Pictures

Finally I figured out how to post pictures. It took me quite a bit of the morning. From now on maybe it will be easier. These first three pictures were taken Sat Jan 26 2008 at my favorite dumpster. The first is my daughter trying to climb in. She is always eager to go and see what treasures she can glean. I was surprised how nervous I was to be taking pictures. I did not want anyone to see me do it. So I don’t have full shots of the twin dumpsters that are often loaded with clothes. This day there was hardly any clothing. Instead, a few toys, a box of VHS tapes, and a lot of books. They came home anyway.

dumpster daughtermore dumpster stuffdumpster contents

After washing the clothes I do find, I hang them on the clothesline in my yard.  This black tank top I found seemed to reveal that my husband has 5th chakra issues.

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This is me all dressed up for church this past  Sunday. The black tank(not one above), the sweater and the pants were all from the dumpster. It was a beautiful day here and by 2pm I was too warm in this outfit.

Sunday dumpster best

I only have a couple more days to wear any non-dumpster clothing. I really have just about made the switch, so it won’t be that hard.

Is anyone else dumpster diving for clothing? I would not be, had I not come across this dumpster. If I were looking for one though….I would look behind thrift stores. I might even ask a thrift store if they had any rejected clothing I could have for rags for painting. That could help you find a source. Happy diving!

90PercentReduction : Riot for Austerity: 90% Reduction

90PercentReduction : Riot for Austerity: 90% Reduction

Welcome to the Riot for Austerity 90% Emissions Reduction Project. The goal that participants have set for themselves is to cut their emissions by 90% of what the average person in the US consumes – the approximate amount people in the rich world need to reduce by in order to avoid the worst effects of global warming. The eventual goal is to reach the 94% that George Monbiot calculates would represent a fair share of the world’s emissions for Americans, but we’re starting slow ;-).We’re doing this for several reasons. First, because it is necessary – if we want to bestow a decent world on our children, we have to cut our emissions, and much harder and faster than any government has proposed. The reason governments do not propose it is because they believe it is politically infeasible. So we want to present our leaders with as many people as possible who will stand up and say “I did it. Our nation can too.” We’re excited that people want to join us, and we invite anyone who is ready to participate! 
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I wanted to introduce the Riot for Austerity since it is a phenomenal project and since it has been mentioned in the comments section by fellow rioters. The Riot started in June of last year when two women with blogs were discussing the state of the environment and the world. Sharon of Casaubon’s book ( http://casaubonsbook.blogspot.com/ ) and Miranda at Simple Reduce ( http://simplereduce.wordpress.com/) are those two women. They say they never expected anyone else would join them in this adventure, but the last figure I heard was 1000 people had signed on for the challenge.

I signed on in July and my family has been working our way towards sustainability. Where this fits in with my blog is two fold. First it was my fellow rioters that gave me the support to start this blog, and secondly, one of the seven categories where we are reducing is garbage. In the USA the average person produces 4.5 lbs of garbage per day. If your garbage is picked up weekly, that means 31.5 lbs per person each week. If our family of four were average, we would be producing 126 lbs each week.

Good thing we are not average! I honestly don’t know what our trash production was prior to the riot, but we have successfully gotten it down to 14.5% of average or an 85.5% reduction.  That is 78.55lbs per month. This weight includes recyclables. I think the recycling is not separate, because no reliable numbers could be found on what was average. Each week I weigh both the trash and the recycling on an old kitchen scale. Our actual trash weighs in at 16.7lbs a month or 4 lbs per week. I think that is pretty good!   Our recycling weight could be reduced simply by buying more plastic and less glass, but I don’t think plastic is good for the planet  or us (for the most part). Glass and metal can be recycled easily where plastic can really only be what I’ve heard termed “down-cycled”. Meaning you cannot make another soda bottle out of a soda bottle, but you could make carpet. Glass and metal objects on the other hand can be remade into exactly the same thing.

What is in your garbage can? Could you cut down on the amount of trash you make? One of the ways to do this is by precycling. Precycling means buying the product with the least amount of packaging. It means when you go to purchase an item, you think about the amount of packaging you will have to  throw away once you open it. Sometimes it means not buying certain kinds of items because they are always over-packaged. Like six small packages of Doritos in a fiberboard box, covered in plastic. If you are going to buy that kind of junk, which I really don’t recommend, then at least buy the big package and dole out the servings into a reusable container. For some people, it’s just a matter of changing a few habits, for others it is a complete lifestyle change. But it is doable!

If you want to check out the Riot, you can  go here- http://riot4austerity.org/. This will give you all the rules and guidelines. It also has feeds from lots of bloggers who are rioting.  If you are really serious and think you want to give this thing a real try, then you should join the yahoo discussion group.  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/90percentreduction/  Here you can read about other rioters successes and failures as well as ask for advice. Let me know if you decide to give it a try.

The Challenge

When I realized how much clothing came out of my favorite dumpster, I realized I could outfit myself without ever having to buy clothes again! Well, I had some clothes already, and brand new clothes keep finding their way to my closet one way or another. Then there is always the pull to *just see* what the thrift store has…..and more stuff comes home. I bet most people have way more clothes than they need. A few people cycle through clothing regularly, giving away an item as they buy a new one, but always keeping a small wardrobe that fits easily in their closet. This is not me though. I don’t want to be part of the problem. The problem being too much stuff.  Too much stuff for sale, too much stuff in our houses, and too much stuff in the landfill.

So I have created a challenge for myself…………….I will not purchase –any- clothing for myself for the next year! I will not wear any clothing that has been given to me as a gift. I will pack away ALL my clothing AND……I will only wear clothing that I find in a dumpster or other landfill bound receptacle. It does not count to have a good friend of mine take pity on me and leave a box of cool clothes by my door so I can “find” them. I don’t expect to need pity anyway. I will not look to freecycle for clothing for myself. It is a great thing if you are doing “the compact”, and also for a host of other reasons, but will not fit the stringent requirements for my…
 YEAR OF WEARING GARBAGE

Oh, doesn’t that just sound pleasant! Well technically that is what I will be wearing. I was on hiatus from dumpster diving, per my husband’s wishes, for over a year while we moved across town and set up our new household. Recently I returned to my old dive and was again struck by how much is still thrown away. My plan,which has been hatching for a couple weeks, is to slowly transition to a 100% cast-off, reject, garbage wardrobe by Feb 1st. Wow, not sure if I can be 100% by then, but that is my goal.

Today, I started packing away all my normally acquired clothing. Boy is there a lot of it. I did take the opportunity to scale down, but was not very successful. As I packed and sorted items I realized  that my clothes are a huge mix of dumpster finds, thrift store purchases, gifts and a few newly purchased items. The problem being that I cannot remember what came from the dumpster and what did not. So, what I have come up with is to keep the things I think fit my criteria until they can be replaced by items that I know can.

Of course there have to be exceptions. Yes, there do! My exceptions are underwear, bras, socks and shoes. I really don’t have objections to wearing used bras, socks and shoes, but I will not be able to find enough of them-from experience. Most of my shoes are used, but I will be buying brand new-yes, you heard me-brand new walking shoes when my current ones wear out. Let’s just leave it at foot pain.

The title of my blog-Waste Wear Daily, is a spoof on the fashion digest Woman’s Wear Daily. Since I will be wearing waste(uh that’s garbage- not other gross stuff) daily, that is how the name came about. (Thanks again Christine:). Expect photos of my outfits soon. Now don’t expect any high fashion, I’m just a plain girl! But I bet you’ll be surprised anyway.

 

Introduction

Welcome to a blog about waste, yes, stuff we throw out, stuff we don’t want, even if it is usable. I give full credit to my friend Christine for coming up with the title/blog name. Upcoming posts will explain why it is such a great name. I dedicate this blog to my daughter and my sister in law(SIL) who together discovered the first dumpster I ever wanted to dive into and which has become a source of abundance. Once I figure out how to use this site, I’m actually fairly computer illiterate, I will posts pictures and add links. Untill then, here is my story.

The end of December 2005, my SIL and my daughter were walking around behind a small strip of stores containing a faith based  thrift store. They discovered two large green dumpsters full of clothing. After finishing my errand, I followed them behind the stores to see for myself. One dumpster contained a woman sorting through the thrift store rejects. I asked her if she had found anything good and she replied, “I always do.” I can’t remember how many garments I brought home that day, but in the months and years to follow, I have brought trunkloads home. I have shared them with my family and  friends, sold some items to consignment stores and at garage sales and have even redonated other items to thrift stores that I know give clothes to the needy.

Some folks are disgusted by dumpster diving and picking through trash by the curb. Honestly it does not disgust me, but occasionally I am embarrassed. I don’t want to be embarrassed and I don’t think I *should* be, but then again, I don’t think most of the stuff I find and bring home should have been trash in the first place.

I want people to start becoming aware of -all- the waste there is. Aware of how many useable items are headed to the landfill. Some areas, mostly urban I think, have textile recycling programs. Where I live there is mounting evidence this is not happening.

I doubt my little blog can stop the rampant disposal of resources, but it would be great if it did!