This holiday season I’m trying something different. Since I never shave anyway I decided that No Shave Novemeber didn’t really change my typical routine at all. There was no challenge to it. And challenges like Inktober, which I tried to take part in, don’t provide any reason to draw every day, no incentive to continue, and no consequence for missing a day (or like myself, stopping at the last week and never catching up because oh well no big deal maybe next year).
So, instead I have decided to do my own challenge. I call it “No Waste November,” or as it’s written on my website: #NoWasteNovember.
The whole purpose is to take a look at my life and figure out where I produce waste. Then to see if I can reduce or even eliminate that waste altogether. But not just trash. All types of waste. I can use less single-use cartons, bags, and napkins by eating in more. Consequently, that will also save me money. Using less single-use items altogether will be better for the environment but also, again, save me money. Using the same utensils, water bottles, towels, and so on…
And by making less trips to fast food restaurants (where I am picking up one thing: food), I can instead reduce the number of trips I make by going to the supermarket for not only food but anything else I need, and thus reduce the number of miles I put on my car, as well as the amount of gas I burn, which will keep carbon dioxide out of the air, and, yet again, save me money.
While saving money seems like a good enough reason to reduce waste it’s not the only good reason. I waste a lot of time throughout my day. Most of that wasted time is spent watching YouTube. Mind you, I watch a lot of educational and informational videos. But I also watch videos where people analyze superhero movie trailers frame by frame trying to deduce every bit of information they can about what could possibly happen in the movie… when I can just wait until the movie comes out, because I’m going to see Spiderman in theaters if I have to go by myself!
I also waste quite a few watt hours of electricity. Maybe not directly, but I do have a few tablets, a phone, and a laptop; some of which I let sit around until they need charging again, only to charge them and not use them until they need to be charged. I then charge them only to not use them… it’s endless power cycles. That and all the phantom power my devices and their charging bricks are using. I could probably save a lot of, you guessed it, money.
Speaking of those electronic devices I have: I think I have enough. I don’t need anymore. It’s the marketing teams for the big businesses that make me think it’s time for a new phone or smart watch or computer. My computers, tablets, and other devices work just fine. And they’ll keep doing what they do now for the long while. It’s not like a software update is going to purposely slow down the phone claiming to make the battery last longer, yet crippling the phone to a degree… 🙄 And realistically, fresh installs and resets of any device makes it as fast and responsive as it was day 1 (maybe more so if you had bloatware on the device that can be removed). And doing this simple maintenance, while fun for me, also make my devices last longer. This saves me from needing to purchase new devices. Which… say it with me… saves me money.
Food. Let’s talk about all the food I have in the house when “there’s nothing to eat.” I need to eat that food. Better meal planning will not only help me eat healthier, but also open up new meal ideas. And of course it can save me money by eating what I already have instead of buying more food I’m only going to let sit in the cupboard while I order pizzas and eat tacos.
I feel like I’m making this all about money… but the truth is, besides being a tangible incentive, saving money is just one benefit of reducing waste. I could change my lifestyle for the better in many ways: reducing waste for our planet, eating healthier, exercising more, and generally enjoying my time on this Earth. It’s really all about perspective. Hopefully I’ll gain some as I work on reducing and eliminating waste this November.
P.S. – that was #NoWasteNovember in case you forgot. I know I ramble a lot.