Waste Not, Want Not


My biggest pet peeve is waste. I detest (because, according to my five-year-old, “we don’t say ‘hate'”) wasting food, wasting money, wasting time. It physically hurts me to see things in the garbage that I know could be recycled, and I am not ashamed to admit that I have pulled papers out of the trash in my classroom on multiple occasions.

To save items from the trash, we cloth diapered our children, use washcloths as napkins, and compost food scraps. We may or may not have brought compost home from a camping trip this summer. I even sometimes rinse out plastic bags so I can use them again.

To save some cash, we do our best to be thrifty. I get a rush when I see my grocery bill drop as a result of coupons and sometimes wait to hand over my Kroger card until the end of the transaction so I can watch those discounts pop up all at once. Also, we use things until they are no longer usable–we are not “first adopters” and don’t feel the need to rush out and buy the newest gadget as soon as it is released. 

To save time, we try to squeeze in one last task in those extra five minutes before we have to be somewhere. Unfortunately, this sometimes often means that we end up running late. But we also try our best to plan ahead, which is a much more successful endeavor. On good days, we have clothes picked out and lunches packed the night before, saving precious time in the morning rush. 

So, needless to say, I am constantly looking for ways to reduce waste. It dawned on me one day, however, that as moms, we are already doing more than our share of conservation:

  • We save food by subsisting on a steady diet of whatever our children left on their plates. 
  • We save dishes by eating said left-overs hovering over the sink.
  • We save water by showering less frequently, and when we do, the average time is three minutes and may or may not involve hair washing. (That’s why they invented dry shampoo.)
  • We save clothes by wearing the same outfit for several days in a row, washing it only when it fails the ‘smell test.’
  • We save money by not buying anything for ourselves unless it comes from the Dollar Spot at Target.
  • We save time by not wasting it doing something as inefficient as sleeping.

Tongue-in-cheek, sure, but as I weather this challenging, yet rewarding, season of motherhood, I can take comfort in the fact that at the very least, I am doing my part to cut back on waste.

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Originally from Kansas City, Kristin met her husband, a Seattle native, in Germany. The military brought them to Memphis, and they chose to stay after transitioning to Reserve duty. While it is hard to be away from family, they love this city so much that they bought a house in Midtown where they are raising two spunky daughters, E (May 2013) and L (January 2016), and a curious son E (November 2019). Kristin considers herself to be primarily a stay-at-home mom, but she occasionally escapes the shenanigans to teach college-level writing classes. If she had any spare time, she’d spend it curled up with a good book in a blissful state of hygge. Her family is happiest when on an adventure, especially camping, riding bikes, or enjoying all Memphis has to offer.