Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thinker, Doer, Consumer

I want to publicly agree with the commenters on my last post, that I too believe it is impossible to not be a consumer in this day and age. I mean, I can't possibly grow or make all the things I need and want.
To wit, after my frugality post and after my Wendell Berry "I don't know the names of native plants" post, what did I do? I went to Target. That's right! And we spent a lot of money. I bought a new knife, a new cutting board, a new pot, a new blanket and some really expensive shampoo that MB will not ever let me forget about. Ever. Did I "need" any of that stuff? Probably not. I did need shampoo, but did not need to spend that much on it.
I also bought snacks I didn't really need and some food that we did need.
Then I went to DSW and bought some new running shoes that I sort of needed. And they were cheaper than my last ones, so that's good, right?
What I'm saying, my adoring public, is that we have ideals, things we would like to do or be, and then we have reality, which is the way things are. Which is where Target and DSW are located, and which is where I live.
Now, that doesn't mean that I'm not going to buy a book on native plants and birds and take Son out for more hikes, because I am going to do that.
But I'm also going to buy things I don't need, but maybe try to do less of that. And try to get some winter veggies from Chad (thanks for the reminder Hightouch!) and not consume so many things that I can live without that aren't sustainable.
Holy Cow, did I mention how many plastic bags they gave us at Target? I mean to tell the nice young man (next time) that it's okay for him to put more than 2 items in each bag. I mean Geez! So that would be a step in the right direction, right?
What I mean to say is just because I don't have a cell phone or cable doesn't mean that I am not compromised in my day to day living, because I am. I guess I just want to be more conscious about what I do and what I buy, and try to balance that out with some kind of "living gently on the earth" intention.
Peace out!


AJ said...

I think you are awesome in your awareness of consumerism and in raising mine! and take the bags back to a grocery store--they will recycle them. Our local park system takes them too--they put them in the dispenser in the park for people that forgot to bring one to clean up after the mutt!

Lisa B. said...

For Christmas, one of the kids gave me a reuseable bag that you can fold up into a teeny, tiny little packet that snaps closed--it literally takes up no room in my purse and I have found that it is excellent in terms of making sure I have a bag when they whip out the plastic ones.

I agree it's important to be mindful, and it's good to keep having these conversations.

Aligates said...

Hey, so, if you learn to knit, you can make yarn out of your Target bags! My students showed me how - they linked to a site off the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef page. Of course, the best thing to knit out of Target bags are shopping bags. Lather, rinse, repeat.

ErinAlice said...

I try to reuse and recycle as much as I can-but Target is such a hard place to resist!! I bet your hair looks fab!! But seriously I think if everyone does what they can it will make a difference.

Ink said...

I keep buying (consuming!) the reusable bags to use instead of plastic, but then I forget to bring them to the store with me! So my house is being slowly but steadily taken over by green!

On a happier note, recycling is part of the elementary school curriculum around here. My son is always asking if he can recycle things instead of throw them away. (Yesterday he asked me how they were going to recycle the robot he saw on tv). So that's cool.