wasting less

Wednesday marked the beginning of the Lenten season for Christians.  Typically, I choose to give up something in my diet, like chocolate, dessert, or just eating after dinner in general.

This year, however, Matt and I have decided to go a different direction.  About a week ago, one of Matt’s former runners shared an article on Facebook about giving up plastic for Lent instead of the typical chocolate.  We were both intrigued by it, and the more we thought about it, the more we thought it was no only something we wanted to try to do, but something we needed to try to do.

The Concrete Runner - Plastic Challenge

This certainly will not be easy for us.  First of all, it took some researching and discussion to figure out exactly how far or how much we wanted to do with this “challenge.”  Was it just giving up plastic bottles and plastic grocery bags?  Or did we have to get rid of ALL the plastic in our house, like tupperware, etc.?  We knew we already had a grocery bag problem – even with shopping at ALDI every week and bringing our own grocery bags.  But, the local grocery stores and Target have led to an overabundance of plastic grocery bags.  And not because we don’t have reusable bags.  Because it’s just more convenient to use what they have at the store – plastic grocery bags.

So, the first thing to change is the grocery bag issue.  Easy with a little forethought.  Plastic bottles, like water bottles, really aren’t too much of a problem for us since we use reusable water bottles regularly.  So, what else?  What else is considered “plastic”?  What else should we include in our challenge?

What we came down to was any type of plastic that is reusable – bottles, tupperware – is fine.  But, anything that we normally would pitch has gots to go.  Part of my problem is that I am horrible about just throwing things in a trash can instead of recycling.  Did you know that your K-cups are recyclable?  Those individual yogurt containers?  Pretty much the majority of your food containers can all be recycled.  While I don’t throw EVERYTHING away, I need to be more conscious of where I am putting things.  Like paper, I throw so much paper away on a daily basis.

So, I’ve decided to take this challenge a little step farther.  I completely intend to get rid of as much plastic in my life in exchange for more reusable containers, but I also know that I simply need to stop wasting as much.  Therefore, I am doing my best to recycle as much things as I possibly can.  For example, my dinner from Panera last night.  I honestly didn’t think about it until I went to go throw it away and realized I had used plastic silverware to eat it, instead of the actual silverware I had in my house.  Ugh. 

 I ended up recycling all of this, but this will definitely be a challenge for me.  But, a challenge I feel will be well worth it.  I feel like I am thinking more about something other than myself (for once), I’m doing something good for the environment, and I am constantly being reminded of the sacrifice Christ made for me on the cross.  I’ll let you know how it goes once these next 6 weeks are over…

What types of things do you typically recycle?  Did you give up anything for Lent, if you observe it?