Okay, this term is old-school. We learned it in like third grade, right?? Well a friend of my moms made Annabelle a copy of the Curious George soundtrack (reusing the CD, but not reducing or recycling) and it has a song about these topics on it. I think this is a great song for kiddos, and adults as well. It got me thinking. My first small "ahh-hah" moment was realizing that Americans are such horrible consumers. Wallmart and Super Target breeds this thought that we can purchase whatever we can afford. But I got to thinking, "Why do we assume that just because we can afford something that we DESERVE to own it". Why do we think that b/c we have $50 in our wallet that we deserve to purchase goods that rape and pillage our planet of it's resources. I started walking around my house and realizing..."How many vacuum cleaners will I own in my lifetime?", "How many computers?". What is the cost to our planet of every American owning 5 vacuum cleaners and 30 computers in their lifetime? What if I could "LOOK" at all the stuff that I would consume in my lifetime...how many semi trucks would it take to hold these items? Why do I deserve to own so many things just because I can afford them??
The answer is...I don't! I don't deserve to own what I can afford. I am starting to look at food in a different light as well. Thinking more on the level of what I deserve to consume, rather than can afford to consume.
So, I would like to ponder and tumble around thoughts pertaining to Reducing my consumption...the first R of the fabulous 3! Last weekend Troy and I completely dejunked the house. We took a huge load to the dump and another to the Salvation Army. I looked at all the stuff we were dumping and was pretty disgusted. Did we really deserve to dump a truck load of used and abused products into the landfill just because we could pay the $30 to get through the gate. We are definitely doing more than $30 worth of damage to the earth by trashing the things we dumped...there were half used paint cans, an old bread machine that didn't work...youck! Watching the tractors drive around and push the tons and tons of waste was saddening. All of this thoughtless consumption...Including my own.
So, even though I threw things out, I am feeling like we are getting back to a sort of "ground-zero" as a family. I have assessed all the items that we currently own and have decided to keep them for a reason. So this is a major start to "reducing" what we own. In the process I found 6 canvass bags that I will now use for all my shopping. No more plastic bags...the dump made me realize they are just a huge problem...they get everywhere in our world, they kill wildlife and they are an eyesore to our planet...just the tip of the iceberg! There are some new things that we need to purchase, a new vacuum is one of them. I would like to purchase something that would last a lifetime, or at least half a lifetime. I know that cost will be an issue.
My ideal for our household is that we own what we need to get by, and that we have a minimal amount of items...but nice items. I want to have a process in place to "Clean, Store, and Maintain" every item in the house so that our things are taken care of, and last as long as possible. I want to start wearing out items. I can't even think of the last time I wore out an item that I loved, other than a pair of shoes.
Wish me luck in my quest, and any advice or tips you can give would be greatly appreciated! If your reading this, be sure to post a comment to me and say Hello!