Monday, February 25, 2008

repeat after me: r, r, r

My husband is having an affair with craig and his list.
He faithfully visits The List every morning, coaxing computer keys to reveal the secrets of our neighbors’ garages, searching for the wants and never-knew-we-neededs. I must admit that I have benefited from this reuse relationship, most recently by the find of a metal shelving unit for my studio space (above). Not that I’ll be any more organized, but now I won’t have to dig through boxes searching for tools, and I am quite excited about that.

In the interest of green self-education, I’m reading The Wal-Mart Effect by Charles Fishman, and finished an article, The Last Empire, by Jacques Leslie, in Mother Jones. Both works discuss the impact of our consumer machine. Fishman illustrates how it is created and sustained by following the growth of the world’s big box monster, and Leslie digs into the consequences of our unquenchable consumption on China’s environment. Both works provide a case for an educated consumer base, and now have me guiltily questioning and accessing all my recent purchases, from new siding for the house, to my most recent curly hair care product.

While I am envious of the dedication of groups like The Compact, who refrain from new purchases for an entire calendar year, I seem unable to commit to limiting my consumption that drastically, possibly because I work in retail, and most certainly because my little jewelry business is based on the temptation of new (albeit recycled metal) earrings. However, I do believe that all businesses, economies, cultures, and environments would benefit if the overheard and underused Three R mantra could be dug out of our closets, dusted off, and practiced in order: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

So, in my home and for brendesign, I’ll be pushing to reduce my consumption past the recycled metal, to produce limited samples, to use only recycled or reused paper and materials for packaging, and reuse or recycle all metal and paper scraps. I’m also encouraging my husband’s romance with online junk trading, and will therefore have to bravely argue against the acquisition of all the lonely motorcycles, trailers, and mechanical tools of southern Oregon….but, free chickens, now that would be great fun!

No comments: