Last month I was supposed to be working on the Waste part of the 7 challenge. When I began thinking about this part of the challenge, I thought I was already doing pretty well on that front. I have a family of four and we fill up our recycling cart at the same rate if not faster than our trash cart. Usually, our trash cart is only half full on the day the trash is picked up. I am guilty of looking at neighbors’ trash cans on trash pick up day and thinking, “Wow. They are Wasters.” Needless to say, there was a high horse to fall off there.
And fall off I did. Because, while I do recycle absolutely everything I possibly can, the point remains that if I have something to recycle, that means I’m buying something that’s prepackaged. Deli meats, canned spaghetti sauce, boxes of noodles, yogurt cups, all that stuff comes in recyclable packages. And some things I consider to be necessary are packaged and aren’t recyclable. I mean, when I think about all the Styrofoam egg cartons…but how do you get around that? Aldi only sells one kind of egg!
I guess it all comes down to how much trouble I’m willing to go to in my attempts to reduce waste. I think I kind of phoned it in on this part of the challenge. And that is unacceptable. So I’m doing a re-do in March. Here are the more specific goals for the month:
-Start (and, please Lord, finish!) potty training Isaac in the second half of the month. He’ll be 3 in June and with another baby due in July, now seems like it’s time. My “method” relies heavily on not wearing a whole lot of clothing for the first few days of potty training, which is why I think this should take place in the warmer part of the month. I greet this part of the challenge with a great deal of trepidation–potty training my firstborn took about a year, and I am not exaggerating.
-At least try to get Ella out of nighttime Pull-ups. I’ve heard some parents have success with waking young children up and taking them to the bathroom before the parents go to bed. I’m just not sure about this one. One problem is I go to bed about an hour to an hour and a half after my children. Is that enough time? Another problem is I abhor the drama that always follows when my poor little four-year-old is incoherently sleepy. To willingly bring that upon both of us is going to take some girding up of mental toughness. If anyone else has experience with methods for getting rid of Pull-ups at night, please share. I’d really prefer not waking her up because I think she barely gets enough sleep as it is.
-Sew a couple of handkerchiefs for myself. Yes, I just used the word “handkerchief.” And the word “sew.” I hate, hate, hate buying Kleenexes. Which is why my husband is always asking in a very nice but what I hear as accusing tone, “Don’t we have any Kleenex?” I just don’t think to buy them, and when I do remember, I say, “We don’t really need those.” But my husband and my kids really enjoy a soft nose wipe for the winter months. And the allergy ridden spring months. And probably all the months in between. I could care less, I’ll use a brown paper bag, but I do grab a Kleenex if they’re handy. I’d rather use something that’s reusable, though. So, hello, old fashioned-ness. (I have the same goal for nursing liners, but I won’t go into great detail there. Details about Kleenex usage are quite enough for one day).
-Reduce our dependence on boxed cereal. There are lots of reasons this is a good idea, one of them being most cereal doesn’t keep my kids full past 8:00 a.m. Another reason is a lot of those colorful boxes pose major recycling problems. Another reason is it’s mostly gross and we throw out half of the box. Is there a drawback? Oh yeah, cooking and washing dishes before 8:00 in the morning. Dear friends, bring on the easy breakfast ideas.
Those are the goals. I could think of more, but my children are pretending to be firefighters and I probably should go put a stop to their throwing open the front door and yelling “Fire, fire, EMERGENCY!” for the whole neighborhood to hear. Because a false 911 call is even more wasteful than a Styrofoam egg carton.