April Progress Report & May Goals

At the risk of sounding trite, is it really May already?! And has it really been over two weeks since my last post?? Don’t worry my absence does not mean I’ve gone off the rails.  Actually quite the opposite. I’ve been doing so many things to get me closer and closer to my goals of reducing waste that I haven’t had a lot of extra time to sit in front of the computer.

Over the last two weeks we have:

– Built a vegetable planter bed
– Started an indoor collection bucket for food scraps & other biodegradable materials
– Began composting outdoors
– Held a yard sale

The veggie garden cost us $0 to make as it was completely built using materials we already had laying around our house! Red bricks were reclaimed from our yard (buried under grass), gray bricks were part of a flower bed that surrounded two trees that we no longer have, and the wood/landscaping fabric was leftover from past projects.

We haven’t yet planted any vegetables because the yard sale sort of took over my life once we finally got the bed built. Unfortunately I have learned that I have missed the mark for a few of the vegetables that I wanted to plant but there are still plenty more than are in season according to a recent discussion I had with my local nursery. Veggie growing is a little more complex than I thought so I definitely have some reading to do!!

Spending updates:

This month I bought a few more things than the previous months but still stayed within my goals.
– 1 used beach bucket & shovel
– 1 used baby sun hat
– 1 used push toy while at the beach (which will be sold or donated this week)
– 1 used wide mouth jar
– 1 used pair of toddler jammies
– 2 new drawer handles (1 to fix trashcan, 1 for compost bin)
– 2 pieces of poster board
– 1 thick permanent marker

If you already caught my post about our trip to OBX, you already know about the story behind the first three items. The wide mouth jar was my solution to getting freshly ground coffee bulk, while NOT making a huge mess in the process. The toddler jammies are to hold over baby girl (as she has started out outgrow all her other jams) until I can coordinate a time to take my friend’s daughters clothing off her hands.

The drawer pulls were my solution to a broken “step-on” trashcan lid and to make the process of lifting off the lid of the compost collection bucket in our kitchen a little more sanitary. The poster board and permanent marker were simply purchased as means to an end. My mom and I wanted to make sure we put plenty of signs around the area to direct people towards our yard sale. They were later recycled.

Still no clothing or accessory purchases and loving every minute of it! 🙂

My birthday was last month and it couldn’t have been more perfect. The only other thing that I acquired over the month that was new was this sewing machine.

My husband and I had been keeping our eyes out for one that was used (and even tried to purchase one on Amazon but then were told it was not available any longer) but we weren’t having luck with the one I wanted – apparently this one is super easy to operate which is perfect for a beginner like me!  I ended up caving and added it to my birthday suggestion list, feeling like I had enough projects in mind where the stuff that I would be able to keep from going to the landfill would outweigh the negatives of getting the sewing machine new. My husbands family all chipped in to buy it and I’m super excited to start using it! Even my sister-in-law is going to give it a whirl to try to fix a clothing piece that has been giving her some trouble. So, basically, its going to be a worthwhile purchase in the grand scheme of waste reduction. The the rest of my birthday presents came in the form of money to put towards my garden and experiential endeavors, with a portion donated to my all time favorite non-profit, The Ocean Conservancy!!

This month I’m going to start dabbling in cloth diapering! I had been battling with the decision because I wasn’t sure when baby girl would start potty training but also because I was apprehensive of the ick factor. After talking with a friend about how the process goes for her, it totally felt less intimidating and I feel like its worth doing because there is not telling when teenie is going to be flying diaper free. Hubs and I tried to purchase a lot of used diapers and liners on eBay but got beat out in the last second. It worked out though because with the help of that cloth diapering friend, I was just able to snag a bunch of used cloth diapers of different styles. Once I get them in the mail and get them cleaned up, I’ll be ready to go!  Can’t tell you how excited I am about reducing the amount of diapers we throw away on a daily/weekly/monthly basis!!

Also I WILL be planting SOMETHING in our veggie garden this month, mark my word…haha.

Before doing anything though, I’ll be setting off for a ladies trip to Montreal this weekend! This will be my first time flying anywhere since starting on this journey to reduce waste.  Follow along on Instagram to see travel pics!!

Hope you’re having a great start to a new month! Come back Monday for updates on how things are going with composting. 🙂

xo, Erica