I can’t believe it’s May already! Last month was crazy. Between adjusting to my new life in Bellingham and starting my first quarter at Western Washington University, April just seemed to fly by.
First up on my list of favorites, is the ring pictured above. After living here for a couple of weeks, I noticed that a lot of people were wearing layers of lots of really cool rings. So when I stumbled upon this one at the farmers market, I knew I couldn’t leave it behind. Continue reading →
I spend years with a closet full of clothes and a desire to keep buying more, yet simultaneously feeling like I had nothing to wear to everyday. Last year I bought a book by Mari Kondo, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. After reading it, I got rid of some clothes and other possessions, but I still couldn’t get rid of somethings even if they didn’t bring me any joy. I spend another fall buying more clothes for my first quarter in college. I always felt like I had a lot of clothes, but I was in for a surprise when I met my roommate. There is no judgement here, but she had considerably more clothes than I did. This made me feel somewhat better, but I was still struggling to get ready in the morning, and I wasn’t loving what I came up with either.
Fast forward to christmas break, I was surfing through Netflix looking for something to watch while I was knitting. I remembered bookmarking a documentary called The True Cost awhile ago and so I decided to finally watch it. Upon finishing it, I felt completely different. All of the sudden I had no desire to go out and purchase more clothes or shop at stores that support fast fashion. The documentary had gotten me on a roll and I started watching Youtube videos about sustainable fashion. After a couple of days, I decided that I didn’t want to buy anything new that would support fast fashion. But I didn’t stop there, it was another day and I was searching for an another documentary. This time I stumbled upon one about minimalism. After finishing it, I felt ready to make some big changes. I started with my old room at home and started getting rid of things that no longer brought me joy or no longer served a purpose for me. By the time I was done I felt like a big weight had been lifted off of me. Instead of my clothes lying in a heap, I laid them out on the floor and every morning it was easy to pick what I wanted to wear because all the items that laid before me, were pieces that I loved.
When I got back to my dorm room I spend several hours, packing away anything that didn’t bring me joy and unpacking and organizing that things that did. And since then, everyday it has taken me seconds to pick out my clothes and I don’t feel uncomfortable or mismatched like I use to. I even found ways to pair pieces that I loved, but never wear…like the skirt pictured above. I wear that outfit every week now, alternating between a black or a grey sweater.
Eventually I would like to try out the concept of a capsule wardrobe, I counted the pieces that I have currently in my closet and it totals up to around 50 pieces including shoes and not including workout clothes and I still have some summer clothes stored away at home. I think it would be cool to try project 333, but I haven’t decided yet.
The other really cool thing that I’ve noticed since paring down my possessions is how its affect my anxiety. I feel less anxious everyday. I’m not worried about how I look anymore, because I love all the pieces in my closet, and I’m not faced with extra decisions everyday that can lead to ramping up my anxiety. I discovered that something as simple as getting ready each day was actually starting my day with a dose of anxiety. I had too many choices and it was always overwhelming. But now my day starts out easy and stress free.
Over the past couple months I’ve been working to narrow what I use in the bathroom and try to greatly reduce the waste that I produce. Currently I am still using shampoo, conditioner, and body wash in plastic bottles. But once I finish those I will be looking to switch to things like bar soap and bulk conditioner. For now, these are some simple changes that I’ve been able to make over the past couple of months.
The first thing I switched to were bamboo toothbrushes from the brand brush with bamboo. It was a little hard to get use to the texture of them at first, because I had grow up using hard plastic toothbrushes my whole life. But after a month of using them it was completely normal and now I will never want to go back to using plastic ones. And it seems that my gums are a lot healthier thanks to the softer bristles.
After toothbrushes came lotion. I’ve never been a big user of lotion, but my skin has been a lot drier this year. (Probably due to moving to a drier climate.) For my face I started using jojoba oil that I got in bulk and then I switch to sweet almond oil when I was at home over break. Now I am currently using a mix of the two every morning and my skin has never looked better. I don’t use lotion on the majority of my body, but my feet and legs tend to get dry. So once in a while I try to use some zero waste body butter I made, using this recipe.
The last couple switches only happened over christmas break. For christmas my mom gave me a safety razor, which works wonderfully! And I made homemade chapstick to replace the tube of Burt’s Bees chapstick that I had been using. Then finally and probably my most used and recent switch is a stainless steel tongue cleaner I got for christmas. I use this twice a day after I brush my teeth and I find it way more effective than scraping my tongue with a plastic toothbrush, like I use to do.
Eventually I would like to make my own toothpaste and deodorant when I run out of the ones I am currently using. And I think it would be fun to experiment with making my own makeup. But that is very low priority on my list because I given up wearing make up all together.
Let me know if you’ve been working to switch to a zero waste lifestyle and what changes you’ve made so far.
The past couple months I have completely fallen in love with the zero waste movement. Although I am not completely zero waste, I have been taking steps to get there. And a big one is changing the way my family does christmas. First up on the list is placing sustainable goods in stockings.