otrdiena, 2013. gada 5. marts

Report on progress of project "In and out"

First month of noting everything that goes in or out of our home has passed. Rather difficult project on green carpet, I must admit. Time to break down what are the first obstacles and what was the success..
I also decided that my project should have a name, something like "In and out" is rather fitting, what do you think? It sounds also a bit more catchy and easier than a very serious "resource consumption" that was how my charts were called during the first month..
But now into the details..


  • Travel. I totally failed after the first days of our ski trip to note down all the things we bought. No no, we did not go for shopping sprees or anything like that. Still we needed some food to sustain ourselves, and there were few days eating out, which still remain a question how to put them down on my list- I guess I should just state "eating out- x portions"? 
  • Living in two places- since my project was supposed to cover only my apartment, I felt it is not representing the true consumption of our family, me and Emily in particular. Both of us spend many days at my parents place. But to put on the list everything that is brought into our parents home would be inappropriate too, since most of the stuff is what our parents and brother consume. But how can I separate all that? To count every carrot I eat and every sheet of toilet paper I use myself while living there? I tried that approach, it doesn't work as well as I thought. So now during March I'm gonna try noting everything that is brought into my parents home, while I am there (buying together, what I see being bought or brought up from the cellar, etc.). I am trying to educate my whole family on greener non-consumption of unnecessary things, but they are still at their very baby steps, and not all of them are on board. Another issue of living in two places is measuring the rubbish- what to do with the waste we produce at our parents home. So for now I'm noting the amount of rubbish that's thrown 'away' or composted, and split it in parts (e.g. 1/5 or 1/4). I think I will continue it that way.
  • Gifts. I love my mom, and I love how she loves my baby. And how she loves to dress her once in a while. But sometimes I think we don't need that other pair of boots. The good part of it is that at least 50% comes from thrift stores, and that it makes my life easier as I don't have to think about buying boots for myself or pants for my kid. The bad part- sometimes it's things that I think we have enough. Or when it comes to elder generations like my grandmom, I'm not gonna try to explain her this and that of green living due to many personal reasons. So sometimes unwanted stuff still finds its way into our homes. 
  • Family that's not on board- my husband mainly, since he is the part of our family that lives in city apartment that is the main area of the project. I just hope he'll join in as I plan this to go on for quite a while! And I hope that the rest of our larger family will slowly follow- I like to see my mom's shopping patterns to change, and to hear what she says in discussions about the life and particularly consumption choices. 
  • Rubbish. Still struggling with the compost that actually gets to the countryside to be composted instead of being thrown 'away' in city. Since most of our trash is biodegradable  it's heart breaking to see that many times it just has to go into the bin. The challenge now is also to reduce the packaging. I am conscious to choose the products without it, if possible, but I should walk that extra mile to achieve more. That's an extra goal for the next month. I just wish my husband and family was on board with this! 

  • Rubbish. Looking more carefully at all the stuff that goes in and out of our home, it made me see that we have less waste than I thought, and that most of it usually is peels and leftovers from juicing that I still manage to get to my moms worms once in a while. I like to see less plastic since I think of ways to reduce and reuse it instead of throwing out. Since part of our consumed dairy comes from farmer, lot's of glass containers are reused many times. 
  • Organic foods. The section for foods that have come from our own garden has been a good reminder to visit our freezers and cellar more often to get the goodies from last summer and fall harvests. Berries and veggies are increasing in our menus, and so is the wild hunted meat. 
  • Second hand. It has been my goal in clothing and accessories department to limit my purchases to either organic textiles or secondhand pieces. Preferably both combined. Well, if I see what has come into our closet during February, most of the pieces were secondhand, and that is very satisfactory again. Of course, we could do even better, but it will come step by step..

That's about how it was during the first month of the "In and out" project.. Lot's of resources consumed in February, many due to travel and the study materials that I received from school (5 large boxes full of books,  usb, folders). But I am not naive to blame school or someone for us travelling, I clearly see that we should drive less, even if most of the car use was shared trips. And I know that every month there will be another challenge- during Feb that was school and travel, during March it will most probably be Easter, and then there will be some name days, holidays, birthdays, house renovation and vacations and so on and on. I just have to figure out the way to lessen our consumption during those "difficult" times. 

I am continuously gaining and re-gaining my inspiration when reading Bea's blog on her Zero Waste home, she is so amazing! And I have found another interesting reading material, a blog of Katy, the Non-Consumer Advocate. I totally fell in love with her commandments- "Use it up! Wear it out! Make it do! Or do without!".  I'm gaining some really nice fresh ideas from that and suggest you read it too! 

All the best with our non-consumption projects!

2 komentāri:

  1. Wow, what an undertaking. I love the idea of Beth Terry's plastic tally, but am too scared to do it. It would be eye-opening, but also horrifying.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Betsy!
      Yes, Beth Terry is also a wonderful person to be an inspiration for us! It is actually not as scary as I thought it would be, just a little niggling to start ;) It really is an eye opener as you say though, but then you come to see not only the parts you "fail", but also all the good things ;)