Want Not, Waste Not
Last Tuesday, I opened a storage area in my bathroom to find some Tylenol for my aching neck. Reaching for the bottle at the back of the shelf, I watched everything tumble and topple. Bottles, jars, and tubes scattered both inside the cabinet and at my feet. I was appalled at the number and variety of items I have collected over the past few years.
Opening the medicine cabinet, I found more of the same, and under each sink were stacks of lotions, potions, make-up and half a pharmacy of products. As I pulled each one onto the bathroom counter-top, I read expiration dates and filled a trash can or two. I was flustered and confused about the hundred or so items left before me.
There were similar products like Tylenol, Aleve, Ibuprofin, Aspirin, Motrin – you get my drift. Several tubes of antibiotic cream, a row of shampoos and conditioners; two baskets full of eye liner, mascara and shadow; face moisturizers and body lotions, body scrubs, body waxing. The list was endless.
I know I’m not alone. I have a hunch most women have bathrooms exactly like mine. I looked at each jar and bottle and assessed the situation. I could throw them all away since I use about 1/20th of them. I considered giving them away in my bag for Good Will but figured anything opened would be tossed on their end. I questioned the amount of money staring me in the face as well.
And then I had a novel idea. What about using them? I thought. Hmm.
I looked at each item again. Why had I purchased it in the first place? Why did I replace it? Did I not like it? Did it not work? And why did I have so many duplicates? I picked up each one, read the label and made a decision. Yes, I liked the idea of “using them”. How long could I go without buying foundation if I used up the four containers in my make-up drawer? How long would it take to use up all of my pain medication? (about 10 years I figured). Would I ever need to buy nail polish again? I could go a year without buying toothpaste for sure.
I’m going to give this a try. Maybe the tinted moisturizer wasn’t perfect. Maybe it turned a tad yellow; although maybe I simply heard from a friend that something else worked better. Whatever the reason, the challenge followed me through the rest of the house. Under the kitchen sink are bottles of cleansers, dish washing soaps, hand sterilizers. The laundry room looked the same. I must have hit a two- for- one sale in the laundry stain removal aisle one day. And did I need three different detergents? I decided I did need two; I really like the one for dark clothes only. It makes me feel safer washing my “reds”.
So now I am on a mission. I am going to use each and every one of these products. I am not going to replace them until the containers are empty. Even the lavender nail polish and the little packaged soaps I have from a dozen hotels. That’s right. I am going to be frugal. I am going to make up for all this waste. And I started today. Stay tuned for further updates ………..

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