Sunday, November 15, 2009

364: no impact week, day one

Oh, timing; as I got into the car to drive up to the dislocate reading party, a song called "Recessionista" by the Mood Swings was on The Current. She was singing about buying from flea markets and thrift stores and whatnot, and even though it was economically driven, it did fit into day one of No Impact Week.

So this week I'm joining Angie in a little No Impact experiment, using this guide to scrutinize my habits and consumption.

Today's theme is shopping. This is a tricky one for me, as my priorities have shifted. It's important to me to shop local and support mindful shops, so we've cut out places like Target and Wal-Mart permanently. This has, consequently, cut out a great deal of that impulse shopping that cursed me, particularly when Target was a regular part of my weekly rotation.

However, I've been gearing up for the holidays; this year I've got three nephews to attend to, and a great list of handmade gifts I'd love to tackle. I also have a mild book addiction, and for now, I protest the Kindle and Kindle-like offshoots, though like vegetarianism, I restrict my snobbishness to my own consumption; if Ryan were to embrace the Kindle, and he says he wouldn't use it and thus it is not worth it, then I would, reluctantly, accept it.

Anyone who has been to my home knows there is a slight overload of books. I celebrate the support of authors, I celebrate the support of local and independent bookstores, I celebrate the act of learning. I still use the libraries, mainly for those kinds of escape books that sell intense amounts of books, and for books on CD for my long commute (oh, transportation day, how I dread you). I'm a consumer of books, mainly.

I also enjoy indulging those I love. I've enjoyed shopping at places such as Etsy, Nova Natural, Uncommon Goods, and Imagine Childhood for the wee ones; my shopping for the holidays isn't taking the tone of the frantic Black Friday but instead something more mindful and meaningful. And truthfully? Many of my gifts are by hand this year, but most, truly, are from independent printers and sources that celebrate using sustainable resources (no plastic for me, thanks) and whatnot.

Of course, there are daily bits that could be adjusted. There always are. Here are my only two items of garbage I created today and eco-alternatives I found, which I will track a total for this week as well as the exact number of miles I drive in my car, which will be astronomical in comparison to others:

:: Q-tips: I'm one of those who washes my hair every day, shaves every day, and must follow my morning routine, even if it is truly low-maintenance. One garbage-producing step is cleaning my ears, which, I know, I know, I shouldn't really be doing anyway. I found a post on eco cotton swabs, which remind us that cleaning our ears daily isn't so wise anyway. This blogger's tip was Simply Organic Cotton Buds, which will help my neurosis.
:: Facial Pads: I use cotton pads, but it makes complete sense to find some sort of washable alternative, as one finds with cloth diapers. Here are a few on etsy: crocheted circles + crocheted flowers. There's also these organic towelettes and the bear naked wipes, which benefit polar bear habitat.


michelle said...

good for you!

p.s. i make those cotton circles and flowers for facial cleansing purposes! want me to send you some?

Angie said...

I have a post I'm getting ready to publish on my recent hair washing... :)

On a side note, Lane just laughed when your note asked if he was doing the experiment as well. I believe his exact quote was "I'll do it if Ryan does it."

...however, he did email me today to say that he is keeping his To Do notes on his computer instead of PostIts this week.

Meryl said...

long, hot showers and baths are an essential indulgence for me... I couldn't get through the winter without them!