Part of adopting a more self-sufficient lifestyle has involved considering what I am throwing out, and what I am buying in. For example, every now and then I used to buy a pack of sandwich bags for lunchboxes, freezing food, crafts and other uses. At the same time I used to throw out dozens of plastic bags a month - bread bags, the inners from packs of cereal, bags that fruit and veg had come in. When you stop and think about it, it's crazy. So now I have a cupboard stuffed full of assorted plastic bags waiting to be reused.
On the other hand, you can't hoard everything forever or your house would become unliveable-in, so you have to throw some stuff away. Or better still, give it away to someone who wants it. That's why I subscribe to freecycle, a free mailing list that puts people with stuff they don't need in touch with people who want the stuff the other people don't need.
It's one of those wonderful win-win things that give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. On the one hand, someone came and took away my old chest of drawers for nothing, to go and be loved and used by someone else. And on the other hand I have collected some things I needed, like a huge chest freezer, or a vacuum cleaner, from people who didn't want them any more.
In the last few days I picked up a 3-dimensional train-shaped cake tin
and a large array of Grateful Dead cassettes. Now I suppose I need to find some stuff to give away, in order to rebalance the cosmic karma. Or just to stop myself from being crushed by my own clutter.