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She believed

What quote am I vibing? “She believed in getting as much use as possible from everything, and thought that as long as machinery, or anything else, could be cajoled into operation, it should be kept; to do otherwise, she thought, was wasteful.” Alexander McCall Smith, The Kalahari Typing School for Men

Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild Since Last Blog Post: 20

Pounds of Trash Removed from the Wild in 2019: 524

Here is the bad news - I intended to pick up 1000 pounds of trash this year, but I fell far short of that goal. I have spent about half of the year in Pennsylvania helping with some family projects, and enjoying time with my family and northern friends, and I have to admit - it's much harder (mentally) to pick up beer cans from the mountain thrown callously by people that I probably smile at in the grocery store than it is to be on a warm beach, picking up little bits of plastic that perhaps have come from across the ocean. Probably not. Probably still from people I smile at in the grocery store, but - the beach is nice.

Here is the good news - a failure to meet an annual goal is just an opportunity to work harder to meet that goal next year, which I will do! 2020 - you're going to be sooo much less trashy than 2019. Or more trashy, depending on your perspective.

Here is the lesson - I have been staying in my Grandmother's house. I have been clearing it out and preparing it for renovations, and also just enjoying being here with her kitchen tools and afghans and memories.

Some of the memories that have been hitting me hardest of my grandmother are those of her washing plastic utensils, rinsing out Ziploc bags, cleaning and laying out used aluminum foil for reuse. The woman conserved. I teased her about it, relentlessly sometimes. "Gram, this is PLASTIC - can't we just throw it out?" Every margarine tub, every miracle whip jar - they all found another use after their initial one.

This wonderful and kind woman understood the value of a thing. Born in 1918, and having lived through the Great Depression, she was not about to let anything leave her possession without maximizing its value.

I have recently been seeking alternatives for my single-use plastic addictions. In the past couple days, I have gone through great pains to find a deodorant that would work for me and not be so single-use plastic-y. A few nights ago, I washed a couple Ziploc bags for the first time in my life, feeling Gram smiling coyly at me, pointing her finger in that knowing way.

She knew. And I should have listened harder, and watched more closely. But at least I'm paying attention now. ❤️♻️

Irene Miller and Me, making redbeet salad. Some old newspaper, rather than paper towel, to protect the tablecloth from being stained.

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