365 Days of Trash and Other Stories

Contrary to the title, the blog 365 Days of Trash could actually be called 365 Days of Zero Trash, or 365 Days Without Throwing Crap Out, But Also Without Hoarding In Scary Amounts. Come to think of it, 365 Days of Trash is a lot catchier than either of those titles, so rock on, Dave.

About 6 months ago, I decided to stop doing really extreme things that absorb my attention entirely for a span of 6 weeks then become so repugnant that I give them up entirely and subconsciously rebel against these activities from that day forth. To name a few:

  • Horticulture. I used to have gorgeous container plants that bloomed even when they weren’t supposed to (purple flowers!), the product of intense research of optimal plant conditions, matching photos to identify of label-less plants, and mixing huge quantities of soil on my living room carpet (Jon is a very understanding house-mate.) Fast forward to now: there are several dead or dying plants in my basement (next to windows, I’m not a sadist!), our own yellowing, chlorophyll versions of Mrs. Rochester, but thankfully, without the benefit of matches and opposable thumbs with which to light them.
  • Real Estate Closings. As part of my first post-college job, I learned all about title processing for mostly residential properties, tax certifications, and peculiar state laws for refinances. This stopped when I was enrolled in a Notary Public course so I could conduct closings, and I realized that the part I was most looking forward to was getting one of those cool seals that made the paper stick up in a circular pattern.
  • Sewing. To this day, I enjoy running off very simple sewing projects (hemming, no-nonsense curtains, basic pillow patterns) but at one point, I was making dresses and shirts, and stockpiling old patterns like a couture-obsessed squirrel.

Anyway, you get the picture. I have more or less done this since childhood, when my very tolerant parents used to allow me to fill my bedroom with paper chains (literally fill, you had to crawl through it to the bed) and spray paint in my room (a habit that persisted until college, when the size of my dorm room exacerbated the fumes, knocking me out).

So, instead of being all intense about this new thing, my Zero Trash But Anti-Hoarding Project, I’m just picking a few things to try, and seeing if they have any impact on our lives and those of polar bears. It’s conveniently complementary to my nature, as I frequently go OCD on my house and dump piles of things on the curb – or, in the case of the last time our friends Chris & Lauren visited, surreptitiously  fill their bags with items from my pantry in hopes that they’d carry them off when they left. (They did. Muahahaha hope you guys like carbohydrates.)

Also, if I don’t ever collect this stuff in the first place, it’ll free up my time for other OCD tasks, like arranging my books alphabetically by author (then title) and moving all the living room furniture around when Jon’s out of the house. (Which is kind of how I clean – cleaning is boring, but if you combine cleaning with moving furniture that is taller than you and three times as wide, it’s a lot more entertaining.)

So, stay tuned for updates as I give this a shot – I’ve already tried writing a holiday eletter with Mailchip instead of sending a postal letter (like I would have bothered to do that anyway) and my next task is to sign up for  a service like the DMA’s opt out of junk mail or greendimes.com. Or, I might just call a bunch of the companies that send me mail and pretend to be a leftwing nut who believes aliens live in the post office and getting off the mailing list is the only way to stop their communication with the mother ship, which of course, wants to eat our brains. Wish me (and whomever I call) luck!

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