Waste Not, Want Not

We get it, right? Toilet paper shortages, empty grocery store shelves, and mass hysteria backed by uncertainty of what’s to come. So, what do we do? We adapt and overcome.

The past few weeks have been less than ideal (major down play there) and who even knows what the weeks to come look like.

So, much like every one else my mind began reeling with thoughts fueled by panic and worry.

“How bad will this get?”

“What will we do for food?”

“What do we do if we can’t go to the grocery store?”

And the typical list goes on and on.

I had to silence these thoughts. The chest pain was settling in, as was the sleepless nights and neither of those are beneficial to my health.

Once I silence the “quick” thoughts, I began to see things in a new light.

My questions became internal, if you will.

“What can I do to slow my household demand?”

“What can I do for myself to become sustainable separate from corporate grocery chains?

“What are my typical routines and habits and how does that affect my financial, physical, and emotional stability?”

And so I reflected. Often standing in front of my refrigerator and pantry…but reflection none the less.

The first realization I had was how much WE over eat and over use.

If we are talking about true survival here…and based on grocery store shelves we are too that point. No? Hmm…

Anyway, WE don’t need 5 cups of rice at dinner. Or 2 dr. peppers. Or 3 cobbs of corn. Or 1/2 a cup of ranch. Or 22 chicken wings. Or 2 slices of pie. Or a bowl of cereal AFTER dinner. Or 15 oz. of steak.

We don’t NEED 12 sheets of toilet paper every time we urinate. We don’t NEED 5 paper towels to wipe up a dribble of water. We don’t NEED 3 towels to dry off 1 body 7 days a week.

Do you see what I’m getting at here?

Moderation, portion control, and meeting our needs are so important. Life in most cultures are comfortable, to say the least. I believe it’s safe to say that we’ve taken for granted the readily available grocery store chains that are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Gratification is instant. Most foods are instant. Patience are nonexistent and helping a neighbor is foreign.

If nothing else, this world health pandemic emphasizes all of this. The things we have forgotten how to do:

-help ourselves

-grow what food we can for ourselves (if you have the space)

-help our neighbors

-TALK to eachother

-CHECK on each other

And if it seems I’m pointing a big, fat finger in this post…well, maybe I am. But know it’s pointing at myself included. I’ve been comfortable and oblivious to this frivolous life. It’s time to change that.

I’m making a concious effort to “waste not, want not”. I don’t want to waste so much as a kernel of leftover corn if I can help it. Because truth is, by becoming a responsible consumer aware of OTHERS needs and not just my own– I decrease the stress placed on supply chains.

When I decrease the stress placed on supply chains, people who don’t live in the country and who don’t have ample money to buy 123436 rolls of toilet paper aren’t forced to “panic buy”.

Also, let it be known I did not buy that much toilet paper. This country girl ain’t afraid to use a leaf, ya know?

Anywho, the entire point of this post was to encourage it’s readers to reduce your waste. I can’t tell you how many times me and my husband have mindlessly thrown away 3 days worth of soup leftovers because we “didn’t feel like eating them”. It’s shameful to say now considering our predicament but going forth, let’s all be mindful.

Mindful of each other–our family, friends, and communities. Use your resources sparingly. Below are some examples I am consciously making an effort to change…will you join?

  • Using dish towels over paper towels. Conveniences are not better in this case.
  • Halving the amount of laundry detergent I use. No more over filling due to not paying attention.
  • Leftovers are to be eaten for at least 1 meal the following day. No. throwing. away. good. food.
  • Cooking less amounts of food. There is no cooking an entire package of chicken the same way. I cook enough to fill our bellies but not to the point of pain or “food coma”. That is also wasteful and poor planning.
  • Cooking at home more. This goes hand in hand with shelter in place but this is saving so much money to use on other resources.
  • Taking care of what we already have. There is no more, “oh, this towel is ruined with bleach”. Bleach means clean. Who cares how it looks. This goes for appliances too. Broken can be fixed, not repurchased.
  • Growing what we can based on the weather. So far this includes cool crops but warm weather is just around the corner. I encourage you to look into things that grow well in pots if you live in an apartment! You aren’t left out in this.

We have an opportunity (under less than ideal circumstances) to make a difference. An opportunity to get our priorities in line and really change our lives. Are you with me?

Drop your positive ideas below! I’d love to add even more perspective, friends!

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