Monday, February 18, 2013

Treading (not so) Gently

One of my New Years resolutions was to tread more gently on the earth.
I want to think more about my consumption habits and try to cut back on my family's share of the landfill.
More concretely, I decided to only buy handmade or secondhand, except for food, for 2013.
Of course, some things are harder than others to find secondhand or handmade.
So, seven weeks in, here's to being accountable - how am I doing so far?
Well, I soon realised that when I wrote 'food' I meant general groceries and health stuff as well.
You'll be relieved to hear we're buying new toilet paper. And toothbrushes. And you know, all kinds of toiletry stuff. And while I intend to slowly migrate to more earth friendly products we're still using a lot of super-market cleaning stuffs, although vinegar and eucalyptus oil are playing increasingly large roles.
I'm starting to fudge on things like... pencils and glue and paints. I'm telling myself it's in order to make handmade stuff, which it is... but if I spent long enough scouring the op-shops and e-bay I could pick them up secondhand (probably, eventually.)
I'm also fudging on 'health' stuff. So far I've brought 4 pairs of new sunglasses for my Beloved and I. None were over ten dollars, but...I know I could have found them in an op-shop if I'd just looked longer. Sunscreen is a clear must have... but the kids used my solitary lipstick to paint the bathroom, so... I'm thinking... lipstick is a health product, isn't it? All UV protective. I'm thinking if I get one of the skin cancer council ones that makes it all health-product-y. Doesn't it? (Hint: You're supposed to say yes, of course it's a health product.')
And then there are those couple of books I 'accidentally' brought new. (Yes, you can accidentally buy books new!) And I'm not counting e-books here because, lacking physical form I'm putting them down as 'handmade'... But now I'm thinking it's my duty to support other authors and buy new books, so maybe books should be an exception... but then e-books... but then picture books...
So, to sum it up, I'm not going particularly well.
But I am thinking more about what I'm buying and I think I'm getting better as I realise the pitfalls and how I need to plan better.
At least I'm hopeful that by the end of the year I'll have it all worked out... maybe.

Did you make New Years Resolutions?
How are they going?

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