0002. Menos para mas

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“I don’t need anything.”

This was my reminder as I was trying to get rid of things before moving.

Yes, I have earthly needs – food, water, shelter – important things that many people around the world still lack. How is this still a fact in 2018? Coupled with the amount of waste I see every day? Merrrr/grrrr.

Solutions for these problems can get me lost in thought for hours. A tiny way to help within your own domain? Menos para mas. Help our planet by using and wasting less.  You’ll gain more in your own life (space, time, mental clarity) and you’ll have more to give.

Where to start? Follow some Rs.

+ Refuse. Plastic, one-time use, disposable items – just say no. Money in the bank, less trash in the landfill and once you start the fun don’t stop.

+ Reduce. Have you ever found something that you didn’t even remember owning? (Guilty.) When you have lots of stuff it’s easy to lose track of it all. Reduce how much you buy so food doesn’t go to waste. Have a big purge – Sell. Donate. Give it to someone you know will actually use it. Clear space for the things that matter.

+ Re-use/repair. Find a cobbler. Mend broken items. Can something that isn’t in the best shape be used in a new way?

+ Recycle. Get creative with materials. Make your own stuff. Don’t get rid of glass jars. Crazy/the opposite of reduce? Maybe, but I can always find use for a jar.

+ Rot: compost. A big one! Lots of cities and towns make it easy with farmers’ market drop off locations and you can store your scraps in the freezer to prevent smells.

more ideas via

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Some very important points: Don’t get hung up on perfection. These are guidelines/my interpretation and your approach can be different. Find a way to make it easy/second nature. Maybe set some challenges for yourself. My VIPs? Compost when possible. No plastic. Only buy secondhand and when that’s not an option research and support companies that take care of their employees and the planet.

Of course, you may find yourself needing some things in a bind as I did before our trip. On my list: face oil, adapters, hiking boots, carry-on suitcase, and a splitter.

I bought my face oil, but the rest…adapters were borrowed, my old sneakers were perfectly adequate for hikes, I found AB’s forgotten old carry-on in the closet, and we had fun watching movies we normally wouldn’t while attempting to time our airplane screens to the second to avoid spoilers.

Trash panda solution: Make do with what you have. Borrow things. See what happens without it. Menos para mas.

And with the money I saved? I had the means to set aside a donation for one of those worldly causes. Now I just have to do some research.

Do you have a favorite charity you donate to? What challenges can you set to further reduce the waste you make?

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