This is why I love this site, I came here to learn about growing food, I’m learning so much more. This conversation has been great, I’m not sure what more I can add to it.
I think a scale for this sort of thing makes a lot of sense. Dan makes a lot of sense when saying removing the first 10% of gunk in your life is easier than the next and then you get into diminishing returns. Also I like this line:
Dan Boone wrote:But much of that waste is also resource. And I believe passionately that the principles of permaculture not only have room for, but actively demand, using those resources where it makes sense.
I had a moment of “get it off me” when it comes to plastic stuff in my life just last week. I was thinking that we probably shouldn’t be using plastic cooking utensils. Then bought new metal or bamboo ones to replace them. Looking at it like it’s on a scale, that action wouldn’t be as high on the scale as replacing those items with ones bought at a flea market. Or finding them in another person’s bin. I had the financial means for it in the moment and didn’t think much past it. I was also more concerned with not having plastic stuff leach into my food, than contributing to waste streams. I would have went further, and replaced our tupperware, plastic wrap, food bags, toddler’s sippy cups, etc with non-plastic stuff. But there I would have been spending a lot, so have stalled on that. And after reading through this thread, I won’t just buy new replacements.
Continuing to think of this as a scale, I don’t think I’m at the level Pearl is with going through other people’s recycling bins. I’m not trying to say anything bad about it, and actually in the context of this discussion, it seems like the right thing to do. You’re turning a waste output into a useful input. I know that in my brain
, but I have a hard time convincing myself to do that. I’m still trying to convince myself to pick up the bags of leaves that will be appearing on the side of the road very soon. I’m sorry to say that stigma is holding me back on that.
Thanks for this discussion, it’s given me a lot to think about.
Also, as an aside, a “living estate sale” sounds surreal and awkward. But makes a lot of sense.