Sunday, August 29, 2010

No Impact Experiment -Day 1 Consumption

You know, there just isn't a whole lot to say about consumption. We all over-consume. That is a fact.

Since I spent yesterday driving to 4 stores and two cities trying to buy cloth diapers and a moby wrap so I could be more environmentally conscious and more comfortable with the kiddo...I am all too aware of how consumption oriented we are...and this is one of our stronger areas???

On a positive note..I did drift into the local farmers market...suggestion of the handy manual. Wow..best kept secret around! Now? I know where I'm headed first for produce. I even started thinking Hey..Big B and I could ride our bikes to this stand and bring back our fruits and veggies for the week every Saturday morning. (okay..most) It could be fun.  I haven't shared this with Big B yet.

The challenge today is to avoid  purchasing anything that is not necessary. Not just for today, but for the rest of the week as well. Now I'm aware that purchasing and consuming are two different things..but this is the task at hand. So.. Not a problem, we are pretty good about that already. The question is what do we need. Big B and I spend morning discussing the saying need what you want, don't want what you need.

He says this is all well and good, but he would like to purchase a vacation home with a view. I am incredulous. Really? I ask..Because this is necessary, why..exactly?  He responds (while half asleep under his pillow) because I was sitting in Clint's house, looking out at the hills from his window. It was so peaceful..I want a vacation place with a view.

You do realize, I ask(and this is a rhetorical question) that that is exactly what people say when they spend time on our back deck?  Big B heaves a large sigh.I know..but there are people here... THEN GO TO CLINT'S, I interrupt. Well...but then he wants to talk and stuff. (now even Big B is grinning..he knows he is being ornery)

I decide to ignore him. I read him the rest of the manual for the day..you know..free-cycle, dumpster diving, shop at second-hand stores, barter...

But we do these things! He says..I know, I respond, don't be too proud... let's be glad that there is one thing we do okay during this week...and besides, we are also supposed to keep track of our trash output in this recycle bag today. You know..to prepare for tomorrow's "assignment". We are pretty darn pathetic at that.


(Big B lets out a loud sigh)..Oh...if only we had that vacation home....(another big grin) I leave him day-dreaming.

I  take a quick look around our home before leaving for church. Most things we own have been traded, given as a gift or bought second hand.

We recently carved out a space for Levi in the morning room.

Everything seen here was found and repaired, bought second hand or traded..except for the crib mattress, pad and sheet..which were a gift form my parents.

At church we swap baby clothes with a friend of ours who is a foster-parent for infants. We exchange new-born sizes for 3-6 month.

We have a pot-luck. More sharing of resources.

This afternoon, Cody works on a car.  Notice the garage is still being built. Why? Because we have worked and bartered for most of the materials. It is a work in progress...and the entire reason Brian was at Clint's luxurious vacation home? Because they are swapping labor...building Clint's furniture repair shop for the guys automotive repair shop.




Austen helps me find a bag for our recycled trash: taco bag (why are we purchasing tacos??? We have plenty to eat here. The boys grin and shrug their shoulders), a filthy shop rag that is not to be reused, the bottom of a plastic chair?, and plastic wrap from hamburger buns and pita bread...which we fed the deer earlier...the bread, not the wrap. Oh..and mom, we need gas and water states Austen. I raise my eyebrows. The water I understand..even though I think it is ridiculous to purchase clean water..we receive 4-8 boil water notices annually. Too many people with low immune systems in this house. So we buy 2- 5 gallon jugs of water and refill them each week for drinking...but the gas? It's for the cars..Oh,chimes in Cody, and Superglue. I give him a blank stare. No..really..it's for the car. So..Jack..if you are reading this..just know..that super-glue was a key part of your car-repair. Charming, isn't it? So we add, packaging for super-glue to our trash...as Big B tells me to save the rest of the super-glue in the fridge..because naturally, we keep superglue in the fridge.
 See..we really stink on this front.

Then? Austen leaves for the River with friend Justin on his 4-wheeler. I remind him this is just consuming more gas. He laughs and says..well, it's hot...and I didn't purchase this gas (the gas that is specifically in his 4 wheeler) today. Besides..this is about what we purchase today...energy use is later in the week..and with that? He drives off.

About this time Cody reminds me he is hanging out with friends tonight. Destination? Pizza place and a hookah cafe. Of course! Before I can even start he grins. I'm too young to participate in the hookah..and besides I will be purchasing entertainment with friends..not products to clutter our lives. Truth is, it's a friend's birthday and they have been planning this for a while. Hope they have a good time.

I am starting to think we are way more pathetic than I could have predicted. I would say it is safe to say I am bordering on exasperated, when Big B spots me..Guess What?! I don't have to buy a vacation home. Look, you were right! We already have one!...He gestures to the tree house with a huge grin on his face. It has a view and everything. I made Austen clean it this morning. I'm taking it back.(the tree-house, he means. Tree-house occupation is an on going saga around here) You can find me in the tree this evening. I'll be sitting on the porch, enjoying the view.


What's For Dinner?
Sunday: baked tilapia, sliced potatoes with onions and mushrooms, plums
Monday: (community dining returns)spaghetti, breadsticks, greenbeans and salad, brownies.
Tuesday: cheesy corn casserole, french-fires, sliced peaches
Wednesday: Steak Night at 11th Street! We are bringing veggie burgers and steak with feta and spinach.
Thursday: squash medley au gratin, apple cobbler
Friday: Make your own pizza night, chicken wings, salad
Saturday: Sicilian potatoes, crunchy fruit salad

1 comment:

Terri Jo said...

Hey Nicole! I found a really great thrift store, all clothes and shoes in SA off Vance Jackson, the pricing goes by day! Wed is restocking so they are only open the first half of the day but everything is 50 cents that day-no limit and then Thursday it starts over at $1.75 and goes down a quarter a day thereafter. ;) I found 30 things there last saturday for my family!