I’m coming down from a MAJOR sugar high (I will never learn), thanks to a very generous Easter Bunny, aka my mother, who knows how to make a pretty amazing feast that includes orange charlotte on the salad table because pie and cookies and chocolates are on the dessert table. Obviously.
Incidentally, Easter is a pretty laid back holiday in the Walker household. We go to church, we hang out with family, we take bets on how long it will take the cats to find the Easter baskets. The girls’ baskets are reused from year to year — that’s just tradition. Abby has the basket I grew up with and I got Jo a new one for her first Easter 13 years ago — as is the paper grass, and, as they get older, they’re filled with stuff like t-shirts and hats (Abby) and art supplies (Johanna). Because that’s what they want. Not very thrilling, but then, we’re not thrilling people.
Hey, at least the cats were entertained.
I just watched Johanna wrap a birthday present for her best friend in a used gift bag with torn newspaper for filling. She made a mixed-media canvas of hands shaped into a heart. Um, like this:
… And a homemade card. That’s zero waste! I told her, and she was like, You’re welcome, Mom!
Now, lest you think we’re really getting somewhere, let me tell you this terrible, terrible tale: I went to put a twist tie from a loaf of bread into the garbage under the sink and found a banana peel. Even though the compost bin is literally right next to the sink. And we’ve been composting longer than we’ve been zero wasting.
I bellowed a bit, not even gonna lie. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll figure that out during Year 2.
I made a couple of tins of homemade all-purpose balm in containers I’d up-cycled — a mint tin, a compact — in December, but never got around to actually giving them to anyone. So they’ve just been sitting on top of my wardrobe, gathering dust.
A couple of weeks ago, one of my co-workers transferred to another office, and I handed her the compact for a going-away present. You and your homemade stuff! she said, and then proceeded to tell me how she loves the sugar scrub I gave her for Christmas.
I was mostly just relieved that she wasn’t wondering why the heck I was giving her balm in a used container.
Then the next weekend, Abby mentioned she wanted me to show her how to make lotion so she could give a tin to her guidance counselor, who has been going above and beyond on the college prep front. And I was like, Uh, how about THIS container? and tossed her the tin.
And Abby was thrilled. It passed her “cute” test.
I was feeling pretty good about it all until I realized that, while this project was zero waste for me and I had successfully kept two items out of the landfill, they’ll probably end up there anyway after the balm is used. So now I’m conflicted: Did I actually do a good thing here, or would it have been better to recycle these items myself and put it in jars clearly meant for reuse/recycling? Thoughts and feelings, please. I truly am curious to see what the consensus on this is.
On Saturday, Johanna asked when our zero waste year was up. I was like, Funny you should ask because technically, that day is today. And then she got very excited and started talking about chips and ice cream. Eric was all like, I don’t think we need to do anything differently than we are right now.
I think the girls are hoping it’s going to be easier on them, i.e. getting a few things that they’ve been denied all year, but I’m not sure how much our lives will really change now that the project is “over.” April 15 came and went and wasn’t any different than any other day. And the days since haven’t been any different either. The truly great thing about having tackled this project is that we’ve got a year’s worth of experience under our collective belt, and it’s all routine at this point. It would frankly feel weird to go to the store and not be zero waste. I don’t miss our former way of doing things at all. Neither does Eric.
Now the girls … I’m going to do a major rebranding and tell them we’re going low waste instead of zero waste and see how that goes over. Don’t tell them it’s exactly what we have been doing all along. 😉
Next up: To be honest, I haven’t gotten that far yet. Sugar high, remember?