Resourceful Living In A Disposable Age

09-11-2011 | Dojo |

I’m not a “live green” fanatic, but I am resourceful. I’m probably more resourceful than I realize, partly in thanks to my thrifty mom who brought me up with a “don’t waste” policy. It follows me to this day. One of the most disgusting sights to me is an overflowing garbage bin. Really? Do we really have to buy-use-throw away so much?

Just take a brisk walk through Wal-Mart or your local shopping center and you’ll see part of the problem. There’s an overabundance of stuff. Stuff we don’t need. Or stuff we do need, but we don’t need 73 brands of shampoo to choose from.

Pressure to buy contributes to the wasteful problem. We hardly get halfway through our bottle of foundation before another brand comes out with the bigger and better. There’s a constant demand to want more, buy more, and essentially, waste more.

It’s really about simplicity. I like to streamline my life. I ask myself “What do I really need?” There’s incredible enjoyment in playing a game against commercialism. If I don’t buy the item on the shelf, then I know I’ll be forced to do without it. Simplicity fuels creativity. And creativity fans the flame of resourcefulness.

If you don’t have any idea how to be resourceful—but you’d like to be, here’s a few tips. Easiest way to start is to think about what you’re throwing in the trash and why. I’m not saying you have to save all your eggs shells and potato peelings for a compost pile. (Though my mother-in-law does, and she always has amazing gardens!) What I am saying is—think about what you’re throwing away and decide if you can use it as a resource for further good. That’s resourcefulness in a nutshell.

Like I mentioned before, simplicity fuels creativity. This summer I needed tomato cages for my garden. I’m an amateur gardener at best, so the whole deal was a gamble. I was shocked however to discover that the cheapest, junkiest tomato cages on the market were going to cost me upwards of 40 dollars. Wait, I thought the whole point of this garden thing was to save money? I was indignant, but it was what spawned my creativity. At home I found a bunch of old pickets that my husband had saved from a worksite. I used individual pickets and ribbons of tulle leftover from our wedding to make simple, creative, whimsical, and totally free supports for my tomato plants. Not only did I save us money, but I’ve never seen such a cute set-up for tomatoes.

So, look around you. You have a need? What do you already have in your home or on your property, than can meet this need? You have to think outside of the box. You have to develop and eye for what most people consider trash. Think of creative ways to give it a new life. Resourcefulness may not save the planet, but it will save your wallet, and it will bring you a bit of joy in the commonplace.


Recent Comments

  • http://Adiana

    November 9, 2011 at 9:41 am

    great article. I wish i could be more resourceful myself as i tend to throw a lot of food (because i am an awful cook and i ruin everything). But reading your article makes me try a little harder in other domains too.

  • November 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

    I cannot agree with you more 🙂
    I too like to recycle and try to find other uses to what should become garbage. The most simple example that comes to mind is reusing jars or shopping bags. I have other examples but they don’t come to mind at the moment.
    Like you said, simplicity is a pleasant challenge.

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