Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Moving Doesn't Have to Be Wasteful

I have to admit something. When I was packing up my apartment back in June, I had a lot of I-should-just-throw-this-out moments.

You know what I mean. You're standing in your kitchen tossing utensils and cans of kidney beans into a box and you come across something you can't imagine bringing to your new place. Maybe it's a half-full box of pasta or a stray teabag. Who knows.

Either way, you're so exhausted that the very prospect of carrying eight ounces of pasta or a half-ounce teabag the thirty feet out to the moving van seems like a serious waste of energy.

I think it happens to everybody, but I'm happy to say that I resisted the temptation to trash everything and start over. Instead, I mustered up the strength, put everything I had into boxes, and moved it all to my new apartment. I didn't toss a single thing out...except for one mostly dead aloe plant that someone ended up rescuing anyway.

And I have to say, moving those extra few boxes really wasn't bad, especially when you consider that I probably saved myself a fair amount of money by keeping those useful things.

Mind you, I did give a lot of clothes and shoes to Goodwill, but I didn't ditch everything in the dumpster.

THIS, I must point out, is more than I can say for the guy who moved out of my building last weekend. I've never seen anything like it. The day he moved out, he scrapped the following:
  • a beautiful vintage couch (which got rained on before I could put up an add on Craigslist's free section)
  • an antique radio
  • curtains
  • sheets
  • a drying rack (this is mine now, I needed one)
  • books
  • nice wooden hangers
  • a bucket (mine now, too)
  • a plant stand
  • a cooler
  • and much, much more
It was ridiculous. He threw away things he surely could have used in his new home, like food and hangers, as well as things he could have donated or sold to other people. It was really sad.

But why be sad? Moving doesn't have to be wasteful because the following resources and organizations can help you make your next move more eco-friendly.

Resources
  • Freecardboardboxes.com - Connect with people who are giving old moving boxes away.
  • Usedcardboardboxes.com - Buy moving boxes that have been rescued from large companies that might otherwise recycle them or simply throw them away.
  • Freecycle - Give your unwanted things to others who will cherish them. Note that people give moving boxes away on this site ALL the time.
  • Craigslist - Sell unwanted items or create a post in the "free" section. You can even do this for stuff you're leaving in your alley.
  • Goodwill
  • Salvation Army

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Summer Break is Over

My co-worker, Nick, won't stop asking me why I haven't blogged since May. Nearly every day his loud, annoying voice curls around the wall between our cubicles and grates at my ears.

What I hear is something like, "So, Jeanne."

It's not a question, but I know there's more to it. I know what's coming. I say, "yeeeaaaah?"

Then he asks, "So, when are you gonna write another blog post?"

"Uhh...I don't know!"

But that's not totally true. I do sort of know why.

I moved into a new apartment last month and was transported into an anti-blogging state of preoccupation, confusion, and plastification.

Excuse #1: Preoccupation
I spent a good portion of June packing up my old apartment and moving into my new place. Then I had to unpack (Secret: I'm still not 100% done. I have one box to left to unpack and I still haven't figured out how to organize my closets).

On top of that, it's the summer, and my usually-super-busy boyfriend has tons of free time, and I went to visit my friend's farm for a weekend, and I've been working on a new photo project. And, and, and.

Excuse #2: Confusion

It is not just the preoccupation. Now that I'm in a new apartment and location, I've had to figure out how to shop again. I had to assess the general plastic-free-ness of the products at my new grocery store and figure out the best way to get to a Whole Foods. I had to reform my routine—the exact routine that allows me to be (nearly) plastic-free in the first place.

Excuse #3: Plastic

I've used some plastic during this busy and confusing time, which left me un-motivated to write. Here's a list of the things I recall using:
  • A Starbucks ice coffee cup
  • Two coffee cup lids
  • A carry out container (from delicious thai food)
  • Blue corn chips bag
  • A few straws
  • Two plastic forks and two plastic knives (at continental breakfast while on a mini-break)
  • Plastic bag (from cherries at a farmers' market)
That's all I can remember for now. I know it's not so bad, but I felt terrible for each and every one of these things.

Summer Break Is Over
So that's it. Summer is over, and it's time to say "adios" to preocccupation, confusion, and plastic.

And it's time to say "hello" to my blog! HELLO BLOG!

Thanks to Nick for allowing me to make fun of him in this post. If you've got time, check out his marketing strategy blog, Never A Lack of Ideas.