October 15, 2007

Giving Instead of Trashing

Well, I forgot about Blog Action Day until I logged into Google Reader today. Go figure. I did read about it last week on zenhabits, but then promptly forgot, even after getting excited about it. Time to review capturing ideas again in GTD. But with a little more than an hour left of Blog Action Day, I present my contribution, meager and ill-prepared as it is.

I'm no green role model for society...I have to admit I'm not very green at all. I eat a lot of organic and natural foods because that's what my mom buys and brings home, so that's what's there when I raid the fridge. My dying but current car is a gas guzzler. Mom uses essential oil blends for much of her cleaning and sanitizing, but the closest thing I have to that is baking soda and vinegar for unclogging the drain, and a spray bottle of Method all-purpose cleaner.

But I've noticed that some habits I've been developing over the past month and a half are environmentally beneficial, even if I wasn't thinking of them that way. Since early September, I've committed myself to seriously decluttering my living space and reducing the amount of stuff I own. At first, I felt bad because I was throwing a lot of things away (and learned a valuable lesson about dealing with junk mail as it comes into my life — not five years later when I find it shoved in a box). However, I've given a great deal of things away, mostly to a mission store that will send my bags of unwanted fabric and yarn to a place where people will turn them into warm quilts and socks for themselves for the winter. I've also been trading some things on SwitchPlanet, though I'm still working up the nerve to introduce myself on the boards and get to know some people there (sometimes it's a pain being an introvert).

I think that the important thing to remember while decluttering is that even though your unwanted possessions are of no more use to you, many of them are probably very useful to someone else. Don't trash what isn't trash — recycle it by donating it to a mission store or a shelter, trade it with someone else, or find someone who you know would love it. This way, the stuff you don't want is still circulating and not sitting in some landfill, doing nothing for anyone. Mom knows a little craft-loving girl, and gave at least a box worth of my old supplies to her to play with...I had no idea this girl liked crafting, and would've loved to just randomly receive a box of secondhand supplies to play with at her age. Just don't throw actual trash in the donation boxes, okay (my family has always been careful about this, but I've heard of too many people who throw unusable junk into mission boxes)? And recycle the recyclables, but that's a given.

2 ramblings back:

Anonymous said...

you should try www.swaptree.com. Its like switchplanet but better. Ive been using it for 3 weeks and have already done like 15 trades.

Halfelvenwriter said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to check Swaptree out sometime soon.