Tuesday, August 08, 2006


This journey has been an awakening for me. I have never been a very conscientious consumer. Certainly, I could find a deal on items that I needed. Yes, I was very good at clipping coupons, looking through the papers for deals, and getting great sale prices. However, I never really thought about whether I needed something at all. The other day I saw a Target commercial where things were piled up on top of each other and the consumer "needed" all of these things.

I have realized in the past few months that the compact is not only about not purchasing, but about making choices. The choices run deeper than paper or plastic (I use reusable canvas and save 5 cents per bag used). I can choose whether I really need mountain fresh or spring floral toilet bowl cleaner - or if I am going to choose to make one that I can live with. Am I going to use paper bags for the kids lunches, purchase something that only lasts 6 months, purchase something that will last for years, or make bags.

There are choices. I grew up with a certain way - and thought that is how things always should be. I never really thought there were choices outside of those that are provided to us. Well, there are more choices than driving to the store. We can choose whether to drive to the store, car pool, take public transportation, bike, walk, or not go at all.

I have many more choices in how to live than what commercials tell me that I have. Now I am trying to live in a way that I can see all of my choices - which go beyond a blue or green shirt. It includes used, environmentally friendly, or going without. I can see beyond what advertisements tell me that I "need."

Believe it or not, but as members of this global economy we do have choices. If we use our choices well, then we also have a voice. Companies need us to spend our money - and they tell us how to do it. Going without or making wise choices gives us that voice.

Examples of environmentally friendly choices:
Lunch boxes http://www.laptoplunches.com/
Reusable Sandwich wrap http://www.wrap-n-mat.com/
Reusable Canvas Bags: http://www.reusablebags.com/
Three ring binders http://www.sustainablegroup.net/index.html


In Recovery said...

It's enlightening to watch commercials when you're in a frugal/simple/decluttering sort of mood--suddenly, the message is revealed to be toxic and wasteful.

Interesting products at those links.

emme said...

I know. It truly is an awakening, isn't it?

One day recently I was watching tv and saw 5 different commercials of chemicals to clean or scent my house. This was in one 2 minute time period. It was horrible!

I linked these just to show that there ARE actually options outside of what the major corporations tell us that we need. Thos items that the major corps tell us we need also need to be replaced frequently! I say, if you purchase, purchase once!