The 7 Mutiny: From Possession to Media to Waste and Spending

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Wow I have a lot to cover here! But I’ll make it easy and say I didn’t do the best job on possessions and media.

Let’s start with possessions. I did actually make a big box of things to donate. Did I count 7 things a day? No. I’ve sorta already been in the habit of adding to this box daily though, so I didn’t feel this week was very much of a stretch for me. Still, encouraging myself to GIVE things away, rather than sell them on swap sites was a little stretch. I didn’t find it terribly hard to just give it away though, seeing as a baby is coming in the next few weeks and I just want things gone! Ha. Still, I’m excited to share that our book club has decided to combine all of our items and have a yard sale, where we will raise money for a sweet woman in need. Though I sold a ton of stuff a few months ago when we had a yard sale, knowing someone else would benefit from these items I could no longer use was great motivation to clear out a little extra!

This week’s challenge was media. In the book 7, Jen gave up 7 forms of media for a month! Her listed included TV, video games, texting (to an extent), Facebook/ Twitter, iPhone apps, radio, and Internet (also to an extent). We don’t watch a ton of TV (no cable, and we just moved our TV to the living room… really not a huge thing for us), nor do we even own video games. I have a love/ hate relationship with texting already. It saves time when needed, but it’s super annoying (in my opinion) to use it just to “chat.” So I’m not too worried about that one. Basically I just re-examined her list. I had gone on a social media fast completely for three days last week, so I wasn’t super motivated to do it all over again. I did decide no Facebook while Lilleigh is awake. No perusing Pinterest or Instagramming at all. This goes for Twitter too, but that falls in the category of texting for me — why?? Also no blog reading.

So how’d it go? Well, let’s start with blog reading. I totally failed at this one, daily. I think I just don’t realize how often I read blogs. Usually it’s for a recipe, and I did make an exception for recipes, DIY projects, or homeschool ideas. But still, one thing leads to another, and I’m off reading post after post on different blogs. So a total fail there. I stopped trying. As for Facebook, I have been good about not looking at it while Lilleigh is awake for the most part, but originally I had also said no Facebook on the iPhone, which again was a fail. I made the exception of allowing myself to post things on swap sites. (It’s easier to do from the iPhone.) And well then I see my little notifications light up, and fail. Still, I’ve been excellent at not using Pinterest or Instagram! Those have been challenging actually. Instagram more so because I can do that from my phone.

Now for what I learned. Since I recently had a successful Facebook fast, I do feel I had a good time of rest. I realized I depend way too much on Facebook as a way to “zone out”. I hate that. Does it really matter that one friend just made an amazing apple pie and another is taking a stand against GMO’s? And do I really need to comment on such things? Will the world be okay without knowing I have a craving for s’mores? And more than that, what else can I do with my time other than Facebook? Surely there’s something more productive I can do, even if I just need to zone out. I could actually talk to my husband or read a book or even fold laundry. I found that my weekend was much more productive, and I loved not having a distraction from loved ones. It was actually refreshing to sit at book club this week and hear other moms discuss this same struggle and sense of relief from the fast. We aren’t alone in this battle, and we can’t let social media take the place of sweet interactions in our families.

Alright, so let’s talk next week — waste and spending. A double whammy. We are short on our weeks, so we are combining these two. This post is getting long, and to spare y’all, I’ll just say this — I’m not feeling the whole spending thing. Or at least not the way Jen did it. She chose only 7 places for the month where she could spend money. Honestly I don’t feel our spending is out of control. The main reason for that truly is our envelope system and the fact that getting a toddler in and out of the car to go spend money places is so not appealing. Since I’m also in “baby is coming any day now” stock-up/ nesting mode, I am not putting myself through the spending fast. I still think it would be a good one to try at some point though!

So moving onto waste… When I think about cutting back on waste, I get giddy. I think this has been my latest phase of my simplification journey. I’ve said this before, but 7 really isn’t a new concept for me. It’s something I’ve really resonated with though. I feel like I’ve been on this journey of simplifying life, living on less, and striving to be a better steward of our resources for awhile now. Instead of taking months to process one way to do this, Jen jumped right in, and I love that. Here are some ways I feel like we already cut waste…

  • Using very few paper products. I try to use real plates and utensils when people come over, and we always use cloth napkins. I am actually struggling with the idea of using paper goods for a few weeks when the baby comes. I am still thinking on that.
  • I have also invested in a couple of reusable snack bags for Lil’s car snacks, as well as made a sandwich size one myself. I would love to buy more of these. Etsy is a great source for these.
  • Recycling.
  • We tried to compost. It was a major fail. Not ready to take that one on again yet.
  • We do have a garden and chickens, providing use with some of our own produce (far from even close to all of our produce, but it’s a start) and all of our own eggs.
  • I love to reuse items and repurpose them.
  • I have been using mason jars to store items I buy in bulk, such as beans, rice, raisins, nuts, etc.
  • Often I clear out the fridge and freeze as much as possible, which saves me some time and money for food later and also prevents excess waste.
  • Cloth diapers and wipes. Sometimes even when we travel.
  • DIY laundry detergent and wool dryer balls.

Y’all I really can’t handle waste. I hate it. Still I know there are ways I could be better. To approach this topic, here are a few things I’d like to do this week…

  • Avoid using plastic zipper bags. Except when freezer cooking. I hate that exception. I just have yet to figure out a better way to store freezer cooking! But to avoid excess spending on freezer storage bags, I know I am keeping my FoodSaver on the counter to use it more! But as far as when we go out and about, no ziplocs!
  • Recycle more. A few times after reading this chapter, I found myself throwing away mini humus containers, out of pure laziness of not wanting to rinse them. So none of that.
  • Conserving water and energy. This pregnant woman isn’t about to turn the thermostat above 73, but I think I could be better about making sure everything is off when we aren’t using it. And I could certainly conserve water by combining some laundry loads and using our cups more than once before placing them in the dishwasher.

I’m a little stuck on what else to conquer here with waste, but I am open to ideas. How do you conserve our environment?

Catch up on my first few weeks of Seven – here and here.

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  1. I loved the media fast idea!! I have been off facebook for a number of years now and after much trepidation at first, I can now say that i enjoy not being on there. it is fun for me to run into people and actually have something to talk about to them. I no longer feel like i ‘know’ them even though i really don’t ‘know’ them any more. I have gone back to old fashion email and phone calls…and chatting in person with the ‘long losts’ that i have seen in a while.

    as far as combatting waste. you have done so much, i can see where you struggle to do more. i have gone to reusable containers and pans for my freezer cooking. it takes up more space in the freezer but i don’t have the waste of ziploc bags any more (though i still use them too). As far as composting. though we don’t ‘compost’ we save our compostables in an old ice cream bucket with a lid. b/c we live in the country when the container is full we dump our pail in the long grass or fields surrounding our house. this does cut down on our garage waste and smell a ton!! we also don’t have a recycling center anywhere near close to us, so we have resorted to burning many of our paper products, cardboards, and other burnables to at least stop them from hitting the landfill. My daughters lunch pail is full of only ‘tupperware’ products or reusable containers (short of the occasional juice box for a treat – but our school recycles the capri sun’s…so i consider that one a wash). Though it does mean more dishes for me i like not throwing that bag away every day!

    On a total side note, i am curious how well your reusable pouches are holding up? would you consider an update in a few weeks. i have read many reviews that say after a few weeks or even a few uses the zippers start to give….are you finding this to be true?

    • The media fast really is an awesome idea! I need to take more time to do it. I think 2 or 3 days may be a good amount of time, for me personally. I agree with how liberating it is! I love that you have taken that fast further by not using Facebook!

      I do have some reusable containers for the freezer. What do you do for casseroles and such? I find that even if I use an aluminum tin or an actual baking dish to keep the casserole in, I still need to cover it with foil and saran wrap. I’d love to know how you handle this. I’m brainstorming!

      As for reusable pouches, do you mean the apple sauce ones by Yummi Pouch that I recently posted about, or the reusable snack bags I mentioned above? The Yummi Pouches are still holding up great! I haven’t noticed a difference in their sticking. We’ve been using them about a month now. As for the reusable snack bags, those zippers haven’t had issues, but they are real zippers and function they way the ones on your clothes would.
      Thankfully Thrifty recently posted..The 7 Mutiny: From Possession to Media to Waste and SpendingMy Profile

      • I should probably admit first off that most of my freezer cooking is done in the winter time and i do it perhaps a bit different then most. I will thaw for example 10# of hamburger (we live on a farm and have our own beef) at a time and make multiple different things with it and then freeze them all. this usually lasts us for 2-4 weeks pending on what i make and what else gets thrown in the mix on other nights. However most of my freezer cooking is casseroles. I use my casserole dishes or 9×13 pans that have covers (i have 3 9×13 and 2 casserole dishes). I also usually try to buy tin pans that also have covers. When I don’t have that, then I do use tin foil. I perfer the heavy duty tin foil. This not only holds up better in the freezer but I find that I can also wipe it down (when the food is not terribly baked on), fold it, and reuse it. Also for things like meat balls I will store them in a reusable type bowl with a cover and when i thaw them i put them in the crock pot or in another pan. it makes for more dishes in the end but it allows me to not have all my pans full with frozen meals.

        When I make something like taco meat or BBQ ahead, I usually freeze that in reusable containers (sometimes even old cool whip containers, they are the perfect size for a meal for us). However I should admit that we are not ‘bag’ free in our freezer. I do a lot of canning and freezing in the summer months to reduce our spending in the winter months on fresh produce. All of our corn and blueberries are froze in freezer bags. If they don’t get holes in them I will wash them out and reuse them, unfortunately most of them get jostled around enough they do get smalls holes and are not reusable.

        However things like strawberries, raspberries, peaches for example I freeze in old cool whip or butter containers that my grandparents have saved for years!! It looks perhaps a little odd but it saved us money not having to buy all new reusable containers and the food keeps great in them!! Most everything i freeze we eat within a years time.

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