Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bakin' a train, high on cocaine

Part of adopting a more self-sufficient lifestyle has involved considering what I am throwing out, and what I am buying in. For example, every now and then I used to buy a pack of sandwich bags for lunchboxes, freezing food, crafts and other uses. At the same time I used to throw out dozens of plastic bags a month - bread bags, the inners from packs of cereal, bags that fruit and veg had come in. When you stop and think about it, it's crazy. So now I have a cupboard stuffed full of assorted plastic bags waiting to be reused.

On the other hand, you can't hoard everything forever or your house would become unliveable-in, so you have to throw some stuff away. Or better still, give it away to someone who wants it. That's why I subscribe to freecycle, a free mailing list that puts people with stuff they don't need in touch with people who want the stuff the other people don't need.

It's one of those wonderful win-win things that give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. On the one hand, someone came and took away my old chest of drawers for nothing, to go and be loved and used by someone else. And on the other hand I have collected some things I needed, like a huge chest freezer, or a vacuum cleaner, from people who didn't want them any more.

In the last few days I picked up a 3-dimensional train-shaped cake tin
and a large array of Grateful Dead cassettes. Now I suppose I need to find some stuff to give away, in order to rebalance the cosmic karma. Or just to stop myself from being crushed by my own clutter.

6 comments:

Nerd in the Country said...

I hope your kids don't mind getting their school lunch in an old grocery bag. Mine don't care, but they might if someone decides to tease them about it.

I really like the inner bags from cereal boxes. They are tough as a pig's nose. When I want to make bread crumbs, I put dry bread crusts in one of those bags and beat it with a rubber mallet. Also, those huge breasts from the cornish cross chickens fit well, and the bag is tough enoug to handle being bounced around in the freezer. We also keep one by the stove for the old egg shells. When the bag starts to fill up, we crush the shells and feed them back to the chickens.

Freecycle is also a great thing. I just have to collect a few more things to give away. We gave a bunch of furniture to Love, Inc (A Christian orgainization that collects stuff and gives it to needy families), but there is more stuff that needs to go. Meanwhile, I managed to pick up an old PC-based fax machine and a Monorail (cross between a laptop and a desk top) computer.

Mel's sister Steph in Roker said...

I love Freecycle too, though the group in my area is quite small. But after discovering it I emailed details to my NCT group & to the Flylady North East group, and so numbers swelled.

I've been meaning to start taking bags along on my grocery shopping trips, and I love the telly adverts at the moment with celebs using their own containers (Alan Titchmarsh on the bus with a wheelbarrow of shopping, and Paul Daniels taking strings of sausages out of his magic top hat made me laugh).
So I'm going to get a bunch of bags, put them in the car boot, then pledge that after unpacking groceries in the kitchen, I'll return the bags to the car. That would be a cool subject for your next poll Mel - re-using shopping bags.

Chickpea said...

Sounds like I'm preaching to the converted - everyone already knew about Freecycle. That's great to hear. We still send stuff to charity shops and furniture to the Salvation Army. I'd love to get to "zero waste" as a family, where we send nothing to landfill.

Steph, I do have plans to write a post about carrier bags, but I already know what my next poll will be. It's something I'm very bad at myself and it will be my "green resolution" for September.

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