Or…. not. I wanted to share some pictures today from my recycling classes with the city. We toured multiple facilities including a single stream recycling plant, a textile recycling facility, and an electronics recycling facility. I think we all have a feeling of “go me!” when you declutter, take things out, and drop them off at whatever place takes that particular item. But then… we kind of forget about it. We forget that our decluttering leads to clutter and trash and stuff elsewhere. So here’s a little reminder that while the stuff is no longer in our possession… they are now stuck being dealt with by someone else. And guys… there’s a LOT of stuff. So just a reminder to be mindful of what you buy to begin with. (Click on the images to see the captions on what you are looking at.)
Read this lovely article about how to find your passion as an adult. Now — how does this tie in with minimalism and zero waste? I think a huge reason we’re constantly buying and consuming so much is that… we’re bored. Rather, we don’t have an activity that we so desperately want to do, that instead, we spend our free time shopping or watching YouTube vloggers telling you about the best new items out there or researching future purchases… you get the picture. We think we need the stuff to be happy. And the cycle of buying, consuming, throwing away, learning about the new bright and shiny object, then buying more, throwing more continues. And you know what? It’s hard not to shop. We’re constantly inundated with reasons why we need to buy more stuff.
So what’s the solution? Finding your passion. Or a passion. Or many passions. Things that you would rather do than mindlessly buy material objects. So how do you figure out what these activities are? Well, the article started out with a questionnaire to help guide the way. Here’s the questionnaire from the article (and how I answered them). Please note that none of these answers are crazy and groundbreaking. Be honest with yourself. The answers are generally simple.
When do I forget to look at my phone?
Reading an amazing book, organizing/sprucing the house, exploring the world, hanging out with my friends.
What were things I loved to do as a kid?
Reading, drawing/crafting, watching movies, dancing.
What feels like active meditation?
Reading, dancing, hiking, baking.
What lights me up?
A good book, good food, new travels, taking care of myself and my home.
What would I do if money didn’t matter?
Travel (even more). Live somewhere closer to nature.
From these answers (common themes or passions: books, sprucing, and travel), I ended up creating a list for myself of things to do or “passions” — things I can focus on instead of consuming “stuff”.
- plan the details of our next trip.
- find places to go hiking both in my city and on my travels. go on a nature walk in my city.
- watch YouTube videos on something I want to learn how to do (i.e. styling hair, making a fancy cocktail, ).
- do yoga + workout videos from YouTube (I love Yoga with Adriene).
- bake something new or practice making cakes in different flavor combinations.
- take care of my roses and plants outside.
- read or re-read a book (I’m a huge fantasy/YA/NA nerd and try to read at least a book a week. Honestly, reading an amazing book is one of the times I feel the most alive and there is NOTHING else I’d rather do than escape in to this other world. This is truly a passion for me.)
- do annoying house maintenance activities: touch up paint, caulk the house; get rid of door squeakies while listening to a podcast on minimalism, books, or self care.
- work on my adult coloring books.
What are some activities or passions you focus on?