“Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus”. Luke 12:18
The Challenge today:
On bin day, look at the size of your rubbish and commit to reducing it by half.We focus a lot on “recycle” but today the challenge is “reduce”
- F. Schumacher said years ago, “Small is beautiful,” and many other wise people have come to know that less stuff invariably leaves room for more soul. In fact, possessions and soul seem to operate in inverse proportion to one another. Only through simplicity can we find deep contentment instead of perpetually striving and living unsatisfied. Simple living is the foundational social justice teaching of Jesus, Francis, Gandhi, and all hermits, mystics, prophets, and seers since time immemorial.
Here are some practical ideas
- Bring reusable bags and containers when shopping, traveling, or packing lunches or leftovers.
- Choose products that are returnable, reusable, or refillable over single-use items.
- Avoid individually wrapped items, snack packs, and single-serve containers. Buy large containers of items or in bulk whenever practical.
- Be aware of double-packaging – some “bulk packages” are just individually wrapped items packaged yet again and sold as a bulk item.
- Purchase items such as dish soap and laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
- Compost food scraps and garden waste. Food and yard waste accounts for about 11 percent of the garbage thrown away. Many types of food scraps, along with leaves and yard trimmings, can be combined in your backyard compost bin.
- Reduce the amount of unwanted mail you receive. Make sure you contact the people sending you stuff and get off their distribution list.
- Shop at second-hand stores. You can find great used and unused clothes at low cost to you and the environment. Buy quality clothing that won’t wear out and can be handed down,
- Buy items made of recycled content, and use and reuse them as much as you can. For instance, use both sides of every page of a notebook before moving on to the next clean notebook. Use unneeded, printed on printer paper for a scratch pad.
- Also, remember that buying in bulk rather than individual packages will save you lots of money and reduce waste! Packaging makes up 30% of the weight and 50% of trash by volume. Buy juice, snacks, and other lunch items in bulk and use those reusable containers each day.