Shopping is Important

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Did you know??? Only about 10% of the fossil fuel energy used in the world's food system is used in production; the other 90% goes into packaging, transportation, and marketing. Buy local! Check out foodroutes.org and enter their Buy Local Challenge. You can enter their drawing to win a free box of local food. I just did!

Today I picked up my box of local farm grown food. For $20 I got bok choy, strawberries, arugula, romaine lettuce, oranges, apples, carrots, cabbage, and celery. Enough for 2 weeks, and it stays fresh that long because it didn't have to travel a zillion miles before it got to me. Oh, BTW, it's all organically grown and really delicious. Join a community-supported agriculture group and get your own box of veggies. Or grow your own, even better! What are you having for dinner tonight?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Have you heard of simpleliving.net? It's not the glossy magazine, Real Simple, that has a lot of products you "need" to be organized. I get the simpleliving newsletter, which is about ways to reduce your standard of living to simplify your life so you can live according to your values. I think people who have read Your Money or Your Life get the values message without much introduction, but those who haven't read it might think that it's just Real Simple Cheap. An article in the latest issue of the newsletter is really sticking with me. The author lives so frugally that he doesn't pay federal taxes. The reason he does this is because it's against his principles to pay for the war in Iraq. The title of the article is Your War Doesn't Fit into my Budget, Frugal Living as a Form of Tax Resistance. Here's a factoid from the article: the average American household has given $4000 toward the Iraq war effort so far. My conscience is bothering me. How do you feel?

http://www.simpleliving.net/news/2007_january_february.asp#03

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We did a little furniture shopping! After admiring Nutalie's beauteous hand-crafted David Marsh cabinets and shelves for years, we got ourselves one of his coffee tables. He makes furniture from wood reclaimed from barns and old houses and teaches young people the craft of carpentry. Not just hammering and nailing, but decorating the pieces with colorful swirls and beads. When it's all done, everyone who worked on the piece signs his or her name inside or underneath. Sometimes there are groovy messages, like the ones we got: "Ha!" "Quazi" and "Boing Ding!" "That's to tell the customer," says Marsh, "if you don't love it, don't buy it, and to remind the worker, if it's not fun, don't do it." He adds: "Joyfullness is not an accident!"

To create something joyfully! What a great message to pass on. We got much more than a coffee table. Thanks, all you furniture crafters in Austin!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007! Well, my little corner of the world has lots to be happy about, relatively healthy, wealthy, and wise, etc. But today I can't stop thinking about the 3000 Americans who've died in Iraq and the 800,000 Iraqis who've died (iraqibodycount.org) since we invaded that country. How is this related to ShoppingisImportant? Maybe we wouldn't be over there if we didn't have an addiction to oil. Maybe if we shopped more carefully (buy local!) in fuel-efficient cars we wouldn't need as much mideast oil.

We need to shop very carefully for our next president. Anyone who thinks that Al Gore's presidency would have been no different from GWB's isn't paying attention (not sure about Kerry...). The way I see it, the democratic dominated congress and senate have about a year to show the people who voted for them that democrats can run the country better than republicans. If they can't do that, we're going to get another republican in the white house. It's up to us to hold our representatives accountable. Let them know what you think! And if you decide you like one of the presidential hopefuls, vote with your $ and send them a few bucks. Shop, then vote as if our future depends on it.