Motherhood. “I’ve come to love my life without children and I wonder how it will be possible to take care of a child when sometimes, I find it quite difficult to take care of myself. I understand this is something maternal magic eventually grinds into selflessness but in the interim, I’m reveling in selfishness. I have plans. I have things I want to do. Sometimes, they don’t involve children. “
While I would love to eat healthy, organic home cooked food every day… that’s not how life goes. I travel, I PMS, I get lazy… so yep, sometimes, I get fast food. Everything in moderation, right? However, fast food isn’t the most zero waste choice around. BUT. There are ways to drastically reduce the amount of trash you produce from your fast food jaunts. Here are my tips:
Go inside to get your order instead of going through the drive through. My experience with the drive through is they regularly miss you saying no to straws, napkins, etc. When you go inside, you can better articulate that you don’t need any of the extra items that are automatically thrown into the bag. Which leads me to tip two.
When inside, order your food “for here.” This way, the bag, the napkin, etc. aren’t provided to begin with (most of the time at least). You can then just take your (usually) paper wrapped items, put it in your own reusable bag, and walk out.
If you order a drink, bring your own tumbler or mason jar to fill up at the soda fountain (Whataburger even has their own fancy tumbler). I’ve never had any issues doing this. But more often than not, I forego the drink, and drink whatever I have at home.
Keep your preferred condiments at home or work so you can say no to the tiny hot sauce/ketchup/mustard/red chili flakes/etc. packages.
Compost your paper wrappings such as those that surround burgers and tacos. Compost pizza boxes (or at least recycle the portions of it that aren’t greasy).
And finally. Know your local joints. At this point, I know which taco place gives take out in paper bags versus plastic. And which burger joints give fries in paper wrapping instead of the plastic-lined cartons. Order food accordingly.
How do you think about death? “The fear of flying often kicks in around age 27, studies reveal, when people start to grapple with their own mortality. They don’t feel invincible, like they did as rowdy kids and hormonal teenagers.” YEP. ME.
Have you heard of the Feng Shui idea that moving 27 items can change your life? I think “change your life” might be a bit of a stretch BUT moving 27 items can get you out of a rut, make you feel less stuck, and just allow for better energy in your home. Moving can entail both getting rid of things or shifting an item’s position in your home. This is something you should do at least seasonally. I find that it allows you to evaluate the items in your home consistently and ask yourself whether you still need it/love it/want it. And sometimes moving an item can make it feel “new” in a way. Here are the items I tend to move around the house on a seasonal basis (some of these (such as laundry) are done weekly).
Candles: recycle or reuse empty glass jars; move candles to different spots on your coffee table or kitchen counter.
Coffee table books: restack your books or trade out books from your bookshelf to coffee table.
Cook books: donate the ones you no longer use; reorder the ones you keep.
Throw blankets and pillows: shake them out; run them through the dryer; move them to the opposite end of the couch.
Photographs/Artwork: switch out the prints in your frames; move a painting to a different room.
Baskets: move your catch call or blanket basket from one corner of the room to another.
Benches: swap the entryway bench with the one in front the bed.
Small plants: reorder the plants/succulents in the patio and bathroom.
Fruit bowl: move the bowl to a different part of the kitchen.
Lamps: swap/move floor or desk lamps to a different spot that allows for light to hit in a new way.
Toothbrush: ditch old toothbrushes or brush heads.
Laundry: put up any clothes that are still sitting in the basket; do a load of laundry with whatever is sitting in the hampers.
Seasonal bedding: swap out heavy blankets for lighter ones or vice-versa depending on the season.
Old pens/writing utensils: send old writing utensils to Pen Guy Art.
Bags of items to donate: take those bags of unused items that you’ve collected to the donation location of your choice.
Electronics to recycle: take old batteries and electronics to local electronics recycling center.
Trash cans: empty these out.
Duplicate items: add to donation bag or re-sell on eBay or Poshmark.
Single purpose items that are never used: add to donation bag or re-sell on eBay or Poshmark.
Pet beds and toys: shake these out; give them a wipe; move them to a different spot on the floor.
Small electronic device like an Apple TV: wipe these down; move over a few inches or to other side of the tv.
Tsotchkes: donate ones that don’t “spark joy”; move the rest to other spots in the house.
Mugs: donate ones that don’t “spark joy”; rotate the rest between mug holder and cabinet.
Coats/outerwear: rotate order in coat closet.
Canned food: take unopened cans to local food pantry.
Snacks: take unopened snacks to local food pantry; compost stale or expired items.
A response to that viral article on millennial burnout. “Often, we move too fast, on autopilot, and as Petersen describes, life is a constant struggle to keep up. Becoming a parent can be an emotional reset. Am I prescribing parenthood as an antidote for burnout? Of course not. And it doesn’t have to be a child that shakes your worldview and resets your priorities. There are myriad other ways people achieve this kind of reset: a dog, a serious illness, a religious epiphany, ayahuasca.”