Revisiting Wall-E: Day 20

So on Saturday nights we have our ‘Family Meeting’ followed by our ‘Family Movie Night’.  Each week we rotate who leads the meeting and also who picks the movie and the rule is everyone has to stay in the room to watch.  Tonight my 14 year old son picked out Wall-E for the ‘Family Movie Night’ main feature.

Wall-E is different.  I don’t consider it a basic Disney Pixar “go to” movie, like Finding Nemo or Cars.  You almost forget about it and think it’s kind of boring in hindsight: but it really isn’t.  It’s profound.  It’s moving.  It’s a beautifully crafted message about our society that children can connect to and instantly understand that something is wrong in the way we are doing things.  To see the pod people riding in chairs with screens in their faces drinking frappucino like drinks and not connecting with one another seems instantly wrong and disgusting to them, yet I know at least for my kids that if I offered them Starbucks and a handheld device this very minute they would jump on it.  As a matter of fact, I am pretty confident that most of them would like a steady stream of the pod people life.

Yet this movie lets them see how wrong this path is and how we are losing touch with our humanity in our life choices.  Those people on the ship had no idea of the lost art of cultivating life out of the ground.  They thought they could maybe start pizza plants.  So silly.

My daughter pointed out that once they got back, everyone would be forced to be vegetarians because there were no more animals.  Wow.  I didn’t even think of that!  True.  All animals were then extinct.   So message was received and I didn’t even have to do anything.  Pretty cool, Pixar, pretty cool.

Yet the ironic thought I had was–did they think about their message as they mass produced action figures and other plastic toys that would have limited purpose in our society?  Ugh, nope.   Did we all fall for that marketing and buy Wall-E stuff for our children?  Umm..yep.  Guilty here.  I did.   So yes, there is that hypocrisy kind of as the elephant in the room, but we’ll take what we can get.  Thanks for making a great movie that conveys a necessary philosophical message for our children about waste, humanity, and that we are all responsible for connecting ourselves back with nature.

Pina Colada Feet–Day 10

Even though I recently started down the path of zero waste, I still have had tons of product to use that are in environmentally unfriendly packaging and figure I might as well use them to the very end.

Today however I was at a crossroads with my poor feet.  A few weeks ago I cancelled all future pedicures due to the chemicals and packaging, and with the harsh cold winters here my toenails and feet were looking every bit of rough (read: quite gross).

I spent a while buffing the white out of my nails which was caused by keeping nail polish on there at all times.  Most of it came out.  I also buffed at the dead skin on the bottom of my feet.  So gross.

A bit later I did some research on how to get my feet in better shape and what I might have in the kitchen that would provide some natural remedies.  I ended up with a large pot of hot water with 1 c. of honey added, and 1 c. of milk added.  I soaked for a while, then used a pumice stone to soften and buff the skin.  It didn’t get all of it, but it did get most of it and I think if I give it consistent TLC and don’t go barefoot as often, my feet will be back in prime condition in no time.

I finished off putting Coconut Oil on followed by soft socks.  Thus the Pina Colada feet with milk, honey, and coconut.

My first real homemade beauty remedy.  Not so bad.

I have historically used some harsh chemicals that they don’t even really sell in stores as it’s beauty supply store grade.

So I am kind of proud of myself for navigating this first road with a beauty and health need.  Wouldn’t it be amazing if I end up with even better skin after changing these habits?  So much money, time, and energy may be saved.

It certainly smells better than my former chemical laden alternative solution.

Saying goodbye to Autoship: Day 8

Autoship.

Oh my goodness. How do we even start on this?   Truthfully, it’s kind of amazing to have the very specific things that my kids will eat that is healthy brought right to my door.

It’s a luxury, I know.

Is there anything anymore representative of American consumerism than Amazon one-click shipping?  I am a prolific Amazon Prime member, because we live in the middle of nowhere with harsh winters.  Do you notice the justifications just oozing right out of my mouth?

My beasties to overcome are:  Amazon (obviously), Vitacost, Thrive Market, and Daily Harvest Smoothies.  I love you Chocolate Blueberry: I really do.

So today I began the process of unclicking my autoships.  The waste is abundant–packaging, shipping boxes, plastics, and if I am honest with myself my kids eat an abundance of “healthy” junk food in the name of convenience.

Then there is the cost.  Gulp.  I may or may not be known to adjust my budget categories each month to take from somewhere else because of these autoshipped foods.

So today it was goodbye to most of these things.  I say most because some I need to work on substitutes for in the meantime.  Hopefully by next month, they will all be gone.

My family adores those boxes showing up on our porch.  It’s like a junk food manna that comes from UPS.  This is going to be a big adjustment as the pantry becomes more…real.

We can hang though because we have a vision for something better.  That vision makes these changes not only possible, but necessary.

A little bit of ebay shopping: Day 6

Today I spent some time shopping on Ebay for some lightly used items to help me along in my zero waste endeavors.  Here’s what I found:

  • A lot of super cute handmade produce bags.  Told ya’ that magazine money would come in handy.  🙂
  • A lot of colorful vintage hankies to replace tissues.  I have seen them displayed in glass jars on some zero waste websites and that seems like a great way to get in the hankie habit.
  • A gently used copy of the Prepper’s Canning Guide by Daisy Luther.   Yep, I’m a prepper.  She’s a prepper.  Wouldn’t you like to be a prepper too?  (I know. I’m a nerd.)
  • A ridic number number of used books by Rosemary Gladstar.  If I am going to end up making my own products as I go along, I need some of these.  She is a world renowned herbal expert and has numerous books on creating your own health and beauty products for your family out of herbs.

So far so good on finding things gently used.  Gently used gives new life and purpose to something someone is done consuming.  As an former Amazon one click addict, it is going to take a bit of getting used to in order to take that time and track down exactly what I need.  Especially since I live so far away from suburbia (a good hour and half), but most of these changes are more about mind set than work, so I just have to get used to asking Do I really need this?  And if the answer is Yes, then see if I can find it where it’s already been purchased by someone else.

 

And you too magazines! Day 5

My next step was to go for the next stack in my mail which was magazines.  I NEVER ever ever read magazines; not even the ones I like because I never have the time.  Not only that, but I don’t even have a coffee table to display them on.   While I remember my grandmother had a magazine rack neatly next to the toilet, as an adult I find that rather gross.  Do I really want to be looking at the magazine that people where holding when they….. ? No, I really don’t.

Somehow getting rid of magazines though is a little bit more emotional than catalogs though.  Catalogs are just obviously a market beast trying to lure you in to buy their products, but magazines are sneakier and they feel like a tiny little slash to your identity.  For me it’s Southern Living, Cooking Light, and several christian magazines.  Am I southernly?  Absolutely!  Do I want to try new recipes?  Sure!  Am I a christian woman?  Yes!  But I don’t need these magazines cluttering up my life to remind me once a month, that I am a southern christian woman who likes to cook.  When I want to find a new recipe that will yet again use butter, pork, or buttermilk in whole new and exciting ways, I will be back on pinterest like every other southern, christian woman who wants to cook, but often orders pizza because she spent too much time on pinterest.

So I opened up my magazines to find the teeny tiny little customer service phone number to cancel the subscriptions that I had paid for and guess what??  I am getting a refund!  One of which is going to be a whooping $0.67.  Since postage is going up this month to $0.50 I feel pathetic on my zero waste endeavors there, but I was talking to India and sometimes you just have to say “Thank you.  I will take my $0.67.”  I was totally surprised to learn that I got a refund though on all of my magazines.  When all is said and done I will probably get about $20 bucks.  Sweet!  That’ll pay for my zero waste produce bags.  wink, wink.

 

Stop sending me catalogs!: Day 4

Oh my goodness knows!  I made the mistake of stopping by the post office to pick up my mail from the holidays and my kids and I literally had to take three trips back and forth to the car.  We were out of town so it had all accumulated, but what a great visual for what the process of decluttering and zero waste is all about.  I was able to quickly pile up a good 12″ of catalogs that I never asked for.  Even so, I remembered that I had tried previously to get off mailing lists once before by using Catalog Choice, which is an awesome organization and service where you go in and search the name of the catalogs you want to unsubscribe to and they notify them for you.

Once I entered back in again with my giant stack of catalogs in front of me, I realized that they kept a history of what I had already requested.  It turns out that while I was getting catalogs from many of the same companies that I had requested to be cancelled before, it was because either (a) it had been over a year and I probably had made a purchase from that company in the past year and somehow inadvertently got back on their mailing list or (b) it was coming under a new name.  For some reason I had lots of catalogs under my father in law’s name, but to our post office box.  One of the great features of Catalog Choice is that you can just create profiles and if you have the catalogs in front of you, it works even better because often you can punch in the key or source code that they have used to track you down.

So day four was spent contacting 40-50 different companies to get them to stop sending me catalogs.  One other important thing that I will share is that you need to pay attention to get to the root of who is selling your information.  Those are two different requests completely.  The company might remove you from their mailing list, but if you don’t tell them that they aren’t allowed to share your information then you are still going to have more catalogs in your box in the future.  Catalog companies are like really jazzed up rabbits and they will breed prolifically if you aren’t aware of their policies, so be sure to tell them to not share or sell your information as well.