A big goal for me and my family is to run a zero waste household. About four years ago, I learned about Bea Johnson and her incredible family in Marin who generate a single mason jar of trash per year. I was so inspired! Our household set out on its own mission and in a matter of six months, we had gone from taking out the trash twice per week to taking out the trash once per month. And then once every other month. Which is kind of where we plateaued, but we still felt pretty successful considering how many variables we have going on.
Slowly we transitioned away from driving regularly to bicycle commuting, which wasn't anything new, except that with kids, it's like a whole different story; there's no hopping on the bike and breezing to work! But it is most definitely a great way to show your kids that bicycle commuting is natural, easy, and preferred. I hope it sticks when our three grow up.
Clothes are the final frontier. I don't want to buy fewer clothes! I love shopping; as an environmentalist, it's my guilty pleasure. But honestly, anyone who has seen The Story of Stuff knows that we should all try and buy less of, well, everything. I really agonized over figuring out a way to buy less. How about if I purchase only secondhand? How about if I set a five item limit?
Then I came to my senses. How about if I buy...nothing? I worried at first that this l was too lofty a goal. I didn't want to be like someone who goes on a diet, only to backslide and overindulge due to self-imposing too many restrictions. But that's the goal - from April 2016 until April 2017, I plan to buy nothing. Well, nearly nothing. Let's be realistic. If something legitimately wears out and needs to be replaced, I will replace it. For example, I'm toying with the idea of getting back to triathlon training. If I were to start again, I would need a new pair of running shoes; the pair I have are old and unsupportive. But outside of necessities, I am not going to buy any clothes this year.
So far, I have really enjoyed shopping the closet and getting reunited with some of my older pieces of clothing. Fortunately, I have always been drawn to classics, so most of the items in my wardrobe withstand the test of time. This navy blue Diane von Furstenberg jacket is a great example. I have owned it for a decade and it still pairs effortlessly with dresses and slacks. Here it is at the Anthropologie event in San Francisco where I had the pleasure to meet Jean of www.extrapetite.com.
And here it is at San Jose State University, the evening my husband and I watched Ruby Bridges accept the Steinbeck Award.
It's such an easy and classic piece! Why would I ever think I need an additional jacket? It looks at home in all four seasons, and in the ten years I have owned it, the shape, color, and style have withstood changes in the fast fashion lane.
It's going to be a really fun year of falling in love over and over again with the clothes I already own. I'm really excited about this adventure! I can already tell how creative and playful I am going to get to be in order to keep my looks fresh and myself in engaged in the process. April, the month that celebrates Earth Week, feels like such an inspiring time to kick off this year of buying no clothes. Wish me luck! I'm ready to dive in and swim (using the bathing suits I already own, no less) all the way to April 2017.