Sunday, October 25, 2009

Final reflections on No Impact Week

I've already talked about setting a goal to generate less trash by making changes to my daughter's snacks. Here are a few more random thoughts, in no particular order:

On consumption: Hubby recently got a short-term subscription to the Tacoma News-Tribune (I know, not very green. He was responding to a sales call). As a result, I now am able to do something I used to do all the time: read through the Sunday circulars and coupons, trying to find good deals. In doing so, I realize just how far I have stepped away from the consumer culture, because the vast majority of things advertised, I have no interest or plan to buy.

We buy all our clothing, toys, appliances and electronics second-hand, except for my 6'7" hubby, who is only able to shop at Casual Male Big & Tall or Men's Wearhouse two to three times a year when they're having big sales. (Note: one of my challenges/ goals is to try to find something he can wear at a thrift shop). So I can immediately dismiss ads for all these things.

With a few exceptions (Alaffia Everyday Shea body lotion, Trader Joe's TeaTree Tingle conditioner, Tom's of Maine deodorant, and KissMyFace sunscreen), I make our skin and hair care products, and use resuable menstrual pads. So drugstores are now places where we only buy perscription drugs, unless someone gets sick and needs something OTC. Thus, the drugstore ads don't apply.

Although I do read the supermarket circulars to see what's on sale, even the Sunday coupons are mostly useless. A few items I clip for: bread, cereal, cooking oil, vitamins and cold medicine. But we have very little use for most of the items in the coupons, such as frozen meals, Hamburger Helper, Pantene Pro-V conditioner, and the like.

It was kind of nice to know I've really come a long way in this area.

Eating local: This is an area where we could grow a lot. Although we have made strides by growing some of our own veggies and connecting with farmers and urban gardens in the area, we make a lot of our food choices based on what we like plus what is cheapest. Until our finances improve, cost still has to take a priority over local. However, I'm sure I can do better by learning more about local food menus and availability.

Transporation: My daughter and I did a lot more walking this week. We walked to and from the park several times (30 minutes each way), and we drove to the town center and parked and walked to each of our errands, which probably amounted to about an hour's worth of walking. We were tired at the end of it--4r and of course, several times I had to carry my daughter on my back. But walking a lot is getting easier, especially taking the steep hills to and from the park. We'll keep at it.

Energy: The house we live in is very cold: it is large, drafty, built into the side of a hill with eaves over most of the windows (which means very little sunlight), except for the two windows overlooking the Puget Sound which are so huge they also have a huge cooling effect. Great during the summer, terrible the rest of the year. Nevertheless, we're determined to not turn on the central heat unless we absolutely have to. We're doing what we did in Boston: huddling in one room with the doors shut and using a space heater. That's good for family closeness, too!

No comments:

Post a Comment