September 29, 2011

"In the Bucket" List

Earlier this month, my dear friend Christine and I discussed bucket lists as we trekked Yosemite. And I mentioned that I think it's perhaps more important to take stock of what we have already done, experienced, accomplished and achieved. Or rather, I know that focusing on what I have done gives me perspective, while focusing only on what I would like to do feels not only overwhelming but skewed and, if I let it, can be a bit of a downer.

So to give myself a little perspective and a smile, I've decided to list what I've improved or changed on my ZW journey since May. I still have lots of room to improve, learn and grow. So I try to be gentle about what I haven't done yet or don't do well, but not so gentle that I forget where I want to improve and where I still have yet to go.

If you've read many of my previous posts, you'll find there's nothing new here; the list really is just a progress report. Some items are habits created and others are merely changes begun.

In the Bucket
Replaced my paper towel & sponge habits, implementing cloths for most all household uses.
Our household trash is slashed by half...that is, we're down to half a bag of refuse/wk on average.
No longer forget to bring my own shopping and produce bags into the store.
Almost automatically look for the non-plastic alternative for products.
Started making my own soaps, lotion, cleaners; find it less work than imagined, and enjoy it quite.
Think more about the importance of truly natural products (as a by-product ZW living).
Scrutinize all mail and request removal from mailing lists routinely.
Ask for minimal, eco-friendly packaging (shipping) or no packaging at all (when possible).
Contact sellers and manufacturers regarding packaging, chemicals and more in support of ZW.
Living with less & happy to have less clutter confusing and abusing me in my own environment.
Learning to let "things" go more easily, and find the habit addictive.
Educate myself online - those who've come before me are indispensable to my learning journey.
Spend less. Waste less. Enjoy more. Feel more inspired, and Create more.

Not Yet In the Bucket, aka traditional Bucket list
bulk shopping - not doing much yet (which leads to the next item...);
plastic-free shopping - have yet to nix all bagged items (like frozen foods);
composting - working on it but feeling more like a failure than an accomplishment so far;
disposing of disposables - I still frequently forget to bring and use my reusables--napkins, flatware and straw, when I'm out and about the town, and
lots and lots more - I have so much more to learn, try, perfect. So, I'm open to tips!

What's in your bucket?