The Simple Year: Project updates

Hello, Simple Year friends! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Trisha — you can read about my zero waste project under the Year 5 tab above. While it’s only been a little over a year since my project ended, so much has happened in that time.

Globally, the world is coming to terms with the end of a lax Chinese recycling policy, in that the Chinese are no longer accepting America’s contaminated plastics. In our state of Oregon, and especially in our town, all co-mingled recyclables are going into the landfill. As they have been since Jan. 1.

Kind of depressing.

Our family continues to strive to be zero waste, although what that means to us now versus what we thought it was at the beginning of our project has evolved. I never thought true zero waste was possible, but I did learn that there is plenty a family can do to reduce their waste — even if conditions seem against you.

So we continue to take our grocery bags to the store, pack lunches in reusable containers, shop farm stands and farmers’ markets when possible and take our own water bottles and coffee mugs with us everywhere. We buy bulk produce, meat and other items like soap and baking powder by bringing in our own jars, batch our errands to keep from making unnecessary trips to town, and choose paper-wrapped over plastic whenever possible. This past weekend, Johanna and I saw bulk cocoa powder at our favorite grocery store for the first time. Let’s just say there was some dancing in the aisles.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I learned during my Simple Year and how much we were able to accomplish because Simple Year bloggers Kerry, Kandice, Tracy, Hannah and I have been working on an anthology of our respective projects this summer. We’re still in the beginning stages and have more work to do, but it’s exciting to create a book that combines all of the lessons we learned from our various years with a goal of helping others who want to start similar projects or are just curious why five people would choose to take on such complicated projects. On purpose. And in a very public way.

Yeah, I still wonder about that myself.

In other news, we’re also contemplating the future of The Simple Year blog — whether we want to continue with Year 7 this fall or take a break while we put together the anthology. We have received some excellent proposals, which makes the decision even harder.

We do have, however, a couple of social media outlets for you to check out: Instagram (HERE), Twitter (HERE) and Facebook (HERE).

It’s been a heck of a summer is what I’m saying, but a productive one as well. I’m not sure how much fun we’re having 😉 but I’m sure we’ll look back at this crazy period fondly when it’s all over.

Um, maybe?

8 Responses to The Simple Year: Project updates

  1. So excited about the anthology!

    Selfishly, I’d still love to have Year 7. I enjoy the continuity of the hand off so much with this blog. It’s part of what keeps it fresh and worth reading day after day.

  2. Trisha, just want to let you know how much I’ve enjoyed reading your Year 5 posts. I’ve come to this series late, and I have almost finished reading all your entries. I am on my own waste-reduction journey, and I really like reading about your experiences. Must say I’m envious about your bulk food options. Not so many in central Maine, but we will do what we can with the resources we have. Good luck with the book. It’s one I’m definitely interested in buying.

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