Thursday, August 14, 2008

Reconciling

When I joined the blogging world, I didn't realize what I was in for. All these decorating blogs, blogs that post pretty things, and opening my mind to new ideas. Who knew?? I have had my mind opened up to two very different things, which I've been trying to reconcile for a while.

The first one is being more earth friendly. And I've really been doing that. I have been buying at our local Farmers Market as much as I can. I've been recycling like crazy. I use my reusable grocery bags about 95% of the time I go to the commissary. I buy earth friendly cleaning and personal products. I try to turn off the lights as much as I can. I try to walk as many places as I can. And I've been on the same tank of gas for almost 3 weeks. I've even been using biodegradable flushable wipes for Lucy. We also shop on ebay for almost everything we can rather than buying new. I feel like I'm doing really well with this. I could always do more, like grow my own vegetables, have a compost, and never go to Walmart ever again. We'll see where we move next and see how well I can do those last few things.

The other one is beautiful things. I know that sounds ambiguous, but thats the best way I can describe it. Beautiful pictures for your walls. Beautiful clothes. Beautiful furniture. Beautiful kids toys. Beautiful organizing stuff. Beautiful stationary and cards. Just beautiful everything. I never even knew some of this stuff existed. And I find that I LOVE it. The problem is I do not have a financial situation that will allow me to indulge in those sorts of things. At least not the way I would like to. Some of it is earth friendly. Some of it does support small businesses and moms that are working from home to stay with their kids. But most of it doesn't. And as much as it is eye candy for me and every one else that sees it, most of us just can't afford it. Occasionally I can, when I find something really great on Etsy or Ebay, or when I find something awesome at TJ MAXX or Marshalls or (my favorite) Ross. Sometimes even at Hobby Lobby. So I am thinking about weaning myself off of those types of blogs. Maybe trying to find more do-it-yourself type of blogs where I can learn how to do what I want for less money. Another thing that bothers me about these blogs is that there is a lot of commercialism. And while many of them are done by sahms, I just get so tired of all of the commercialism.

So, do you see my problem?? I'm working on it, trying to find a way to make my home, what we wear, and the things we use beautiful and good for the earth. Not always easy. But I'm trying. And I'm sure it will be a bit easier once Matt is an officer (can't wait for January!!) and I'll have a bit more to work with. And maybe be able to live in a place where I can compost!!!

What do you guys do to reconcile these things? Is it hard? What makes it easier for you?

4 comments:

Nicole said...

Well, I have not jumped on the "enviro-friendly" thing as much as I probably should have. I'm just too confused about what is hype vs. what is really good for the environment. Seems everyone has some financial incentive to tell me THEIR way is the best way. I do try to use what I buy and not waste - and I do okay with turning out lights and stuff.

As for the other, I think it can still work. Don't buy crap. Spend your money on stuff you love, and that you'll love for a long time. That's why I get so annoyed with "fashion." Because I have clothes that are 10 years old that I still wear. In fact, I have one shirt that I bought while I was pregnant with Alex that I still love - and he'll be 22 in December! They may not be "fashionable" but they're well made and comfortable.

My sister has a saying: The disappointment of poor quality lasts longer than the thrill of a bargain price.

I also really like the blog Wise Bread: http://www.wisebread.com/home which has lots of earth-friendly and frugal posts about all sorts of topics, from vacationing to household cleaners to grocery shopping. I think you'd like it.

Fort Skinner said...

You know, once you "give up" beautiful things you won't even really notice they are gone!

Jen said...

I agree with a lot of what Nicole said. I do try to do my part with the Earth, but I also feel there has to be balance. I can't throw away perfectly good things because they were manufactured wrong, but when they wear out, I'll try to make a more informed choice.

As for beautiful things...I try to plan my purchases carefully and only bring things in to my home that I know I will love for a very long time. There's something very fulfilling about seeing something you've loved well for 20 years. If I go by what I love, not by what is popular, I find that my things automatically "go" together too, because they express me, not a perfectly coordinated design in a magazine.

J.Ammon said...

I think the whole green movement is a conspiracy started by vegitatians. Evil Vegans... I'll get you one day.

Em likes a book called The Creative Family. Maybe it'll help ya on your quest for beauty.