type bags.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Maria said...

L.L.-- Just came across this ... what a great list. I keep trying to remember to bring my own bags into the grocery. Usually they're in the back of the car when I get to the checkout, and the thought of dragging two kids across the parking lot and back is daunting. I'm going to start bringing my own plastic bags to the Farmer's market, though. And I'm working on reducing the meat consumption. The soap tip is great--- I just finished off a soft soap refill bottle, so I should do that one tonight!

8:28 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Maria... it sure is a journey, isn't it? Some days I wonder how we got here. But no matter... many of us are trying to go home, to a simpler, lighter, more fulfilling life. So nice to have you for company along the way.

9:24 PM  
Blogger bluemountainmama said...

all great things, l.l.

and reading your posts always inspire me to do more. for me, it's incorporating one thing at a time lest i get overwhelmed. i do the canvas bags at the grocery now. i have slowly gathered a collection that will do for even the biggest grocery runs.

and i plan to start composting when we move to the country at the end of this month. our neighborhood here wasn't good for it b/c of all the feral cats. they eat anything you put out.

i like the idea for liquid soap....i may have to try that one, too.

i really do believe that even individuals making small changes can make an impact, even if it's just on a local community level. i know i feel so much better about purchasing things when it's from a local farmer or craftsman.

9:54 AM  

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