Two-bit Guru | Sustainable Lifestyle | Photo of reusable junk on shelves.

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” ~a pithicism~

“One man’s hoarding is another man’s sustainability. This goes for women, too.” ~Two-bit Guru~

I was thinking about some of the habits of my sustainable lifestyle. Trash picking, recycling, upcycling, saving jars (with and without lids), saving nails, bolts, and screws, composting, saving cardboard boxes,  making things from junk, meditating, growing organic vegetables, raising worms, keeping the thermostat down in winter, repairing old clothes, wearing old shoes forever and then reconfiguring them for further use, shopping at Goodwill and the Restore store.

Saving dental floss containers, bits of plastic, pill bottles, salvaging wood, metal brackets, doodads, gizmos, broken anythings, an iron, a blow dryer, toaster, and on and on and on. Saving materials, plastic, cloth, old socks, lava rocks, fence materials, and on and on and on.

Despite the negative attention this junk has brought to me, I never liked throwing stuff away because everything seemed to be potentially useful. Old electronic parts, broken printers, pieces of pipe. Whenever I find a new use for something from the trash I am elated, feel a warm glow in my chest. The same way I feel when we bring in a harvest of vegetables in the fall. The same way I feel when I meditate.

These days, my junk collecting ways have been vindicated by one word, landfill. Whatever materials I can reuse keeps the stuff out of the dump. True, my positive impact on the environment in this way would be measured by a digit preceded by a dot and many zeroes, but the number would be positive rather than negative. There is more to it than statistics.

Goodwill Industries is backing me up on this. They are proud, and rightfully so, that their collecting and reselling of stuff keeps tons and tons of things out of the landfill, as well as providing job training for a whole lot of people.

Even though my individual effect might be small, the spirit of the thing is pretty dang large. We who lament living in a consumerist, throw-away society hope that the rest of the population will come to their senses and reach a new level of awareness. This may sound arrogant but once you see the light you can’t not see the light. Consciousness of junk might well lead to an awareness that our culture has been living in a trance of unstable materialism, out of sync with the natural cycles and rhythms of the earth. It is time to wake up and realize that we all must learn to embrace a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.