Zero Waste Lifestyle

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My daughter recently asked me if I knew anything about “zero waste living”.  I had to admit that I’d heard of it, but really didn’t know what it entailed.  So, I decided to look into it and relay my findings to all of you.

Zero waste is living without any waste at all.  So, this means that you don’t buy your toothpaste, you make it.  When you get coffee out you bring a mug with you and have that filled instead of a coffee cup.  You need to think about bamboo toothbrushes instead of plastic ones, buying loose vegetables instead of ones in plastic bags.  Another great thing that is easy to do is to by your own steel straw and keep it with you just in case you end up going out for a drink, that way you can limit the amount of plastic straws you use.  By the way, you can also do this by bringing your own silverware with you if you end up in a fast-food restaurant.

The list of things that you have to think about is fairly long, and from what information I’ve found, it can take a while to get to zero waste.  There is a steep hill of learning to climb, to say the least.  A lot of it seems to be pretty time-consuming, and as an aside, the loophole of using “recyclable” plastic, can be more than confusing, since as I’ve come to know, much of what we “recycle”, doesn’t actually get recycled.  (The cost of recycling is going up all the time, and many of the countries that took recycling are not taking it anymore.)

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So, in my case, I could not go to zero waste, since many of the products at my local grocery store are packaged in non-recyclable plastic, from bread to vegetables, and many products in between. I don’t have the option of buying those items loose, since I’ve never even seen loose mushrooms, they are always packaged in the stores that I’ve been in.

That being said, there are a lot of other things that we can do to bring our waste down.  I almost always bring a bag with me when I shop, so I don’t have plastic bags.  If I do end up with them, I reuse them for as long as I can.  If I’ve forgotten a bag, I will often just put whatever is was that I’ve bought into my purse if it fits.  I also have quite a few net bags that I put my loose produce in – fruit and the vegetables that are sold loose.

While trying to live by creating zero waste is an admirable goal, I’ve found that the way we package food products, along with most of the other things that we buy, it seems to be a difficult task.  However, I absolutely advocate doing what you can in your daily life to create as little waste as you can.  After all, we have turned much of this world into a garbage dump, and What do you think about going zero waste?  I’ve left a few links below for you to check out if you’re interested.

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https://www.motherearthliving.com/healthy-home/zero-waste-living-zmfz15jfhou

http://time.com/5218046/how-to-live-zero-waste/

 

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You Are in Charge of Your Own Happiness

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The above quote is so important in many ways.  From the time we are born we seek to please others.  As children when our parents were happy than we were happy.  Of course, pleasing others can be a wonderful thing.  The feelings of joy we get from bringing happiness to others is like no other.  But as with many things, this can be taken to the extreme thus causing us unhappiness while we seek to please another.  Once we start putting others happiness above our own happiness on a consistent basis, we’ve crossed the line into ignoring ourselves and putting ourselves last, if our own happiness even makes it onto our list.

True lasting happiness come from within.  No “other” can make us happy, just as we cannot bring true lasting happiness to another.  Look within to find your own happiness.

Be Yourself

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On our journey through life, we’ll sometimes find other people who seem to have it all.  To the outside world their lives look wonderful, and, we’ll think, well if we could just be them, life would be great.  But the fact of the matter is, we have no idea if their lives are as great as we think they are…nor do we know if they are actually happy.

Instead of looking to others as a way to figure out how to be or how to live, each one of us needs to be who we are, not to copy someone else. Each one of us is an individual, and as such we’re one of a kind.  There is no one else exactly like us in the world.  That’s the way we were made, and that’s what makes the world so diverse and interesting.

So, okay, what’s my point?  Don’t look to others to gain your confidence.  Every day try to be a better you than you were yesterday.  Take the time to figure out what you want, how you want to live, what you want to do.  This life that you are living is yours, no one else’s, so try your best to live it the way you want.  Dream about how you’d like your life to be, write those dreams down and set goals to achieve to bring those dreams to fruition.  You can start by believing in yourself.  Use a simple affirmation – “I believe in myself” to bring your confidence out of hiding.  Say your own affirmations several times daily.  Find yourself, be yourself.

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Staying Positive During Hard Times

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As you know, there are times when life sucks.  And, believe it or not, that’s actually okay.  Life can’t be sunshine, roses and chocolate all the time.  Because, if it was, would that sunshine feel as wonderful?  Would the roses smell as sweet?  Well, I can tell you from experience, chocolate tastes fantastic no matter what is happening, but I’m sure you catch my drift.

When life is hard, take a breath – or twenty – or a hundred, and stand up and just deal with it.  Don’t put yourself down, don’t dwell on faulting someone (or yourself), just figure out a way to deal with it.  Focus your energy on doing whatever you can control to make life better, and do it!

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Quotes for Columbus Day

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I thought that I’d try something a little different for today.  Here are some Native American quotes I’d like to share with you all.

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Horseback Librarians

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I love librarians.  I wish they ruled the world.  So, I heard this great story on NPR the other night that was all about librarians on horseback.  I was simply gob smacked.  I’d never heard of such a thing, but wow, was it cool.

So, the history is that in 1935, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) as part of the New Deal, hired women librarians to be part of the Pack Horse Project to deliver books long distances by either horse or mule in the Appalachians and other rural distracts for both education and support.  Because of the Great Depression many schools had been closed, and the illiteracy rate kept going up.  This of course was not a good thing for the country, and the belief was that if books and magazines could be delivered directly to the families, this would encourage parents to teach their children to read.

Many of the books had been donated by richer citizens.  Also, the librarians fixed up old books, and put together “scrapbooks” with articles and stories they believed that their readers would be interested in.  Each pack could carry about 100 books, and the librarians carried these books to homes and schools about once a month.  These books were then sent on to other locations.  The librarians tracked which books and scrapbooks had gone where so that people wouldn’t get the same books over and over again.  They also offered reading lessons to citizens.

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This was not a walk in the park for the librarians.  They needed to be able to provide their own horse/mule.  Many of these were rented.  The “roads” they traveled were difficult, and the hours were long.  However, they were often the only ones with a job and provided for their families.  The Pack Horse Project employed about 200 librarians, and they in turn they established 30 libraries, and serviced about 100,000 people.

In 1943 the funding for this project stopped, but the vision remains.  To this day there are bookmobiles in many areas of the country that provide books to both inner-city neighborhoods and rural areas.  As I said, librarians are awesome!

 

Honoring Promises

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I had a wonderful friend who was roughly 40 years older than I am.  Her name was Millie and she lived across the street from me.  A few years after I met her she became my unofficial mother due to family problems.

Millie was always there with solutions to issues, a shoulder to cry on, or most importantly, a good story and a laugh.  My children loved to go visit Millie to “help” her with her chores, read, or just be with her.  She was a special person, and the closest thing to a grandmother they had.  We often talked books, characters and plots.  She was an avid reader also, and we were always comparing books and authors.  Eventually Millie became very sick with ALS, and died.  Since she was a fan of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, one of her regrets was that she wouldn’t live long enough to finish the series.  Since her children didn’t read, she wanted me to read the entire “Kinsey Series” as she called it as a remembrance to her.

Y is for Yesterday

This task took me longer than I’d like to think about to complete.  I was always looking for ways to avoid it.  For one thing, I’d have to completely understand that she was gone, and not just away at the hospital, and this was something that took me a long time to get through.  For another thing, Sue Grafton hadn’t finished the series, and not only that, she was taking a long time to do so.  Finally, about two years or so ago, I decided I’d start the series and read it over a period of time, planning on finishing whenever the last novel was published.  This was not to be, since as all of us Sue Grafton fans know, the alphabet ends at “Y”.  (For those of you who don’t read Sue Grafton, she died in 2017 from cancer without finishing her series.)  So, for now, we’re all left wondering what did become of Kinsey Millhone?  I’ve put my imagination to work and come up with a few theories, but the truth is, we probably never will know.

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Honoring promises is important.  One reason for my not doing this sooner was fear that if I did finish, my memories of Millie would fade.  Yes, that is nonsensical, I know.  But, once I started the series, I was so glad.  The character of Kinsey Millhone has been an exciting one to get to know.  She’s added a lot to my life, and I often think about her.  Not only does Sue Grafton live on, but my wonderful friend and surrogate mother lives on as well.  Thank you, Millie, for this last gift.