Sunday, February 10, 2008

To Purple

There is a blog I read. I find her project of simplifying her life and ridding it of all the unnecessary trappings and progressing towards “greenness” as quite interesting and a concept I am very on board with. But as she mentioned in one of her posts “For some people Purple is Green”, well….we’re purple.
As much as I’d love to reject the material and live a zen existence, it’s just not practical. I am married to a Gadget Man/Packrat/Obsessive Tinkerer. As anyone who knows such a person is aware, having ‘things’ is a necessity for them. If they don’t have ‘things’, they will create them. It is futile to fight it. The best I have been able to manage is to keep the influx of ‘things’ balanced by a steady stream of outgoing ‘stuff’.
I also have to rely on hiring professionals to help us out on keeping things up. For example, we pay people to groom our dogs and clean our house. That is a luxury, but one that has become necessary with me in school (in addition to working full-time). Such things are luxuries. However, it does simplify our lives. Grooming a kerry blue takes ALL DAY. Time I would rather spend in quality time with my family. And the cleaning of our house is a special arrangement that seems to benefit everyone---not to mention I’ve never had it cleaner or cleaned more greenly.
But other things have been done. For one, our food is all cooked from fresh ingredients. I traded cleaning for cooking and think it’s benefiting us all greatly.
Another is that we didn’t buy a new construction home or hire a lot of contractors. No, we bought an old Colonial and did nearly everything ourselves and just got all the permits and inspections done. I really think there’s a lot less waste in that because extra parts got returned to the store or used elsewhere in the home. Like the extra wood/hardware for our deck? Turned into patio furniture. Crown moldings? Picture frames. Nothing was wasted. Also, when it comes time to replace broken Ikea-type furniture, I like to do it in one of 2 ways: 1) find vintage or antique pieces at The Big Flea that are quality craftsmanship and will go with my d├ęcor, or 2)Have my husband (our in-house craftsman) build something out of scrap furniture grade lumber. Unless of course we’re talking mattresses, sofas, or other things that don’t last well. Those we get new.
We also have eliminated almost all the chemical cleansers. We still use dishwasher detergent and fragrance/phosphate-free laundry products, but for the most part that’s it. Everything else is able to be cleaned/disinfected with steam or boiling water. When we clean in between big cleanings, I don’t find the Shark takes any longer or more effort. And mysterious rashes have disappeared.
I did try to garden to raise some of our own organic fruit and veggies. That hasn’t worked so well. The dogs eat it or it accidentally gets mowed over. We have been considering getting into hunting. I have no problems with the concept provided all parts of the animal are used, and with us they would be (free dog food!). And we have 2 breeds that have the ability to be used for hunting—and I’ve seen them work together to take down prey, they’re very good at it.
For clothes, some friends and I have a clothing swap every season. Stained/destroyed clothing is of course not allowed, but everyone has things they’ve decided they just don’t like or don’t fit as well as they once did. I’ve gotten some lovely things…and given them away as well. It’s kept my closet from building up and kept my clothing budget down to a minimum.
And finally, medically we’ve been trying to be as holistic/homeopathic as possible. I have seen a big difference in the health of both ourselves and our pets with this change. I really think that working WITH the body to fight illness rather than against it to be quite beneficial.
So here’s to Purple.

1 comment:

caramama said...

I'm impressed! We've taken some small steps toward becoming more green... small, but steps none-the-less.