waste-less week

OK, troops, it's waste-less week. Our final week of the Summer of 7, can you believe it?  We've looked at way too much in the areas of food, stress, possessions, clothes, spending, and media.  Now it's time to tackle waste.

I know we can't change all our wasteful habits in one week, but I still think it's worth considering just a few simple, mindful things we can do to cut down on waste.

Plastic bags are a massive pet peeve of mine.  I hate them.  Hate them, I tell you.

About three years ago, I started feeling bad about how much plastic I was personally contributing to land fills.  So I started saving them to recycle.

Within a few weeks, our garage was full of bags and bags and bags full of plastic bags.  It was just crazy.

So I decided to try reusable bags.   I use mine primarily at the grocery store, and I love them.  Even if you only remember half the time, you're making a huge impact on the plastic plague.  Plus, they are cute.  I like that.

I realize I waste a lot of zip-lock bags, but I spent years and years washing out those things and I can't bring myself to do it any more.  Anybody have a suggestion on this one?

Another pet peeve of mine is water waste.

But I like flowers.  So I've spent the past five years figuring out what flowering plants will grow in my yard under the Sahara-like conditions that we call summer in Texas.

Here's how that's worked:  I go the plant store and look for the ones that have a "low water" tag.  It also has to say "perennial", so I don't have to do this over again next year.  If the tag looks promising, I buy one, bring it home, plant it, and completely neglect it.  (I don't plant anything after the end of May, because not even a cactus could make it after that.)  If it survives, it's my friend and I plant more.

The neglected thrivers in my yard are:  lantana, autumn sage, silverado sage, salvia, rosemary, lavender, and trumpet vine.  Plus lots of crepe myrtle, the miracle shrub/tree that blooms in July.  And those double knock-out roses.

The day I finally get every piece of grass out of my yard--and replaced with mulch, gravel, or sage--will be a happy one for yours truly.

And, while we're talking about pet peeves, let's just mention paper products.

I need to start using those bar-mop rags more, so I can cut down on the paper towels.  I like trees too much to throw them in the trash this way.

And the paper napkin thing has just been making me nuts lately, so that's my challenge to myself this week:  Stop it with the paper napkins already!!!  I have cloth napkins.  Why am I not using them?

I don't know, people.  I don't know.

So, tell me, what are your easy-peasy ways to make the world a greener place?

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