WASTE: Chapter 5 of “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”

I apologize. I find myself once again a week behind the book club at Bloom. Here are the links for last week on WASTE.

“7” – Chapter 5: Waste – Discussion with the author, Jen Hatmaker

Guest Post: Confessions of a Reformed Consumer

What others are saying about Waste


This was by far, the most convicting chapter for me in “7” yet.

How about you?

I thought my little family of four was very good about recycling and about being good stewards of our resources (i.e. turning off lights, not letting the water run, not wasting gas).

But, Jen Hatmaker makes some zinger points that hit me in the gut. Mind you, I was laughing my head off (again at the most inappropriate times), but still, she is right. I am completely unaware of how much waste I generate. I am also unaware of the big impact I can make with simple changes to my families routines and habits.

So, this is where the rubber meets the road.

Several thoughts:

1. Back Yard Garden – I would love to find an organization like the one she describes who built and planted a box garden for her. All she had to do was provide the land and give them half of the produce. That sounds awesome to me. Not only because I would get some yummy home-grown veggies and fruits, but also because it would build relationships within my community.

I have dreamt of having a box garden in my back yard. I even have a how-to book sitting on my shelf. I keep it because it is still a dream. I haven’t pulled it off yet. I keep finding excuses, claiming that we are not in one home long enough to make it worth my time. Or, we live in a rental. I don’t think I should tear up a yard I do not own. But, really there are ways around that. And, so what that I am only in my current location for a year. It only takes a season to grow delicious and colorful produce. I am just lazy, really.

Okay, I need to change my mindset and turn the box garden from a dream into a short-term goal. Maybe in the next house.

2. Composting – Yes, I would like to compost. Again, I am stuck with the fact that I (1) don’t know what I would do with compost {if I had that box garden, it would not be a problem} and (2) I am only in this home for ten months. Is it really worth my time and energy? {Just this morning, I spoke with a neighbor friend who said she would take my compost and use it in her flower garden. Perfect! Now I have no reason not to compost.}

3. Recycling – This is what convicted me the most this chapter. She spoke of the fact that recycling is great, but consider what it took to create all of the packaging that I am putting in the recycling bin. All of the packaging…I looked in my pantry. Yep, they are in there. All of the prepackaged items that are handy for school lunches. And, all of the ziplock baggies that get used once.

{It is worth noting here that I was raised by a mom who washed out all of the ziplock bags and used foil and hung them out on the line to dry. I know this, because it was often my job to go and fetch them all before the afternoon rains. I have always given her a hard time about it, and swore I would never do that. Maybe she has been right all this time….}

So, I have been thinking about how I can reduce the amount of packaging materials that come into my home.

I am partially committed. I try to do some things right. We mostly use cloth napkins {thank you mom}. I use plastic reusable containers in school lunches when I can. I use reusable water bottles, most of the time.

But, I have gotten lazy. The prepackaged items are easier. But, I now see all of the waste we are producing. I used to buy the boxes of cheese crackers and just bag a serving for lunch. But, the prepackaged is quicker. It is much easier to pull out a clean, fresh zip bag for the sandwich than to choose the container that fits the sandwich and fits the lunch box. Not to mention shuffling through all of the lids to find the right match.

I have a long way to go. But, I am motivated to make changes.

Thank you, Jen Hatmaker, for “7”. Thank you for making me laugh.

Finally, thank you for reminding me that we humans are commanded to be stewards of this earth – it is not a ecological vs. a theological issue. It is a God-honoring issue.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth…Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.'” (Genesis 1:26, 28)

In Jen Hatmaker’s words (pp.150, “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”),

“I cannot believe how God has captured me for creation care. All of it: recycling, using less, gardening, composting, conserving, buying local, repurposing instead of replacing: I’m in…My hypocrisies are too numerous to count, but this month birthed something unmistakable: I’m done separating ecology from theology, pretending they don’t originate from the same source.

‘The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters’ (Ps. 24:1-2).

Well said, well said.

I hope we are all listening.


Do any of you have any great tips for reducing waste? I sure could use them.

newly purposed, 


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2 thoughts on “WASTE: Chapter 5 of “7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess”

  1. Ok, I just finished reading chapter 5 this weekend. I really relate to Hatmaker’s multiple personality tendencies! I know I should grocery shop at Aldi because it’s very economical, but I feel a certain satisfaction when I prepare a meal made entirely of food grown right here on our island. Plus, he island food is healthier & yummy. Well, not healthy for my grocery budget…But I am at peace with my choice to almost completely eliminate plastic & paper products from my kitchen. We use sandwich wraps & snack bags I found on Etsy. Each child has his/her own set-no more “he took my pretzels!” And we use flat cloth diapers instead of paper towels. They’re inexpensive, absorbent & I keep them in a basket on the floor of my pantry so it’s easy for the kids to get to them when they need to clean up a spill.

I would love to hear from you!