Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolution for 2013–Zero Waste Home

Okay, roll your eyes upward and shake your head…here’s this year’s resolution…

The Olympic Peninsula does not actually have a landfill--our garbage is taken to a transfer station and then shipped to somewhere in eastern Oregon.  Knowing the impact trash has on our area and understanding the amount of waste everyone produces across the country, we are stepping up our effort to reduce our small carbon footprint.  Our resolution for 2013 will be to work towards a zero waste home; or more realistically reduce our waste to a bag of trash a month by the end of the year. 

But, before you think we are going too granola, there are other selfish goals we are hoping to gain by doing this.  Fewer trips to take out the garbage, reduced cost for trash pickup, lower grocery costs by buying “scratch” products without packaging, and maybe lose a few pounds by avoiding processed foods which are usually double-wrapped in plastic and cardboard.

Inspiration for this goal came from an article on the Sunset magazine website and presented in a video, “Zero Waste Home”.  Some of the ideas are not appetizing to us, such as asking the grocer to place “wet” food items (meats, cheeses) into glass jars you bring to the store.  Just.  Cannot.  Do.  It.  The best we can do is have the meat items wrapped in wax paper rather than a plastic tray and cellophaned. 

Each week on Wednesday, “No Waste Wednesdays”, I will highlight a new tactic we try to reach our goal.  The new habit may be abandoned if it is not working, but at least we will give it a go.  Love to inspire you to do the same.  Some of this will be difficult and some methods, I suspect, will be surprisingly easy.

Come on, give it a try!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fishing the Dungeness

DungenessRiver_WinterJanuary is Steelhead fishing on the Dungeness River.  Less than 2 miles from our home—a beautiful rushing river with deep pools waiting for resting fish.  Mike is ready.  Special reel and pole.  Check.  Winter waders.  Check.  Waterproof, green fishing jacket.  Check. 

We spent the morning hiking along the river noting the best spots for fishing.  Great trail with little side paths to get to the river.  Moderate temperatures around 42-45 degrees with sun peeking over the snow-covered mountains in the distance. 

Pinch me, is this real or just a dream?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

2012 Resolution–Project 333

Project333I know many of you do not understand my obsession with downsizing the wardrobe.  All I can say is, it is freeing.  I can easily pack all my clothing into a couple of bags and it is out the door (one bag if the shoes and coats are limited).  No need to think about what coordinates with what or making choices.  It fits.  The basic colors work—scarves & buffs add more color and pattern.  It is comfortable.  It can be dressed up or down.  Perfect.

Living in the RV for almost two years (and I could easily have continued full-time) taught us you truly do not need much to enjoy life.

So, I am recapping the results of my 2012 resolution a.k.a Project 333 (  If you recall, the goal was to avoid buying any new clothing or sell clothing on eBay or on consignment to cover any purchases.  Clothing was trimmed to a happy 34 items (not quite 33, and I do not count jewelry, scarves, under garments,  outerwear and specialty sportswear like golf shoes); technically, the project outline calls for 33 items for 3 months--I am trying to live with 34 all year.  I can report that not only did that happen, but I convinced my husband to join the effort and we are actually $277 to the good (he still has a looong way to get down to 33).  Meaning we have sold more than we bought.  And this does not count what I currently have at the consignment store (collection of money occurs in February).  I have a few more coats and shoes to sell on eBay, too.

This was a great experiment and will continue into 2013; and hopefully, indefinitely. Only keep what fits and what you love. Live with what you have.  Little time wasted in stores.  Plenty of storage in the closet.   I could get on my soapbox and explain why everyone needs to change, but I think you can figure it out (landfill issues, overspending, feeding the China machine, etc.)

We will keep the ball rolling with the wardrobe, but we have a new and different resolution for 2013 that will a bit more challenging.  I will explain our new goal on January 1 blog post.  For some reason, when committing to paper you tend to stick with the resolution.  Interesting.

If you are interested in Project 333 or in the minimalist movement, here are a few links below you will find helpful and enjoy.     Believe me, the” less is more” was not always our philosophy, but now shedding the un-necessary is really liberating.  (Up until five years ago I kept every pay stub since I started working—37 years worth—really?  Why?)

Saturday, December 22, 2012


IMG_2307Well, you probably figured out we are not traveling this winter.  Last year’s trip across the country to Florida and back was a bit over the top.  Close to 10,000 miles traveled.  Not only did the fuel prices increase more than expected, but we had vehicle issues along the way.  Did not write about the problems in the blog last year—who wants to relive all that?  Actually bought a new truck when we were in Florida!  Mike likes his new truck, Ford F450 (that is an understatement).

So, we are taking a break this year.  Sorry.  We are feeling a little bummed about it, too.

The good news is, it is not so bad here on the Olympic Peninsula in the winter.  In fact, it is pretty darn nice.  Lots of parties and festivities.  And contrary to what you might think, the weather is really mild near the Port Angeles, Sequim, Port Townsend area.  On the day “the world came to an end” or a.k.a. the Mayan April Fool’s Day, we experienced sun shine and temperatures near 50 degrees. 

It is just as well to stay put; we need to catch up with big chores.  Continued downsizing the belongings—selling on eBay, Goodwill, and giving away.  Digitized all our photos from the last 40 years (saved to three locations and then tossed!)  Inventoried all belongings and documented (details, photo, and scanned receipt attached to each item) on a free application called “What You Own”.  Not fun, but needed.  Does feel great to get things under control and organized, though.

We are planning our next year travels and possibly renting the house so we can enjoy extended travel time.  Now, this is fun!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Minimalist Christmas Decorating

ChristmasTreeFor the last five years, we have passed on decorating for Christmas.  And honestly, it has not been missed.  Don’t get me wrong, I love visiting friends and family with elaborate ornaments and clever displays.  Their treasures are lovingly purchased or passed down from generation to generation.  It is fun to hear personal stories of Christmas past (or the retelling of them on family visits).  And if there are young children, it is wonderful to watch their expressions and shrieks of joy when they are surrounded by all the color.

DSC_0125 (6)But, living with a lot of blinking lights and holiday smalls on a daily basis for over a month, makes us crazy.  We have tried over the years, but it feels so chaotic (to us).  This year we are decorating in our new home, but with a minimalist approach.  Enough to make guests feel festive.  What you see in the pictures are all we have remaining; everything else was sold or given away.

ChristmasSmallsEasy to set up, a little “greenage”, a few smalls, and quick to put away on December 26th.  [The Christmas stockings are vintage quilts repurposed with faux fur from coats used for the tops—purchased about 25 years ago.]  Very little storage needed.  With the exception of the little tree, we use it in our RV, too (if that is where we are living during the winter).

Not for everyone.  It works for us.  Christmas enjoyed without too much fuss.

The Bus Babes in PA (and The Coles–8th Installment)

Not Pennsylvania, but Port Angeles.  Everyone living on the Olympic Peninsula refers to Port Angeles as PA.  It is only 14 miles to PA; but with the price of fuel, the bus was still cheaper.  The Bus Babes rode the bus to downtown and up to Webster’s Woods Art Gallery.

BusBabesinPA“It was a fun day exploring shops, galleries, the Fine Arts Center, and having lunch with my fellow ‘Bus Babes’.  Even the weather cooperated once again.  Thanks, girls!”  -Nancy

I agree, Nancy!  Great Day!  And thanks for the pic, Lyn.  I was a little lazy with the picture taking.

A note on the 8th Installment of The Coles (refer to the last 7 blog posts).  I know I left you hanging and Elizabeth still has some major challenges in her life, but I would like to post some pictures of her.  My cousin (second cousin, that is) is sending a few photographs.  Don’t forget me, Tom!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...