My Zero Waste Journey So Far

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My zero waste journey began on New Year’s Day, January 1st, 2019. That day my husband and I spent quite a bit of time cleaning out the refrigerator and freezer. We were shocked at how much we ended up throwing away in the clean out. It really opened our eyes to how much waste was going on in our own kitchen. There were too many things in the fridge, so we would forget we had them, so they would go to waste. We would buy too many condiments that we didn’t use on a regular basis and so they would be outdated as well. In the freezer similar things happened. We overbought, stocked too much and as a consequence ended up having to throw too many things out. Have you had a fridge/pantry clean out like this? I also ended up going through the spices/dry goods in a similar fashion.

We are on a journey towards zero waste since this day. After that clean out I knew that I needed to really stick towards menus of dishes that I knew we would all eat, and only cook enough for us to use up that week. We also like to go out to eat on the weekends, so I mainly plan to make 3-4 meals a week at home and we usually have 1-2 leftover nights where we eat up leftovers. We are not perfect, but now I clean up the fridge on a more regular basis and yesterday there were only 2 outdated jars. That’s great progress & it was wonderful that they were glass with metal lids so it was easy to recycle them.

I also began to think about the packaging we were bringing home as we shopped both at the grocery store and for other items. I have cut way back on buying things online and try to find more local alternatives. This really saves on boxes/ packaging that ends up in our home. Some of it is recyclable and some is not. With materials that are not recyclable, I try to reuse those as much as possible.

We have started to shop every week at the farmer’s market on Saturdays. This really cuts down on packaging, bringing our own bags to the market and to the grocery store really helps.
The market also has minimal packaging for fruits and veggies. I have found one store- New Seasons Market who will allow you to bring in your own containers to buy items in bulk like: olive oil, coffee, dry goods like rice, flour, nuts, dried fruits, spices and more.

I am happy to say that last week our recycling was not overflowing and our garbage can was only about 1/8 full. Amazing! Every day and every week we learn more and I will be sharing more details in further posts. How have you reduced waste in your home and lifestyle?

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Letting Go of Annoyances

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I believe that annoyances or things that make us angry can be a form of clutter in our lives. Many times we carry around mental clutter that is blocking us from our best lives and it can be more of an obstacle than physical clutter at times.

I will give an example in my own life. Yesterday I got a call from someone who I thought wanted to meet up, get to know me and see if we could refer business to each other, or I thought that their office needed my help from the sound of the voicemail. The call started off in that direction, however in a short amount of time the call resulted in them wanting to sell me advertising in a guide they were putting together.

This created a huge annoyance in my mind. When we expect one thing and then another, less desirable thing happens, it can really annoy us and get on our nerves. It can create blockages to doing our best work the rest of the day, or even into the next day. This was the case with me. I am rarely annoyed, but this really got to me. I really love to develop real relationships with people both in personal friendships and business partnerships, so that tactic really doesn’t fit my values. I always want relationships to be a win-win situation and this did not seem so to me. I was not given the chance to get to know them and they were not getting to know me either.

The next day this call and interaction was still bothering me and really putting a cloud on a sunny day for me. I decided I needed to let go of this so that I could move on to much more important and meaningful work- writing these blog posts and reaching out to my audience to help them.

Here is what I did:

I wrote down the annoyance- just one paragraph. Then, I put at the bottom- I am letting go. I am surrendering. Goodbye!

After that I crumpled up the paper and put it in the fire pit and lit it on fire. I watched as it turned to ashes and the weight of the annoyance lifted. I was able to sit and enjoy the sunshine in the garden and watch the squirrels chase each other. Life was back to the light and I could move on.

Have you had an annoyance that weighed on you for more than a day? How did you handle it?

Please let me know in the comments below.

With lots of joy,

—Trista

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services

Find out more on my website:

http://expansive.me

Happy Failures

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The other day I sent a photo of my side garden to a long distance friend. I told her that this now successful side garden made up of mostly free plants that I got from my Aunt’s garden, some plants I got from the farmer’s market long ago and about 3-4 perennials that I bought and planted was a result of many “happy failures.” This story of the evolution of my side garden is one that can teach us a lot about failing and getting up again in life.

I remember at one time there were two large trees there. They were two close to the house and provided too much shade and roots for planting much in the side garden. We had them removed. Then, I tried some different plants there. First, I started with some annuals. They did ok, but required a lot of watering and much more fuss than what I have now. Later I planted most of the plants that I have now when my Aunt was thinning out her garden and she gave me lots of plants. I worked as quickly to plant those plants along with the large plants that I got from the farmer’s market. Part of the front of the garden was still bare. Over the years I tried different plants there. Some of them didn’t like the full sun, others grew too “leggy” and I didn’t like the way they looked with the rest of the plants and others were too small or short and got “lost.” in the other plants. A few days ago I bought one last perennial to fill in a gap for a plant that eventually died because that spot wasn’t right for it. Now, I feel that I have a fully lovely and functioning garden which will take little water and maintenance other than occasionally weeding in that area. Luckily the plants are now mostly so large that there aren’t many weeds that grow there. I’m so glad that I learned so much from this garden. I learned what plants grow best where, how much sunlight they need and also that it’s important to space plants of different heights in different spots.

This garden project reminds me also that even when we “get it right” there will be work to do. The garden must still be watered and weeded in order to flourish. So is our life. Even when we find the perfect mix of career/business/family/friends/free time we still need to stop and nourish ourselves along the way. We need to stop and see if we are truly thriving where we are currently rooted, or if we need to make a change to really grow and blossom in our lives.

How can we equate this garden project with life? Here are some ways:

  1. There are many things that we will try in life that may not survive or may not be a good fit for us. This can be relationships, careers and places we live. They simply may not agree with our true selves or how we want to live.

  2. Sometimes our projects don’t take root because we think we “ought” to do it, or it’s the next logical step, but our hearts aren’t in it.

  3. Sometimes we need a break. Our area of the garden is “too shady.” We need to take a moment to step out into the light to see our true potential. We need to stop what we are doing and look within for the answers.

  4. Sometimes we need to fail in order to learn a particular lesson. We need to look at difficult times and challenges as lessons that come to teach us something. Just like some of the plants that didn’t do well in that area were telling me- move me or compost me. Sometimes we need a different perspective or need to learn to quit and move on to another project, job, home or relationship.

What have your happy failures taught you? I’d love your comments below on this post with your stories!

Joyful Minimalism: 


If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 


I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from:


Services:

http://expansive.me/services

The Joy of Less

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In the past few months I have made so many changes in my life. All of these changes have lead me down the path to the joy of less.

Here are a few ways that I have simplified my life and work that have really been so beneficial and I wanted to share them with you:

  1. I now take Fridays off. I make sure to not schedule business/work on Fridays. It is my day of rest, leisure, and connection with friends.

  2. I do fewer things in my business. I used to think that I had to post on every type of social media or constantly be going to meetings or “doing something” in my business. Now I realize I can do what I do best: serve my clients well & write thoughtful blog posts.

  3. I have de-cluttered my home so that things are easy to find and it is easy and fast to clean. I go through a quick 20 minute pick up/clean routine most mornings so that my house stays tidy and I don’t stress about it.

  4. I take time each morning to sit outside in nature. I sit outside at one of the tables in the backyard and enjoy the garden while sipping tea or coffee. I often write stories in the mornings as well.

  5. I quit my part time job because I now have enough clients flowing in to support my business and I have gained back my Tuesdays and my Saturdays with my family. What joy!

What a big change from last spring! I remember that last year at this time I was still working 6 days a week at the coffee shop from around 5:30 am-6:00 am to around 2:00 pm! What a crazy schedule I had!

What are some ways that you have simplified your life so that it is easier and more joyful for you? I would love to hear about them! Comment below and let’s chat!

Joyful Minimalism: 

If you are ready to explore your things but need  support and would like to work with me one on one, feel free to reach out to me by email and I can send you a client survey and set up a call with you. I can work with local clients and long distance clients. 

I have 3 home clearing packages to choose from: 

Services:

http://expansive.me/services