The type of do-gooding that Zeroism hasn’t yet become famous for takes place on a number of different levels. Some weeks I’ll address the UN on my latest initiative to reduce humanity’s carbon footprint, some weeks I’ll surgically attach a spy camera to my thorax and film inside an abattoir to convert millions to vegetarianism, and some weeks I’ll get rid of a load of old junk to charity shops and make out it’s worth writing about. Like I say; different levels.
This week, as it happens, I’ve been clearing through Zero Towers. There’s two things going on here. First, there’s yer basic anti-materialism where stuff for the sake of stuff just ain’t on; there’s nothing like a few weeks in a developing country to help you thin out your possessions. Second, there’s yer basic environmentalism where if there’s stuff I own I’m not using it’s going to waste as much in my cupboard as in a landfill. You read that right: I’ve turned a spring clean into a moral crusade.
I’ve been through books (ditching novels I bought for looking good on a bookcase), CDs (ditching an awful lot of awful albums that sucked me in with a good lead single, along with the entire back catalogues of Girls Aloud and Sugababes bought in a sustained moment of weakness) and DVDs (most of Star Wars can now piss up a rope). I’ve ditched shirts and ties (I’m not a manager any more!), trousers (mine), skirts, handbags and jewellery (Mrs Zero’s) and gloves, scarves and belts. I filled about six bags with stuff and carted it down to the Salvation Army which takes absolutely anything. It doesn’t care about stuff looking good or working or about basic health and safety, it just flogs stuff dead cheap to people who want it and sends the money to people who need it and dig Jesus. I don’t myself but he runs a hell of a charity shop; most of our furniture has come from his place and for about £1.50.
There was a stack of old pillow cases and towels, a few of which we cut up for dusters; something I didn’t realise people did except on those tedious home-maker shows on Freeview that tell you the thousand things you can clean with vinegar if you don’t mind your house stinking to high fuck. The rest of them joined the other stuff at the Sally, along with some old PJs and underwear, to be sold as rag. It’s hard to believe there’s still a business for rag in the days of the iPad but there we are; apparently Steptoe’s still knocking about and making cash for charity.
Finally, I went all high tech and hipster by joining Freecycle, the site that was topical for bloggers about four years ago and lets people trade their unwanted stuff for free. Some guy came and took the glass doors for a bookcase that had been at the back of a cupboard for two years, although he was less keen on the old phone charger, the DVD player that doesn’t turn on and the Freeview box without a remote control that only plays BBC2. Sadly they’re now headed for the electrical section of the nearest landfill. Still, I had a pretty good run of getting rid of stuff in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
And with that I’m off to dig a hole in my thorax.
Photo credit: The Zero