MONTH 2: WASTE

*Apologies for the lack of formatting. WordPress, as of February 8, 2017, will not yet bend to my will and put words on a page where I want them.

 

 

No less than a full week into February, I am finally getting around to posting about the end of month one of Seven, as well as the beginning of month two. I have been so busy with work lately that I actually went to a meeting, in public, in my pajamas yesterday. Aint nobody got time for changing clothes, okay? And I also worked through lunch today (read: laid on the floor and cuddled Gus to take a break from work) so by the time supper came around, I ate faster than Kent. And I guarantee you don’t understand the significance of that statement.

Anywho, first things first:

Month 1: Media

What a month to start off Seven. They say it takes about 2-3 weeks to make or break a habit, and I’m happy to report that I’m no longer addicted to any app on my phone or any website (NetflixNetflixNetflix). By being more efficient with my time, I simply have more of it. And Jen talks about this exact thing:

“My communion with God suffers not for lack of desire but time. And let’s be honest: I say I don’t have time, yet I found thirty-five minutes for Facebook and an hour for my shows. I found half an hour for YouTube videos on how to fix little black girls’ hair (my Ethiopian children are on deck and I can’t have them looking nappy). I found fifteen minutes for the radio and twenty-four minutes for a missed 30 Rock episode. So when I say I don’t have time, I’m a gigantic liar. 
I have time. I just spend it elsewhere. 
God hasn’t made a nuisance of himself or given tasks for my newfound time. He’s just been…extra there. 
God is using 7 to transform the ease of my communion with Him. It’s intimacy like a comfortable sweatshirt, beyond dressed up Sunday wear—past the formality, past the spiritual tasks. More like,
‘Let’s just live this life together.'”
                              – Seven by Jen Hatmaker

Month 2: Waste
February 2017 is all about adopting seven new green habits.
Before we get to mine, hear from Jen Hatmaker herself about one of her habits. She went hard and took up gardening.
“Rarely have I encountered a subject I am more ignorant about. For three-quarters of all produce, I have no idea how it grows. I don’t understand life cycles or know where anything is found in nature.
I’ve never plucked an eggplant off its vine/stem/root (please circle whichever system gives eggplants their life). Until now, my produce originated from the same place where it is all in season, all in time: the grocery store. Whether it is a hot-weather vegetable or a fruit that requires sandy soil, I haven’t a clue. It doesn’t matter that it can be prematurely picked, artificially ripened, and shipped from anywhere on earth if I need it for my cobbler that day. I’ve never picked something from my backyard and fed it to my family.”
You go, girl. I’ll garden when I’m not renting a house/property and it’s not February. Carry on.
But did you guys know this??
“Only 18 cents of every dollar, when buying at a supermarket, go to the grower. 82 cents go to various unnecessary middlemen. Farmer’s markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.”

Behold, my seven new green habits:
1. Recycle EVERYTHING
2. Washing all laundry in cold water
3. Using cloth napkins
4. Canceling all junk mail!!
5. Shopping only thrift and garage sales
6. Flush less often (judge me)
7. Buy in bulk (less packaging)
Thus far, it has been a roaring success. (But who am I kidding? This month is so much easier). By “roaring success,” I mean that when faced with scraping expired cream cheese out of its container, rinsing, and recycling vs. throwing the nasty thing away, I buckled down and did my civic duty. You’re welcome, Seven Council. You’re welcome, Earth. You’re welcome, Jen Hatmaker, moon, sun, stars, trees, ocean, sky, ozone layer. I am your sustainer and giver of life. This cream cheese container will not destroy you. Not while I have anything to say about it. Global warming solved. Any questions?
I also haven’t done any laundry in the entire month yet, so, you know, you’re welcome Earth. Not only am I not using hot water, I’m not using any water. But please don’t look at the laundry basket in my bedroom.
  • “Cloth napkins”? If I don’t have time to change out of my pajamas to go into public, I definitely don’t have time to buy cloth napkins. I’ve been using washcloths and kitchen towels.
  • Junk mail is one I need to work on. I’ve gotten a little too good at the “touch your mail only once: recycle it, shred it, or file it,” that I’ve forgotten a few times to see with whom I need to cut ties.
  • Along with doing Seven, Kent and I are also doing Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University. So instead of shopping at garage sales, I’m gearing up for one. In February. Thanks, Dave.
  • Flushing less often is not that big of a deal. For 8 hours a day I am the only human being in a house.
An older toilet can use 3.5 gallons of water in one flush, and that’s a conservative estimate. If I use the restroom when I wake up (1), mid morning (2), at lunch (3), and again in the afternoon (4), and only flush ONCE before my husband gets home and wonders what madness Seven has become, I’m saving 10.5 gallons of water everyday. So like I said, judge me. (But also, in the midst of your judging, please let me know if you’re stopping by my house on a certain day. I want to make sure I have my toilet flushed. Please and thank you).
  • Buying in bulk is something we should all do if we have the money, I think. Not only is it better for the environment because it uses less packaging and you don’t have to go to the store for it as many times, but it’s also more cost efficient. Kent and I have a giant jar of crunchy peanut butter chilling in our pantry that, even though we eat from it every week, has been there for months and will probably still be there months from now. But…we saved money and helped the environment 🙂
 
I leave you with a few of Jen’s excerpts on recycling, which are way more entertaining than it sounds.
“I realize the novelty of recycling wore off around 1992, but somewhat late to the party, please indulge my enthusiasm. We decided to recycle every possible item this month: glass, tin, cardboard, plastic, batteries, ink cartridges, paper, and cans. Even our food scraps are recycled into compost, and leftover water goes to Lady’s bowl. I have bins for every category just inside the garage door. Breaking news:
We have like zero trash.
We used to roll our trash bin out with the lid propped halfway open, thanks to eight bags of waste crammed inside. Our family was keeping the landfill business in top working order. That big trash swirl in the ocean Oprah did a show on? I think I recognized the cereal boxes I cut Box Tops out of before promoting them to their second career as pollution.
But after the spaghetti boxes and jelly jars and coffee tins and detergent bottles relocate to the recycling bins, there is almost nothing left. We put out one small trash bag for the whole week.”

“I drove by a neighbor’s house on trash day today. I do not know these people. I saw a huge cardboard diaper box sticking out of their bin. I stopped. I reversed. I pulled it out of their trash can, broke it down, and put it in our recycling bin. It might be the creepiest thing I have ever done.” 

 

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