In the past years upto present days, I have been trying to get things organized and 'minimalised' in my home and have watched umpteen videos to get some good ideas. Often, I have found that they advocate buying things like baskets or trays or boxes etc and these do look pretty once set up. I confess that I have occasionally bought such items online too.
But over a period of time, one learns not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The bigger picture is what is most important. And the bigger picture is that we have become a 'consumerist' society, so used to the
THROWAWAY mentality that it is second nature to us now.
I remember the first time I watched Bea Johnson expound her Zero Waste ideology and was shocked that her first R wasn't reducing waste or recycling it. It was REFUSING. Don't even think about taking it into your life or your home.
Since then, I have struggled to say NO to many things people wanted to give me for FREE. Especially hand-me-downs for the children.
Every time I bought something online, it would come with FREE packaging, bubble wrap, air balloons, etc. I tried to reuse, recycle but deep down, I was discontented. I wanted the item, not the packaging. Twice I took the NO SHOPPING CHALLENGE and tried to stop buying online. As I said, its a struggle.
Two years in a row, I took the NO PLASTIC CHALLENGE in July. I made some good switches from plastic to steel and glass. It's a work in progress.
I started the ECOBRICK method to contain my packaging but everything cannot be contained in one litre bottles. Still, it's a start.
Reducing the things you own so as to enjoy what you have has been a Heaven I have not reached yet. Every day I get frustrated when things get in the way when I am working in the kitchen. I'm still figuring out whether I really need all these things or whether I can curate my kitchen like I did my wardrobe and create A CAPSULE KITCHEN.
In recent months, my husband has made an attempt to indulge my NO PACKAGING fetish by carrying containers to the market for fish, meat and eggs. He has bought pulses and dals etc from a kirana store which allows us to carry the stuff home in our own drawstring bags and boxes even though it is more expensive than the supermarkets with their discounts and FREEBIES.
We stopped buying biscuits because they come packaged. We stopped online shopping because it comes packaged. We ONLY buy unpackaged fruits and vegetables. All our meats come unpackaged home. I stopped drinking Appy Fizz because the empty plastic bottles began to bother me. 😭
I started composting my kitchen waste and, to accommodate the compost, I started gardening in earnest again. I feel so happy to see the wet waste bin EMPTY. Now its used for other purposes.
Our dry waste bin is also filling up less quickly and we send it out once a fortnight, mostly filled with what we cannot put into the ECOBRICKs.
These days, glass is not recycled as before. Hence we avoid buying glass unless we are sure to use it. Many plastic containers that we still have are slowly breaking and, as each one exits from our home, we will have to make a sustainable choice in what we bring in to replace it or to make the tougher decision to DO WITHOUT.
I end with this saying which I hold dear to my heart, a constant reminder to me so I don't stray from the narrow path:
LESS IS MORE.
More empty space.
More free time.
More money saved.
More inner peace.