Friday, May 23

Reuse, redonate

Black beans are simmering on the stove and the windows throughout our apartment are wide open -- even the fire escape door that kitty cat loves to climb and leave rips in the wire mesh is open. There's a storm coming and I absolutely love the chilly wind that cuts through right beforehand, the silence as all the creatures look for cover. Meanwhile, our new strawberry plant looks ready to topple over and poor kitty has been confined to the bedroom lest her claws carve paths for bugs in the screen door (not to mention the rent deposit).

Work is threatening to throw away more crap, so this week I've come home with an almost new white kitchen table (yea! We have a table now, after two painful trips back and forth on the T!); two freezer bags filled with bagels ("It's a long weekend; let's just toss 'em." Umm, hello, freezer anyone? Homeless people downtown? Hungry, pregnant, underpaid staff member?); an mp3 player I will probably try to sell (they were going to throw it out because "everybody already has one," only I don't but I don't need one); two muffins; and an almost new bookcase and 12 planters that I have yet to pick up. All this from a nonprofit that prides itself on being green. No joke there. I actually believed it ... my first week.

I've finally broken down and joined Freecycle at Momma Val's suggestion. Actually, I've wanted to join for years but I never did because ... well, because I don't want another account. I know, I know, it's a dumb reason and I could have been giving all those Goodwill donations away for free and perhaps finding something I needed myself in the process but I just hate all the email accounts and logins and passwords and mess that I have to check. I hate composing this electronic self, and then having to check on it constantly. It's kind of like buying junk to make your life easier, only then you have to take care of the junk and it becomes your life and it's not so easy anymore. In fact, it's harder.

But I broke down and joined up with Yahoo and now I'm a full-fledged Freecycle member. I've only been a member for two days now and I've already given away two moving boxes filled with books in great condition (leftover from our yard sale) and six grocery bags filled with moving materials (mostly stiff tissue paper and bubble wrap). It feels great! I'm still sick over another account to check up on, but it's well worth it. I'm hoping to find a desk chair (we use a makeshift sort of bench right now that has no back support and my back is killing me!) and perhaps some chairs to go with our new kitchen table, courtesy of my "green" workplace. I'm hoping to give away some stuff from my work, too, like the bookcase since I already have a bookcase.

Library emailed and my two reserved books are in: Affluenza and Last Child in the Woods. Yea! I wonder if I'll finish them before Fetus arrives.

This week's "small" goal: start eliminating paper towels. It's been much easier to do than I imagined (my fear was our lack of personal washer/dryer would make this hard to handle) ... and I can't believe I didn't think of it before! I always bought recycled, non-bleached paper towels, but for some reason it didn't occur to me to not buy at all. <-- which is exactly the problem, and we can solve this!

Next "small" goal: create a vermicomposting bin that kitty will leave be.

Quesadillas are ready! Yum ...


SuzyQ said...

I am excited to hear how our vermicomposting goes. I have always been interested in it because of the weather here - our compost goes dormant in the winter - but our kitchen waste production doesn't. Are you keeping it indoors? Where? Under the kitchen sink - in the garage? Did you buy a special bin or create one? Questions questions! :)

Nadine said...

I've thought about trying to eliminate paper towels, but as long as my ex wanders freely through my home I'm stuck (he refuses to use real towels- idiot). Plus, cleaning up after a puppy is much easier with paper towels. Sigh.

I'm a bit appalled at your work. Good deal for you though.

Momma Val said...

I started to do this about a year ago. Only I still buy the unbleached hard ones on a continuous roll. Then I put them where only I can find them. Have to say I do rely on them for dog diarrhea in the house and gross things like that I refuse to put in my washing machine on a rag. It was a big adjustment for my hubby. We do still buy paper napkins though. I hardly use them and see them being used for spills and such that can be taken care of with a rag (which are just steps away in my garage).!? Yeah for the Freecycling!!!!! It is a very freeing feeling. Got my sister into it too. She is starting to clear out her house and soon her backyard too. Sigh! Feels good.