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Winter Solstice 2022 Musings

The first real snowfall here in Ohio came two days ago. I’m forced into stillness by a toe injury and I’m using this time to reflect. Our family isn’t simply on a journey to reducing our waste. That is just one part of us becoming more in tune with nature and natural cycles & rhythms. We desire to live a slower paced life filled with connectivity. As the season changes from Autumn to Winter I am reminded that we weren’t created to have the same level of output all year long. There are seasons we are meant to slow down and focus on rest. In other seasons we are meant to be a little more active and energetic. My mental health improved dramatically when I decided to fall into these natural rhythms. Here’s an update on where we are in our goals! Low waste living:

  1. We switched from plastic sandwich & snack bags to a reusable cloth option

  2. We eat less meat as a family and mostly switched to pasture raised chicken & beef. We opt to buy local as much as possible and I’m looking into local meat raised on regenerative farms committed to sustainability.

  3. We now get our milk delivered in glass to our doorstep from a local farm thanks to The Modern Milkman. The glass is returned and reused.

  4. We are composting with Let’s Grow Akron Community Compost program. It takes us about 1.5 weeks to fill a 5gal bucket with food scraps and leftovers.

  5. We are recycling right! We looked up our Summit County recycling rules and make sure our recycling bin is in compliance.

Eco Minimalism

  1. We reorganized and decluttered 4 problem areas in our home. My “office” space, our living room altar space/storage, the living room and the playroom. Some of these areas are still in the works to be revealed as Christmas gifts so I’ll share more after the holiday.

  2. Donated 2 bags of clothes and all of our infant toys.

Slow Living

  1. We finally have a plan for homeschooling in the fall! I’m very excited to slow down with our kiddos and focus on learning their way.

  2. I’m leaning into cleaning routines to keep up with our household chores so we can spend more time with each other or outside and less time inside managing our house.

We still have a very long way to go but we’re making our baby steps to progress. Some days it feels like we haven’t made any progress because we are a real human family and we aren’t perfect. We still eat out once a week, we still put a full bin of trash out every week and we still have food waste that cannot be composted (dairy & meat) but I try to remember that the point is not to be perfect. The point is to make slow consistent change to a different lifestyle. You can do it too! One step at a time to a better future for ourselves and our children. Slow down with us and enjoy the winter holidays!

-Jamila Edwards

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