Wishcycling: how to mindfully declutter

Wishcycling happens when we misunderstand what happens during the recycling process. 

Read the full transcription here. As consumers we often overestimate what is recycled, or even recyclable. We believe that the solution to overconsumption is just more efficient recycling. Wishcycling represents our ideal waste management, not the reality. 

I know you want to be a part of the solution. So do I, but it's hard to know what TO do. 

The truth is this:

  1. We lack education and nuanced conversation on how to properly recycle, as well as reduce and reuse what we have. 
  2. We live in an industrialized and consumerist society. The patterns and structures around our consumerism are hard to break free from. 
  3. The best way to sustainably declutter is to reduce the amount of stuff you consume in the first place. Check out this blog I did on this in 2020. 

Remember in school when we all learned “recycle, reduce, reuse?”

I know everyone has a different life experience and educational level on this. Mine however was very… simplified. And not in a good way. 

I seem to have only picked up that if I recycled, I could save the planet. The focus on reducing, and reusing was not strong. Or maybe it was, but living in our consumerist society that contradicts that message was stronger for me. 

The education as far as what to actually do, was minimal. It left me with the impression as I grew up that I could just recycle my excess trash and it would all be okay. 

As with anything there is partial truth to this. Yes, we should recycle what we can. But after some self learning I have realized that many of the things I was recycling actually harmed the recycling process. 

Learning how to recycle properly requires a lot of time and energy. And as moms, it's just one more thing we don't have time for. 

Decluttering gives moms time and energy for the things they want to do. If this is one thing you want to learn to be better at, decluttering is one of the best ways! Not only does it give you the bandwidth for it, but decluttering is actually one of the best solutions for wishcycling!

The way our society is designed, of course we understand why wishcycling is a thing!

Fast fashion, and generally fast manufacturing in all industries makes it SO easy for us to overconsume. We are surrounded by more stuff than we can ever possibly use, repurpose or recycle.

This combined with our lack of education leaves us very confused. 

Add on top of that confusion, the way we automatically buy, shop and consume more.. it's a recipe for disaster. 

Don't feel bad about it. Just acknowledge that it is where we are as a society. The remedy for any problem is to shine a light on it, and see it clearly. 

We can never recycle our way to an overconsumption solution. We must reduce our consumption in the first place. 

If you're confused by what to do about this, stick around the Motherhood Simplified community because decluttering and consuming less is what I teach about here all the time!

It's incredibly difficult to get out of this cycle when everything you are surrounded by sustains your patterns of living. 

This has been a theme of 2020 as collectively we begin to dismantle our societal structures and acknowledge their harmful ways. 

Amazon Prime, dollar store aisles, and grand expectations to give our kids the world make it so hard to “just consume less”. 

It's everywhere we look. Good deals, Prime Days during the holiday season lull. 

You are not alone, and you can change this pattern. Listen in to this full episode above, or read the transcript to continue learning and having conversation! 

0:33 – article link https://www.roadrunnerwm.com/blog/wishcycling


1:00 – wishful thinking 


1:50 – what can we do 


2:01 – an honest conversation episode link https://motherhoodsimplified.com/radically-responsible-decluttering-a-conversation-about-goodwill/


2:32 – the reduce, reuse, recycle campaign 


3:00 – step one is “reduce” but that isn't how we live 


5:28 – recycling is not a sustainable solution to consuming too much stuff 


6:08 – reducing our consumption of stuff also reduces our need to figure out how to recycle mindfully


8:24 – it's ok to let trash be trash


9:06 – what we can control 


10:15 – come join us in the motherhood  simplified facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2010014145929427/


12:59 – why decluttering is the most sustainable thing you can do 


13:22 – decluttering simplified the course motherhoodsimplified.com/declutteringsimplified 


14:20 – what does reuse really mean? It can be simple


Even if you have little time, energy or day to day support