Small time sustainability is a topic recently covered over at Living Richly in Retirement and I really like thinking about my current life habits and spending that way versus frugality. We don't need to be frugal at this point in our lives but do many things that are both out of habit and a desire not to waste resources - both ours and the planets. We can up our game though. So here are a few SMALL TIME SUSTAINABILITY items from our first week back from vacation.
1. Repairing: We repaired our refrigerator. The water filter has not been removable for some time and we have since learned it is a design defect in this brand/model. The frig came with the house though and it would not be sustainable or reasonable to replace it. Although not my favorite design overall it does work. Now all of it works. I also found out I had been trying to replace the filter more often than needed so less waste there. I still need to replace a broken door shelf as the repairman received the wrong one in his order, but he told me a close by location where I can go get one next time I drive that way. And on my to do list is to mend a down comforter. It is getting worn, I need to replace a blanket too so I am looking for a duvet cover that will work.
2. Reusing: I'm trying to be very mindful about reusing what we can. Plastic packaging seems to be unavoidable to a large extent. Case in point - bread wrappers. So they get at least one reuse as dog poop bags. A quirky reuse for us is egg cartons that are donated to a local food bank that uses them to package bulk eggs in sizes that can be given out. Which leads to thinking about all the packaging that is in the production and delivery stream before I buy my probably over packaged items in the first place.
3. Sourcing: Still on the packaging idea, I have put going to the Farmer's Market on my weekly schedule. At least there is less of a packaging and shipping stream there. I take my own tote bag of course and will be taking plastic produce bags to reuse until I get non-plastic ones.
4. Using Up: Although I am still using plastic containers for leftovers (because we have them already) we are very good at making sure those leftovers get eaten! I also add a bit of water to get the last of shampoo, laundry soap, etc out of the invariably plastic container.
5. Borrowing/Sharing: I was thinking about the whole concept of Plastic Free July and wondering what steps we could take next so I requested from the library 3 books on the topic of reducing plastic use. Then for extra motivation (or will it be sadness?) I will request one about plastic in the ocean.
I also love my reading group that meets monthly. We all read different books and then talk about the best and worst. The ones ready to share are passed around and I get a lot of different books that way. Once we are done with them they go in the clubhouse Little Library or are donated to the Friends of the Library for resale.
6. Buying Less: I finished my second month of no clothing purchases. My summer wardrobe is working out great so any additions would be unnecessary. I will be shopping, but carefully, for fall and winter clothing as that part of my wardrobe is too sparse.