When I Wake Up…

Some people wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Some wake up on the right side of the bed.
But if you’re a nonconformist homo at heart, you groggily open your eyes, thank Gaga and Cher for a new day, hop up with excitement and stretch in a pose worthy of Vogue.
That’s what I do.
And I can’t help but wonder why more people don’t do the same.

I’ve got the bug. I’ve convinced my brain to be an optimist.
Because I see flaws in everything. EVERYTHING.
Our entire social system needs to be restructured if we expect to survive.
And that makes me optimistic because I’m just sick and tired of feeling too little to do anything about it.

Most people get up and make coffee. Maybe shower. Eat some breakfast. Watch the news.

I get up and make coffee. But instead of creamer, I use almond milk. Because it’s not nearly as bad for you. And as much as I like dark roasted coffee, I’ve been made aware of the fact that it’s drastically lesser-quality in regards to the amounts of antioxidants it contains, in comparison to light roasts. So I put a scoop of each in the filter.
And so it begins – a day chuck full of random, seemingly nonsensical quirks that make me feel more ethical about all the things that I do.
After the coffee is brewing, I exercise. Typically every other day, but sometimes I do cardio on my days off. As cliche as it sounds – make sure you do this at least a couple times a week. It greatly improves your mood, your outlook, and your energy levels, among many other things.
I shower, but only every other day. Yes, I’m a dirty hippy homo. And I turn the water off when I scrub. It’s costly and it’s a resource that’s drastically overused. Did you know, on a global scale, people are more likely to have a cell phone than a working toilet? Water is a serious global problem.
(Plus, if you didn’t know : the natural oils secreted by your scalp – that “grunge” you get after a day without showering – that’s free conditioner, baby. It’s SO good for your hair to only wash it every other day. I’ve made this a RELIGION, and I always get compliments when I get it cut).
After my shower, I eat breakfast. But lately, I’ve been eating breakfast that I prepare for myself – dried fruit from my dehydrator – because most other things take too much time or just aren’t appetizing so early in the morning. And the things from the market that DON’T take too much time are pumped with chemicals. SICK.
I don’t watch the news. I watch cartoons, or sitcoms, because my brain is just waking up and I can’t handle all of the lies that the media spew.
Yes, I value Invader Zim more than CNN. You should try it too.
Not until after my first cup of coffee. Then, I’m a machine.
This is just the beginning of how I go about doing things sensibly throughout my day, even if they don’t appear logical at first. I have millions of other tidbits to share with you in the weeks to come.

But this is what I want to focus on today: what converted me to a crazy earth-and-nature-loving nutjob.
I just don’t understand why more people don’t see these things. I just don’t get it.
And I’m not even really sure what started it.
But if I had to guess…
I think it started with trash.

A couple of years ago, I moved in with my current roommate. We moved to a house outside of town – nearly thirty miles – and we were really excited to share a really large space that came at a really, really economical price.
Really economical. (Some people call this, “the slums.” Tomato / tuh-mah-toe).  But after you factor gas for the car just to get to work, it turned out that we were running short.
So we never called the trash pickup people, because we didn’t have the money. I mean, if something has to go, you start at the bottom of your list of priorities.
“We’ll just put it in the garage.” I announced. Easy.
Not so.
Do you know how quickly trash accumulates when you keep the “anything goes” mindset that most people have in regards to waste?
Really fucking fast. We were filling a bag every week.
Have you ever smelled month-old, hot, smothered trash? Horrendous is an understatement. It was so bad that I can’t even think of a smart ass set of analogies to make it humorous. THAT’S how bad it was.
Now times that by four bags a month, if not more.
For a few months we got pretty clever about disposal, and we learned to take opportunities as soon as they came about. We’d bribe friends and parents to let us put a few bags in their can. Or I’d sneak to the neighbor’s can late at night after they’d put it out for trash collection, and I’d just deposit my trash in whatever spare room they had. Sometimes we even hauled them to dumpsters that didn’t appear to have surveillance.
Clearly this system was unreliable and flawed.
Something had to be done.
And so, it clicked:

There is SO much trash. That’s all I could think to myself. SO MUCH waste. And this was from two people. Nearly every household on my street paid for trash pickup, and nearly every can was overflowing with bags by the end of the week.
No wonder our poor planet is delicately perched on a precipice, slowly tipping toward our doom. We just don’t realize what this stuff is and how much of it we have.
So I set out to dissect my disposal system.

Most of my trash is composed of plastic, I quickly noted. If I had to guess, I’d say plastic food containers make up the bulk of the waste at about 75%, roughly. Thankfully, it’s all recyclable in my community. So I set about segregating the plastics, rinsing them and putting them in a different container. Easy peasy. I literally just incorporate them with my dishes. Rinse with water when you’re done using it, then rinse with dish water when you do dishes (so it doesn’t stink up your recycling, and your house). Then it’s off to the recycling bin – clean, sorted, and ready.
That doesn’t seem so hard, which is why it’s a growing trend.
But what about the rest?

Well, most of the rest of my trash is food waste. Coffee grounds. Eggshells. Banana peels. Carrot greens. Spaghetti from three weeks ago that got tucked into a corner of the fridge. To utilize this more readily, I (hesitantly) adopted the idea of composting my kitchen waste. Rather than bore you with the details here, I think I’m going to do an entire entry about compost. I used to cringe, but now I find it a very dear part of my lifestyle. I get a lot of gratitude from it, and it’s helped me to develop a somewhat spiritual relationship with this planet.

But with these two changes, 90% of my trash just no longer existed. Recycling really was most of the issue, and I hadn’t realized how important it was until I started saving a week’s worth of recyclables. I saw the single object, as most people do, that needs to be recycled. I had to teach myself to see the millions and millions of other plastic containers that look JUST like the one I was in charge of – and I had to keep that in mind when I decided whether to recycle it or to toss it.

A lot of my lifestyle has followed the same path of the trash. In the past couple of years, I’ve discovered a million things that can easily be corrected by very slight changes – and the result is a greener, HEALTHIER, more rewarding lifestyle full of optimism and pop queen Billboard Hits in the a.m. hours. All of these little changes add up to one large lifestyle change that took place over time. Before, I was an eternal Nihilist Nancy – always focusing on the bad side of everything. I was stuck in the rut that has been designed for us – the rut that tells us that problems of today are just too big and complex to solve. That rut is fake. It’s an illusion.

Now, I save the planet.
Every day, after I Vogue.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment