Month: February 2016

Moving = Opportunity to Purge

I am super excited to be moving into the City of Chicago on April 1st. While I have grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, I have never had the opportunity to actually live in the city. This is because I previously lived in Bloomington, Indiana, and Washington DC.

So with that excitement comes a lot of change and a lot of opportunities.

Since this blog is about living with less, I am going to take this chance to make some real decisions on how to live minimally and how to make a move less wasteful .

Ironically, I have a ton of stuff. It just accumulates over time. When I moved out to DC, I had only what could fit in the car. When I moved back to IL over a year and a half later, I had an entire van stuffed to the brim! Most of my stuff is not new either. I have countless pieces of furniture that I have “collected” over the years from friends, relatives, and craigslist.

I am not the only with this problem. There are plenty of other WordPress bloggers out there purging their closets too:

And you will find tons of posts and resources about it elsewhere:

Not only do I have too much stuff, this move comes with a combination of all my stuff, plus all my boyfriend’s stuff. We have both lived alone before, so we have almost double of everything. He is doing is own closet purge as well.

As we get closer to moving day, I will have to start going through my things and paring down what can fit in our 1 bedroom, 750 square foot apartment. It will definitely be an adjustment, but I am excited to do it! Do you have any suggestions for downsizing?

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Day 16: They Wouldn’t Put The Smoothie I Ordered In My Water Bottle

So last night I was at yoga class that ended at 8:15. I had not eaten dinner beforehand and figured a smoothie at the gym’s cafe would do the trick for some post-workout sustenance.

Problem is, it comes in a plastic cup with lid and straw. Although the cup and lid are recyclable, that straw is not.

While giving my order, I asked if I could have the smoothie be put in my now empty water bottle. They said no.  At least I tried. It wasn’t even that good of a smoothie anyway, so I guess that is what I get for still buying it.

 

 

Giving up plastic for lent

More people giving up plastic for Lent!

6 Clean Ingredients

My friend Lucy & I have given up plastic for lent. I’m not religious, but every year she gives something up for lent & this year when I asked what she was giving up, she replied that we were giving up plastic.
What does giving up plastic mean?
  • For me it means saying no to plastic bags always.
  • Having at least one recyclable bag in my handbag at all times (I recently did this on a month long family holiday in the UK & used it almost daily).
  • Being prepared when I go to the supermarket with bags in the car.
  • Buying more ‘unpackaged’ foods – I now buy most of my flours, nuts & pantry health foods from Naked Foods Organic Health Foods & take my own jars (which they happily weigh before I fill them & also there’s no double handling).
  • Taking a recyclable water bottle everywhere…

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7 Ways to Use Less Plastic!

Leaf In The Chinook

1) Buy in Bulk!

A lot of our plastic use comes from packaging! An easy way yo reduce this is to buy certain things in bulk! Pasta and other dried goods, such as beans or spices, are easy to buy in bulk and store in reusable containers. You can find some great ideas for food storage on Pinterest!

2) Stop Buying Water Bottles!

It takes more water to make those bottles than they hold. Ditch the plastic water bottles and grab a reusable bottle. Better yet, grab a filtered water jug and keep fresh water in your fridge at all times.

3) Be an Eco-Friendly Shopper!

The reusable shopping bags are much more sturdy, can carry a lot more, and save a lot of plastic! One complaint I hear is that they take up a lot of space, but you can get some sweet bags that fold up all…

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Day 8: Going Out to Eat Makes Things Complicated

It has been 1 week since this challenge started, and I definitely do not feel like I am living a plastic-free life. This is most likely because I am not.

What I have noticed over the past few days is that sometimes you just cannot always be prepared with your plastic-free alternatives.

Here is what I have encountered while eating out a number of times this week:

  • Straws: The drink I ordered came with a straw already in it. I guess I could have asked for it without a straw, but I really did not think that I had to think that far in advance.
  • Takeout Containers: I assumed my leftovers would come back in a Styrofoam box (which also isn’t good either), but instead it came in a plastic container. At this point I could have either left my food and had that go to waste, or taken the container and at least recycle it when I got home. BONUS POINT: I did remove the plastic bag my leftovers came in and used my handy dandy reusable bag that I keep in my purse instead. Unfortunately, that plastic bag probably just got thrown out after that by the busboy.
  • Cups: At a fundraiser this weekend, drinks were being served in plastic cups. Unless I carried around my own glass, I could not avoid this one.
  • More Takeout Containers: We ordered takeout Chinese for dinner one night and although most of the food came in the standard Chinese takeout containers, a couple of the juicier entrees were packed in plastic containers. The plus side of this is that they were good containers that could at least be used a couple of times.

This makes me sound like I eat out all the time, which I in reality, I usually don’t.

In the future, I will be more aware of ordering at restaurants. No straw please!

Day 3: Oops I Ate A Yogurt

Without realizing it this morning, I opened a single-serve yogurt package. Oops. It goes to show how little we think of plastic use. Once you start adding it up, it becomes kind of scary.

I do not purchase single-serve packs, but I had gotten a free sample from the gym and the flavor looked quite enticing (Blueberry Cookie Crumble, yum).

When I do buy yogurt, I buy it in the big containers and divvy it out into Pyrex cups if I want to take it with me for lunch. That made this very unusual for me!

This is my big first mess up (I assume there are more to come). The moment I opened that yogurt I felt instant regret, even though yesterday I refused a plastic bag at Walgreens and did not use a straw at a restaurant.

I am learning that I am really going to have to pay attention to what I am using throughout the day to work towards my goal of not acquiring any plastic items until March 27th and maybe beyond.