Another man’s trash

I’ve always loved the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” because I have always found it to be so true!  As most of you are learning by now I grew up on a farm, a working farm called Tired Iron Acres.  But what is a “working farm”?  Well basically you only consume what you produce so no going to grocery stores, you cook what’s in the garden or on the pantry shelves or the fridge/freezer.  Which means you grow and harvest your own vegetables, fruits and proteins.  In other words I raised what I eventually had on my plate and I knew all the intricate details of the steps in-between.  NOT a process most people know today, but one being watched and educated on through many wonderful programs so that we all don’t forget this knowledge of self-sufficiency and the dissociation with our food.

Simply put, to know the “cycle” of things and our place in it.

I mention all of this because I was raised in the knowledge of life’s cycles on the farm and there is an extreme amount of reducing and reusing of materials in this cycle.  So instead of going out and buying another gadget, another product with packaging to then discard into a landfill, we reused what we could find, fixed it, borrowed or bartered for it… not always common in our modern-day society.  So since childhood, I’ve been often watching what I consume and trying to figure out ways to reduce or reuse products and to encourage this cyclical engagement with others that I meet and my own children.  I’ve done this a number of ways through my environmental media website in Denver called Green Scene TV, through my children’s clothing line made from recycled materials gathered from Eco-Cycle in Boulder and more recently with my first year-long challenge to only purchase things from a thrift-store for an entire year called Living the Goodwill Life.

Now, this weekend is the start of my month-long goal of keeping and documenting all of my packaging that I get through my eating/drinking only at Starbucks challenge.  And while I proceed with this goal with the intention of actually producing noteworthy information during my experiment, I also know that this is a touchy subject with many people for a variety of reasons.  So no matter where you come from with this month’s focus on what we consume, how it’s packaged, what we can recycle from it or have to throw away please always know that I do this with the BEST of intentions.  I have learned that it is an easier concept for me to understand and accept my responsibility in if the information is produced in a simple and meaningful visual way for me to see, hence my weekly package-gathering photos on the blog this month.  Hopefully producing a visual way that we all can do our little part for the biggest cycle of everything on this planet… life.

Here is what I’ve gathered so far this week in packaging…

Weekly Starbucks saved containers 4:5

Not that much really, I’ve been doing a good job trying to purchase items in my to-go containers from Evolution Fresh to reduce this amount.  Five days into this challenge and all I have so far is 1/2 of a small grocery paper bag worth of packaging!

What kind of impact, help can YOU produce in a day, a month, a year for our planet’s benefit?  I encourage you to take my eco-challenge over at and show others how we can all be more GREEN!

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