Thursday, March 22, 2007

Being easily entertained is sustainable.

I posted this elsewhere and thought it would be appropriate to post it here. A big part of being sustainable is being a mindful consumer. One of the most unsustainable habit we have as a society is overconsuming. Be it food or items. I've been compacting since the end of last year and I think my inner consumer is dead.

I notice it in the little things: last night I came home and we had received the MEC Spring/Summer catalogue in the mail. In the past, I would have looked it over carefully, dreaming of my next adventure and seeing all sorts of things I could upgrade to. I didn’t even glance at it. I know what they sell and chances are, if something breaks down and absolutely needs to be replaced, I’ll go there to get a replacement, but only after checking their online classifieds for a used one. And for you compacters out there, I'm mostly thinking safety items here.

Something that has been keeping me tremendously entertained, as stupid as it may sound, is my public library. I never used to use it, I patronized the bookstore and the video store instead. Everytime I read about a book or movie, I quickly log on to the library’s website and request it, without thinking too much since it’s low commitment. So at any one time, I have at least 10 library books checked out (mostly non-fiction: knitting, fibre arts, environmental, peak oil-related, sometimes a good novel too) and they keep me entertained. It’s mostly stuff you wouldn’t read from cover to cover so I go from one to another if I get bored.

I don’t feel the need to reward myself with things anymore, I no longer get the: “I met this impossible deadline, let’s buy a new shirt” urge. It’s more: “let’s celebrate by including something really good complete with dessert in our next menu plan”.

I guess I’m easily entertained.

Friday, March 2, 2007

My First Bulk Buy

I'm trying to buy more in bulk. We don't have a co-op here so it's really important that I try to buy in bulk when I can. My food budget is pretty tight but there is a little bit of room if I plan ahead. This month's bulk buy was 25lbs of organic sugar. We don't use sugar a lot but I do bake with it and my dh likes to have sugar in his coffee. We were normally buying it in small plastic pouches. This 25lb bag was all paper. I'm storing it in 3 glass gallon jars in my cool/dark pantry. The lids do seal closed so they should be well preserved until I need them. The one thing I'm not happy with is that it's from South America. However, I'm not ready to give up sugar.
Next month, peanut butter.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

February Goals Report

Citrus peels--I've made another batch of candied peels and I have been faithfully slicing and freezing the peels that come off of our oranges, lemons, and grapefruit for cooking at a later date.

My fabric stash--I was able to make a considerable dent in the hoarded fabric. In February, I made three tea towels, one grocery bag which was given to a bagless shopper at the food store,
and four hankies. Those hankies are turning out to be a very good idea. I'm sick at the moment, and my runny nose welcomes them!

Books--I released forty books through bookcrossing. I also got caught up on labeling books...
until I was given 200 more! I've registered two boxes + three bags full. It's a start!

Other things I tried this month--counted the number of miles we put on the car in one week--68, walked as much as I could (while combining bookcrossing releases with combined errands),
only sent one trash bag to the landfill, made and used spray starch for ironing, unplugged the power strip to the stereo and etc, unplugged the dustbuster, made a valentine for my sweetie,
took jars that I want to keep for other projects and filled them with water and froze them to in-crease the freezer's efficiency, darned a sock, recycled a vacuum cleaner bag per Tightwad
Gazette's instructions, and started making a ball of plastic yarn from the bags that the newspapers come in.

I'm going to work on formulating some goals for that it's here!

Carolyn in CO