Hippie Resolve

So anyway, with Christmas and everything, I really got caught up with the whole consumerism bullshit. I generally try to stay away from the siren call of the mall and shopping in general, except for grocery shopping and an occasional trip to Target or Home Eco for house stuff or the bookstore. I know that, given the opportunity, I could drop a shitload of cash on shit I don't need at places like Sephora or H&M or Sur La Table. I had been spending more time spending money than I normally do, and I felt dirty, even if they were for gifts. I thought more about this today in class when, while discussing Ishmael one of kids said, "Most of what we think we need is just psychological. We just think we need it, when in reality, we don't." Word, Elizabeth L. Word. Do we really need all the things we have?

It's not the whole it's-fucked-up-because-buying-stuff-should-not-be-a-form-of-validation thing (although that is fucked up), it's more that buying stuff means we're producing all new stuff. That takes resources and produces waste and pollution. Someone was probably exploited to manufacture it. Fossil fuels were used to transport it from manufacture to retail. And, if you didn't get the memo, global warming is upon us and we need to cut back on fossil fuel use.

It's not just that. Chris and I could be carpooling, and we haven't been. Leaving the lights on when we're not in the room. Using cloth shopping bags. I haven't been consistent with the easy things, and I feel shitty about that.

I'm not naive. Living 100% sustainably is not realistic for most people, unless you want to abandon any type of urban area, head for the hills, and live off the grid. Everything is truly a compromise. Ultimately, unless you are completely bike/human powered, you need to use fossil fuels to get places. The way Americans are going to become more sustainable is by small adjustments and changes in lifestyle. Like not validating ourselves through needless consumerism. Or eating less meat. Not becoming vegans, but one or two meat-free meals a week. Two less car trips a week. Using all compact florescent light bulbs.

To cut a rambling rant short, I'm making a re-commitment to living more sustainably. I want to show my kids and my friends that you can do it and not smell like patchouli and have stank pits and eat only soy cheese (I don't care what the vegans say, nothing can replace cheese, ever.) And you don't have to buy $2,500 organic cotton/bamboo armchairs to live sustainably. Fuck Gaiam.

Also, there's a new Freecycle-type website that is pretty badass, called Gigoit (Garbage In, Garbage Out.) Check it out if you are into the free stuff board of Craigslist.

Also, I'm going to try to sell my car again. If you are in the market for a 2004 Ford Focus with 31,xxx miles on it, holla at a girl.

1 comment:

Shannon said...

I came back from Christmas break and my bike got stolen....probably by a hippie that wants to save the earth..well, at least i'm hoping.