Tuesday, June 3, 2008

On Goth Going Green:

I try to lead a fairly simple life. I make do without many extras in life. I don’t have a clothes drier or dish washer. No air conditioner or other extra appliances. We try to reduce, reuse and recycle. We have a vegetable garden and it’s organic. We compost and don’t use chemicals. I use vinegar to clean and disinfect. (Which works very well I must say.) I have used cloth bags for shopping bags when I shop for years now. I don’t even waste the water from the tap when I run it until it gets hot. I catch it and use it for other things from refilling water bottles to watering my plants. I try to do my part.

We have rain barrels to catch rain in to water the vegetables in the garden. I’ve made patchwork quilts from the good parts left of old clothing and sheets. We have a whole lot of wash clothes around to use instead of paper towels. And I find uses for a lot of things that would have just gone to the land fill. Plastic containers become holders for my crafting stuff, if not the things I craft with. Plastic bags cut in strips can be knit or crocheted into mats, hats, stronger shopping bags and the like. (Don’t use the bags with lead painted labels for these.)

Of course there is always more I can do. And I am trying to find more and better ways to get things done everyday. Like the fact that we only go out shopping once every week or two. Consolidating trips so we save on gas, time and money. We don’t have jobs away from home.

This leaves me in a constant state of lists. Lists for what to buy so I don’t forget anything because we might not be back to get it again for a few weeks. Lists for when things need replacing by. Water filters, laundry detergent, flee and tick meds for the dogs. Lists of thing to watch out for on sale so we can stock up.

I missed the boat some how on the good life. There was never money for extra’s in my life. I was the oldest of six kids and there never seemed to be enough of anything. I married a man who soon after had mental health issues. He couldn’t hold a job for long and he squandered what money we had on his obsessive compulsiveness. We always seemed to be in debt. So by the time I married Mountain Man, and my kids were by then teenagers, I had learned to be quite frugal. But I have to say this, ‘A simple life is not so simple.’

One of the things I used to do was yard sales, garage sales and the like. The trouble here being people are saving money by not listing what they have for sale in the paper. Thus I don’t know which sales to put on my short list. I no longer go further a field because I don’t know that this particular sale will net me the right goods that I’m in the market for. I just don’t have the gas money to cruse around and look all day to come up empty handed. And if I go the internet route, I still have the shipping dilemma. One trip to yard sales versus four or more delivery trucks coming all the way up the mountain and through the woods to deliver my goods.

How can we save money and keep the planet green if we are spending more and gaining less? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

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