Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Godzilla v. Consumerism!

Consumerism is rampant. Consumerism of course is the need to buy just because.....signs that you are being consumeristic are:

1. buying because it's on sale and you will save 20 bucks, despite the fact that the purchase will cost you more than that.
2. buying because it is fun.
3. buying because you are bored and shopping will get you out of the house.

It's funny, I completely understand this, because I was there.....but then when I started to think about the impact to the environment, I did it less.

Why you may ask?

Well because ultimately all that STUFF goes into our landfills. Think about it. Do you really need the latest and greatest iPod, or a new car or computer all the time.

Probably not. And the impact is worse because of the things that happen to waste.

Lately, I have noticed that I want less and less to buy things, and more and more to make things. Even this habit I am examining because how much stuff does one really need?

I am betting a lot less than one might think. I am betting it is really about 10-20% of what we actually use.

That's a big chunk.

So here is my challenge to you:

Identify 10 things that you can do without on a regular basis, and how that can help our own little blue and green piece of paradise. Here are my 10:

1. Air conditioning-saving money and energy on a daily basis.
2. Don't use lights in summer time- again with money and energy.
3. Eliminate Happy Meal toys-saving the landfills and my time in having to pick the darn things up from the floor.
4. Avoid software in full packaging regalia-I found a place that saved me 35 dollars on turbotax, by simply sending me just the CD. No box to hearken back to the days when software came with actual manuals that needed to be read. Download software online for even less waste.
5. Buy laptops-they come with better power saving routines, are more compact and provide removeable components, so you can tailor your machine to what you actually use.
6. Use thumb drives for data storage....smaller, less waste, and can be used on any computer with a USB port.
7. Say no to paper and plastic. Less waste, and I get to knit. Use linen instead of cotton to reduce pesticide use. If you can carry it without a bag, even better.
8. Water less frequently and at night for deeper roots, stronger plants and less evaporation. I am also considering getting rid of some lawn.
9. Use natural fibers in your clothing. I don't buy poly clothing if I can avoid it, I just feel fabric these days and pass it by if it's synthetic. There are so many wonderful natural fibers to use these days, with varying degrees of
10. Buy local-buy your goods locally as much as you can....think farmers markets, small locally owned stores, cottage industry. It's good for the economy, your neighbors and the environment.


Bezzie said...

I have a strong sense of guilt when it comes to spending money, so in some ways that's good, in some ways it's crippling (I never finished my fourth year of college because of it!)

I share about half of those ten with you but more because not using A/C or lights saves me money. That's the "green" I worry about first and foremost. The other definition of green is just a happy side effect!

Batty said...

I'm pretty good, except when it comes to books, music and yarn/knitting paraphernalia. The latter I'm at peace with because it's cheaper than littering the world with Prozac containers. Knitting literally keeps me happy and relaxed and anxiety free.

But I do make a point out of getting most music online so as to avoid CD packaging, and I only get paper bags when I shop for groceries. Oh, and I recycle everything that can be recycled and buy only green paper towels and napkins. I mean, who cares if they're not white white? At least no new trees had to be killed for something I'm only using to wipe my mouth or my counter!

Marianne said...

I like your suggestion to buy local, starting with your local yarn store, of course ;-).