This post is in response to today’s post on The Non-Consumer Advocate entitled “What are your five things – Part II“. Ever since I started reading Katy’s blog, she has truly insipired me to take my waste-reducing habits to the next level. She’s even one of my inspirations to start this blog! Today she asked us to report 5 things we’ve been doing to lead a more non-consumer lifestyle.
Using my bike for errands. When I was in college, I had a brand new mountain bike stolen from me in broad daylight. Burned on the experience, it took me several years to take the plunge again. This time, I purchased a used street bike off of Craigslist that I’m pretty sure no one will want to steal. Now I can’t believe the freedom I was missing. I take my bike (fitted with handy rear-wheel baskets) to the library, grocery store, and even to work a few times (although the ride home in the 90 degree Georgia summer is a little more than I can take). I’m saving money on gas and lowering my overall energy usage.
Taking more lunches to work. Lunches out for the hubs and I were a drain on our finances. $5 here, $10 there – it really adds up over time. Not to mention the, well, quality (or lack thereof) of lunch options around office buildings. Recently, we have both acquired lunch boxes and are taking sandwiches and leftovers. The added bonus is that now since I don’t take an hour for lunch, I can come home early!
Shopping at consignment stores. Being quite petite (5 feet even standing up really straight), I have always had trouble finding clothes. Before now, I was shopping at all the high-end mall stores that generally have better sizing. I had never had success with the discount stores. Now, I do most of my shopping at a local junior’s consignment shop that has an excellent selection. It’s great to have about 50 different brands of jeans all laid out for you to try, not to mention the price! It’s really my most significant dive into the world of a Compacter.
Using the library. The Atlanta-Fulton County library system is a large, well-connected family of branches. Growing up in a very small town, I never realized how much a metropolitan library system could have to offer. My local branch has an up to date collection of fiction, non-fiction, and books on tape (alas, no current movies!). Another plus is that I can get there on my bike!
Writing this blog! I started this blog very recently as a way to constantly motivate and inspire me to improve my life. Two major “improvements” I’m working on are leading a simpler, happier life and reducing my environmental impact. By saving money and living a more non-consumer lifestyle, I can work less, and enjoy the things that are truly important in my life. I’ve heard it said that when you ask someone in the twilight of their life, “What do you wish you spent more of your time on?”, most answer, “I wish I spent more time with my family and helping other people.” Almost no one says, “Gee, I sure wish I had worked more.” I’m trying to take these words to heart, and live my life by my idea of happiness, not someone else’s.