Is that we all have too much. I’ve known for a long time that I’ve had too much stuff, and although I try my best to purge regularly and avoid bringing things into our lives that we don’t really need. But I find lately that I’m failing miserably at this task.
As of yesterday, however, I have a renewed sense of purpose. My friend Rachel (thanks Rach!) sent me a link to a site called The Story of Stuff. I was looking for something lazy to do yesterday while the Nate-man was napping, so I downloaded the 20 minute video and watched.
I was amazed. It is all about the material economy and how North Americans (well, it talks about Americans – but I know that it applies to Canadians too!) are consuming and disposing of way too much stuff. She talks a bit about the political history behind today’s blatant consumerism and describes in detail just how much damage we are doing to our planet. And not just the environment either. Nope…the environment is just one small piece of the larger puzzle. We are hurting ourselves too and our communities. It was fascinating. And depressing. But also motivating.
And then I went to Walmart. And despite my new-found motivation and renewed sense of global responsibility, I was lured in by rolled-back prices and a cute little notebook for my 365 day challenge. And that depressed me even more once I was home and I thought about it some more.
And then I thought about it some more (at 3 am while I was nursing…isn’t that when everyone decides what to blog about?) and I decided to share my thoughts with you. Because maybe global responsibility is kind of like the 365 Challenge (which, BTW, I am right on track for!) in that it’s easier to keep on target if you share your goals with others. It’s working for Megan with her Seven Days, Seven Rooms Challenge.
So I’m sharing my goal to consume less and to consume more wisely. Dale and I were actually just talking about stuff like this a few days before he left. We both often feel like we aren’t doing as much as we could be to be good custodians of our planet. We like to pat ourselves on the back for things like using cloth diapers. And yes that’s good- but it’s not enough. For instance…at home I use cloth wipes. But I didn’t bring them to Ontario with me and I’ve been using disposable wipes. But now I’m asking myself…if I can do cloth diapers in Ontario – why-oh-why couldn’t I have done cloth wipes too? They are so much nicer for Nate’s bum anyways.
There are other things that we do that I know are good…like shop at local farmer’s markets, use reusable shopping bags, recycle, etc. But, as the movie will explain, we need to do more. I want to do more. Our society just makes it really, really hard.
I highly, highly recommend that you check out The Story of Stuff and please come back and tell me what you think. I am going to set some more concrete goals….because although “consume less” is a worthy goal, I’m thinking it’s a pretty vague and lofty target for little ol’ me to strive for.
I’m going to start by taking back two of the things I bought at Walmart. One didn’t work anyway..and the other I decided I just don’t need. Thank goodness for liberal return policies, right? I realize that returning these items doesn’t really solve the problem, but it limits the “stuff” in my house and it’s a start.
How are you going to start?