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Now THIS is de-cluttered... - Page 2

post #21 of 97

I really don't see how they are reducing because they are still buying things from the store and all they are just leaving the waste at the store. To me that is 1) not reducing and 2) kind of rude to except the store people to deal with their garbage. Id never expect my local grocery store people to throw my trash away for me which is what it seems that they do (maybe I missed something).

 

My family would definitely not be happy about the spartan no pictures no books all white either. Also, its to staged. I can guarantee they didn't get that furniture second hand which is much more environmentally friendly than getting everything new. Same with the jars and all. Kind of strikes me as someone saying "look at me, look how great I am".

post #22 of 97

I'm confused about the comments about leaving packaging at the store - the story sounds like they're buying from bulk bins, putting their block of cheese right in their own container so it doesn't get any plastic wrap, and so on. Did I miss something?

 

I'm surprised that they get Netflix through the mail - a lot of the Netflix library is available streaming - they could avoid even the paper envelope that way.

 

I agree that it looks almost aggressively, pointedly sterile. The walls could be in warm colors just as easily as that intense white, and I don't see how a few framed pictures and perhaps a fabric wall hanging or two would undermine the principle, especially in the playroom.

 

And no books?! I am reducing books pretty drastically, and I certainly approve of heavy library use, but there is no scenario where I'd ever have _no_ books.

 

Crayfish

post #23 of 97

 

I agree that it is too sterile. Like staying in a super modern hotel. I like the idea of bringing containers to the store for bulk items, but the people at Kroger can't tare, so that is a no-go for me. And no trash cans? Really? What do they do with their worn out undies or dead mouse bits from the cat or bone infused dog vomit...compost it? I'm all for reduce, reuse, recycle, but I don't think we have to live in a catalogue to achieve it. eyesroll.gif. LOVE the kitchen light fixture. They can buy that but have no money for art? Weird.
post #24 of 97

Doesn't appeal to me much....except for the dining table and chairs, and the light in the kitchen which is really cool!

post #25 of 97

here's me in total:

 

1. this is what i loved--

 

A. i love the scandinavian, hard-core lots-of-white decorating style. if i had my way, and eventually i will (lol), i would basically be in an all-white place. so from that perspective, i *loved* her home. i love white walls with white floors (or really, a sort of pickled look on wood) and white furnishings. 

 

B. i only have once piece of artwork that i find truly compelling emotionally -- and it was a gift from a client. it's a gorgeous blank and white photograph she took at a temple in Nepal when hiking the himalayas. my photographs and stuff are generally online and i prefer it that way. i like to "flip through" my albums. I make paper ones for family members (made online, printed, and delivered to them). but, i prefer to have my photos online and don't have them around the house.

 

C. books -- we have about 23 boxes of favorites, and a fair few here with us (probably about 30 in all), and so i can't say much. i would prefer to either 1. have them behind doors (in a bookcase) or 2. have them all in matching dust jackets to minimize impact. but, i just have them. LOL ah well.

 

we are also library users. it's a great way to get fun books without the expense. we read a lot.

 

D. food -- this part isn't hard. if you buy bulk and have your own bags, it's easy. for spices, we take our own spice jars with us. we use a lot of wet mustard, so we save those jars and clean them and take them to the shop and put the spices directly in there (having weighed the jar and lid first). the shop does not mind. all of our jars match because we use so much mustard. i use it in just about everything. LOL

 

our dairy comes direct from the farm, so it comes in plastic, but we are supposed to give the containers back for washing and reuse. we have asked them to switch to glass, but no luck yet. :) our dairy in the US used glass. :D we get milk and yogurt there. 

 

our meat comes direct from farm and is shipped in plastic. it sucks, but there it is. we found a decent butcher near us (cost wise and location) who would put our meat into our own bags/containers, but his grass-fed meat is very limited. so, we do what we can. 

 

we don't eat a lot of cheese, but we can get what we do eat cut for us at the shop and put into our own containers. so, when we get cheese we do this. 

 

E. toothbrushes -- i haven't actually found a viable alternative to conventional toothbrushes *except* to use a wash cloth. a friend of mine makes these wash-cloth finger puppet-like things for her family. she washes them by boiling in hot water with vinegar, and then rinsing and line drying. you use one per day, and she washes them all once a week. assuming you source your fabric, it could be a viable option. 

 

i think between that and oil pulling (which can replace flossing), one could be covered.

 

but, i still use a toothbrush. i'm thinking of moving to the cloth, though.

 

F. clothing -- she has a lot more clothing than i do, and her children too. I have one set of PJs and so does my husband; my son has two. we do fine. my son has a lot of clothing because my parents and ils can't always contain themselves. my son doesn't get sick often, but i also have no problem with him sleeping in a "daytime" shirt and pants/shorts if he needs to. 

 

G. bathroom -- very similar. we don't have any normal OTC medications. We have a small amount of homeopathics (i think, 3) for cold/flu season, plus our oils and ointments (calendula oil, etc), and our toothpaste and such. 

 

moving toward family cloth, so that should square away the toilet paper issue. individual rolls wrapped in paper are easy to come by, but more expensive per roll. nevertheless, moving to family cloth means less paper, so. . .

 

H. our netflix here doesn't have any waste. we reuse envelopes here. it's cool. one envelope gets used twice: once to get the thing to us, and then once to get it back to them. sweet deal. (it's fatso, btw, not netflix, and no, it doesn't download).

 

what else?

 

oh yeah, wooly pockets. that's how she got that fun wall. they are actually quite affordable, and after looking at them more closely, DH and I are considering 3 for our kitchen wall (wally) to grow herbs, plus one for the floor (meadow) to grow some veggies (tomatoes mostly). our kitchen is very sunny. 

post #26 of 97

Oh, zoebird, I use washcloths for brushing my teeth quite a lot too.  I feel that it gets them cleaner and is gentler on my gums.  DD uses a washcloth too.  Not any special cloths, just the washcloths we keep in the bathroom.  Occasionally I wonder, why do we buy toothbrushes?  Mainly habit and probably partly because DP would be like, "Oh here is goes honey with one of her endearing but batsh** crazy ideas again...."  I kind of feel like toothpaste isn't good for your mouth flora and I was telling him that the other day and he was just like, "Sigh..."

post #27 of 97
post #28 of 97

 

Quote:
Toilet paper rolls come wrapped in paper, not plastic.

 

I am shocked that with their level of waste-free that they do not use family cloth. Perhaps that was too much for the Sunset magazine audience?

post #29 of 97
Memories get stale when photos are displayed for too long, Béa says. To keep the past fresh, albums come out yearly around the holidays.

Oooh, this statement and this house is cold.gifcold.gifcold.gif

 

post #30 of 97

I love it!  Not my style with nothing on the walls, but kudos to her if it rocks her boat.  I'm an author, and have managed to whittle down the books that I keep to two small bookshelves.  We take about twenty kids books and ten adult books out a week, so that cuts down a lot on the space and expense of my literary addiction.  

post #31 of 97

look, ya'll are actually criticizing someone you know here: i do not display photographs nor do i have photo albums. I have no interest in them. I keep our photos in albums on thumb drives and will look at them when i feel like it, which isn't all that often.

 

seriously, not everyone loves to photograph and be photographed or needs a photograph for "memories." so, it's not at all cold or bad to not want to display photographs of you, your family, your kids. i have considered printing seasonal photographs as a seasonal decorating idea, but then i realized i would just have to store them in the off-season, and it put me off. i don't want to store decorations throughout the year, i much prefer my paper-and-nature decorations that can go to recycling/compost.

 

so, again, while you might not like it, it doesn't mean that anyone who doesn't like it is somehow cold. 

 

and no, this is not my house, but there you go.

post #32 of 97

Like others some things I really liked and others, not so much.  I would pick warmer colors myself, there is nothing magical about white that somehow makes it more simple or less wasteful.  I like some pictures on the wall as well.  I have lived without any and really prefer to have some.  I like the not using waste for the groceries.  I am constantly trying to simplify with this myself, of course it helps when you have access to bulk items locally, which we don't.  I want to cut down on our clothes as well, we are not quite that spartan.  On the books as well it is assuming that you have access to a good library for one thing.  Most classic books are not available here, books for our homeschooling are not in our library system.  My kids toys are about at this level, my daughter has about that much.  However, one thing different is they only have 2 kids, both boys close in age, which would make that easier for paring down. 

post #33 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

look, ya'll are actually criticizing someone you know here: i do not display photographs nor do i have photo albums. I have no interest in them. I keep our photos in albums on thumb drives and will look at them when i feel like it, which isn't all that often.

 

seriously, not everyone loves to photograph and be photographed or needs a photograph for "memories." so, it's not at all cold or bad to not want to display photographs of you, your family, your kids. i have considered printing seasonal photographs as a seasonal decorating idea, but then i realized i would just have to store them in the off-season, and it put me off. i don't want to store decorations throughout the year, i much prefer my paper-and-nature decorations that can go to recycling/compost.

 

so, again, while you might not like it, it doesn't mean that anyone who doesn't like it is somehow cold. 

 

and no, this is not my house, but there you go.

 

Yeah, but do you have books?  You do have books, right lol.gif?

 

I'm with you actually.  We don't really display photographs either.  But boy howdy does my husband like to take them!  I can't count the number of pictures of me with the "get that blasted thing outta my face" look.

 

I do think her house looks cold though.  But I love color and a white house screams "rental" to me.  I dream of the day I can paint the walls of my house in rainbow colors and always feel a bit crap.gif when someone who actually owns their house paints the walls white.  The only thing that saves my crappy white rental walls are all the canvases my Very Artistic Aunt has gifted us.  Thanks VAA!
 

post #34 of 97

I found this article to be inspiring! I don't have the same decorating tastes personally, but I can appreciate that not everyone likes bright, warm colours. To each their own! And I think the colours are besides the point... white paint is a decor preference and has nothing to do with a zero waste lifestyle, which I think is the point of the article.

 

I'm also in the 'not into photos' camp. We really don't have any displayed, and I haven't updated photo albums in years. I much prefer looking through slides online, and only print for family... when I think of it. Not that I'm against hanging photos, but I think it's a reasonable enough attitude to not favour that and certainly wouldn't call it 'cold'.

 

I also wonder about the references to leaving garbage to the stores to deal with. I didn't get that from the article? The only reference I saw to such a thing was about returning the plastic to Netflix, and I saw that as a move of protest (they said she wrote them letters about it) and not a way to pass garbage off on someone else.

 

As for the jars... maybe they got them used, or from a friend, or at a garage sale, or maybe they even purchased them years ago before they even took on this lifestyle. I don't think owning matching jars (that you may have owned for years) automatically makes you a hypocrite for zero waste. Heck, even if they bought the jars at Ikea so they could put their bulk goods in them, how is that much worse than buying goods in jars and reusing them? You're still purchasing a jar and using it, whichever way it falls.

post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post

look, ya'll are actually criticizing someone you know here: i do not display photographs nor do i have photo albums. I have no interest in them. I keep our photos in albums on thumb drives and will look at them when i feel like it, which isn't all that often.

 

I also don't display many photos - I take them, but I don't do anything with them, so that pretty much means that my photos are clutter.

 

My own take on "minimalist" is attempting to minimize objects, but making up for it with a lot of color and visual texture. For most of the house, I was fine with saying, "Not my taste, but none of my business if it makes them happy." For the kids' room, I found that I had to suppress a big judgmental impulse. :) My brain wants to say that the kids are being cheated of whimsical, colorful walls! But, really, that's not my call. Not my call. Not my call. I'll just keep saying it, 'cause I don't like that judgmental impulse. :)

 

Crayfish

post #36 of 97

We don't have books either, or CDs, and I just got rid of all our vinyl (records). We have about hmm, 15 adult books total and maybe 50 children's books of our daughter's (they tend to be thinner so take up a lot less space). Our entire book and hard-copy music collection fits on a 3 shelf bookshelf.  We are voracious readers, and huge lovers of music, though (it's the digital age, baby). It's been years since I let go of the idea that I had to own a ton of books to appear intelligent or well-read. If you want to know whether I'm intelligent or well-read you can decide that after a long conversation with me lol

 

We display some pictures, but I haven't put together a photo album...ever. I am considering doing some digital printed ones so I can chuck the hard copies.  I do have a small tote that contains hard copies of pictures and back-up CDs of digital pictures, but I only keep that partially out of guilt (in case dd wants to see them someday). I'm not a huge picture person, myself.

 

Again, I did feel the space was too cold for my personal taste, but I would totally love to live like that (with a few decor modifications).

 

post #37 of 97

I dont know....everything appeared TOO new.  I think what bothered me is that the article sounded as if they 'got there' rather than they were on their way there.  all that new furniture was recently varnished, skinned, dyed, etc.  it was not used or vintage.  while the belongings are minimal, which i can appreciate, it didnt appear that any furniture came from an amish workshop directly.  it looked all pretty mass produced, which means a lot of environmental wear and tear.

 

As for photos/art, we tend to stream those on our TV when we listen to music, so we see all 10,000 randomly presented, so they never get stale :)  All of our videos likewise have been converted to digital format, so we stream those from inside our network, or netflix/hulu stream.

 

If you dont have many clothes, are you washing every 2-3 days?  If so, the loads are not full and that is a waste of energy, isnt it?

 

That being said, I can appreciate the effort, as there is still a lot less damage to the earth than a typical family.

 

 

post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by nanette0269 View Post

If you dont have many clothes, are you washing every 2-3 days?  If so, the loads are not full and that is a waste of energy, isnt it?


We are a family of five, and I usually have a full load in about three days time. The key is, no sorting -- everything goes in the wash together. But with the amount of clothes they have, I think you could easily wash weekly. (I try to wash as the load gets full.)
 

post #39 of 97

I'm totally going to try this.

 

I'm going to the store to buy food. Bring it to a friend's house, cook dinner there...leave trash. LOOK MA! No trash family!

 

PS...the Netflix thing? Totally cheating.

post #40 of 97

So you buy your milk in a returnable glass container, there is still a plastic lid on top.  Even used clothes from Goodwill have paper price tags on them.  What about receipts from the grocery store, lint from the dryer vent, that tiny bit of cheese that suddenly sprouted spores, the debris inside the vacuum, hair balls from the bathtub drain!  And don't get me started on the bits of paper, glitter, fabric, tape, etc. that kids have left over from crafts.  I totally appreciate that they produce very little garbage/recycle but I just don't believe they produce NO garbage.  Even if the store is throwing out your receipt for you, you are still creating waste.

 

I remember hearing a program on NPR several years ago about a war torn country in Africa (the name slips my mind now).  Food and supplies dropped by humanitarian agencies were completely used. The burlap bag that held rice was unwoven and then rewoven to make rope.  The metal container that the cooking oil arrived in was cut, pounded and sanded to create utensils.  That is a completely waste free society.

 

And I can just imagine lugging all my glass containers down to Safeway.  Not only would the weight be insane but the people that work there would look at me like I'm insane.  I guess that idea only really works if your grocery store has a bulk section and the employees are willing to work with you.  I mean logistically you'd have to go to the check out counter first to have them weigh each container, mark said weight on a piece of paper, go get the actual product, have the checkout person weigh the container again and then manually deduct the weight of the container.  Whole Foods yeah, random mainstream grocery store not so much.

 

And Zoebird, the house wasn't my personal style but I can totally admire it.  There is something beautiful about a freshly painted white wall.

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