Sunday, April 20, 2008

How it works the wrong way

When we think of consumming less we naturally think of consumming less bad for you things, like beer and ice cream, or always buying the latest fashions in shoes and clothing and tossing last year's wear in the trash...

But apparently Americans - at least those here in our area - are consumming less knowledge. I suppose that is conservation of a sort.

My excellent hubby is a geography buff and had been enjoying teaching our 5 year old son countries on his little globe. Having practically mastered all the 'big' (geographically speaking) countries he wanted to get him a bigger globe. He had seen one that was half way in between our small one and the regulation sized at Target. But when we got there it was no where to be found. Hubby asked an 'associate' who at first did not know what he meant.

"What is this globe you speak of? What does it represent? Oh, you say an orb that is a map of the earth! How novel!" his perplexed look seemed to say.

So clearly there is a problem... but then we ran into another associate who said that globes were 'seasonal' items. Clearly Target places an emphasis on geography comprehension only at certain times of the year...

Undaunted we drove across the street to Mervyns. They had no globes. Our daughter did get a nice new Hello Kitty backpack for when she starts school. I know, I know, consumption. We could have just as easily gone to the thrift store or passed down her brothers backpack. She doesn't actually need one, it is all part of my scheme to get to her learn to use the potty - part of the bribery and cohersion part - no potty, no school. Hello Kitty backpack = enthusiasm for going to school. With our son school was enough. But either she is very clever or not as interested...

I digress. So hubby leaves us at Mervyns to browse and goes over alone to the dreaded Toys R Us. No one in their right mind actually takes children there! But there is one shoddy little talking globe without even all the countries and questionable scale and mapping.

Still undaunted he drove back across the street to Office Depot. There, was one, lonely globe on the shelf... which we now own.

So the question is, don't people own globes anymore? I owned a globe for years even after school just to look at and ponder! I highly doubt if all the available globes had been hungrily snapped up before we got there...

Yes, Jay Leno pokes fun at Americans for not being able to find their own country on a map and other global ignorances. I used to always think they tossed out the smart people to the editing room floor and kept the numbskulls. But what if I am wrong about that and actually most people are ignorant of their world. Scary thought.

So while I normally say Consumme Less, in this regard I have to say we all need to consumme more. More knowledge, more information, more understanding. Afterall the world is always in style... although it could possibly go the way of last year's pumps... yikes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Composting, negative 101

In an effort to try to do more to save the earth from mounds of trash, (I'm super keen to see one) I decided when we moved into a house (with solar by the way, it's something at least) with a backyard, that I would compost. I could have done the under the sink composting - with worms - that's right live worms under your sink! Or as the Master Composter who taught the class indicated, dead worms, at least until you figured out how not to kill them... But I don't love the earth that much! Hey, wasn't putting up with cockroaches and mice (or could have just been really large cockroaches, possible, it is the desert) in my walls for years enough?

So, anyways... we now have a compost bin in our backyard so nothing goes in the trash that could go in the compost bin. I finally seperated out the almost there stuff (looking good by the way and our future tomato plants will love it) and started a new mound as we are getting ready to put in our irrigation and backyard lawn. OOOOOOHHHH! Blast! Lawn... that's right... in the desert. If it makes you feel better it will be terribly small and actually played on by a couple of happy children. Unlike the lawns that line the streets here in the desert, the lawns that no one walks on, that get watered incessantly so they look like golf courses, the lawns that get scalped every fall shoving dust with plant, chemical and probably animal particulate into the air for all passersby and local residents to breathe.

My search continues for a type of lawn that will withstand the heat and not need to be reseeded! They can put a man on the moon but they can't find a grass that can withstand the sun and the cold???


Consume Less Enjoy More (C.L.E.M.)

Just to be clear...

Thursday, April 3, 2008


I have for years not worn a watch. Something about being prego and then having babies makes you NOT WANT TO KNOW what time it is. But now, 3 and a half years after the second - and no new life on the horizon - I need a watch. For a time I resurrected my favorite watch which my Hubby bought for me when we were dating, a Swatch from the late 90s. But then the watch band broke and I was afraid I would lose it if I kept wearing it. My oldest, a boy, now 5 - almost 6 - decided that all my running, hiking and sports watches belonged to him. I did manage to borrow one back for a time, but the battery ran out.

So, in order to attempt to live more, use less stuff, be less of a negative impact, be less responsible for the overflowing landfills of trash - I decided to, instead of the typical American consummer impulse of just going to the mall and buying a new watch, to get a new watch band for my Swatch. I've never loved a watch before, so that takes care of the 'enjoy more' part. I have no idea how much packaging the new band will come in from I may have to eat my 'consume less' words. I'll let you know. (And I won't buy a new jogging watch either. I promise to pick the cat hair out of the Velcro and just get a new battery for it, while wresting it from a five year old. The jogging that might go along with just may fit into the 'consume less' part, provided I can get the chocolate and white wine out of my house.)