I'm reading Hot, Flat and Crowded. It's frightening me. But, I think we all should be frightened. The environment is being so seriously impacted by our enormous consumption of resources. Of course this isin't exactly "news" to me, but I've been putting off facing my own consumption issues for a while. This is a huge topic that I am going to try to whittle down, and only apply here to how it applies to decorating.
I've avoided buying much "green" for my home, simply because the cost usually seems prohibitive. I'm going to rethink this. Perhaps I should put off buying anything until it is worth the extra cost to buy something that is made from renewable resources.
I recently received this Pottery Barn Teen catalogue. (Barfy! I hope I never encounter a true Pottery Barn teen!) To begin with, I need to get off the mailing list for a bunch of catalogues... again! What a waste! But also, I find it very annoying that PB is telling teens that if they buy crap that says, "I'm Green," that they are somehow doing something good. They would be doing much better to (HELLO) not be buying all this brand new lacquered disposable stuff at all! While I'm not ready to give up all decorating for the truly Simple Living lifestyle yet, I need to think very hard about what I am consuming. Is it worth it? Is it improving the life of my family so much that I should purchase it?
I bet the number one problem with consuming for our homes is this: buying things that are NEW. Ah, hello, antiques! thrift stores! I used to shop much more at garage sales and thrift stores. I LOVE second hand shopping! However, I barely do it anymore just due to limited time to shop. While you can find some amazing treasures in that way, you also need to be prepared to spend some time digging through some, um, un-treasurables. I've always loved antiques, and I have "recycled" lots of furniture that I've inherited from my inlaws. I can't think of when I have thrown away an actual piece of furnishing. (although I have yet to figure out a good way to dispose of a full mattress and boxspring that the dog peed on...grrr! now THAT is wasteful!)
Well, as Ceasar Milan says, "you can't help anyone if you are acting out of fear and guilt." So, I will be careful to approach the environmental issue with optimism about what I might do to help, rather than sheer terror. (ie, i am feeling the urge to give up everything and move myself and my children to live on an organic commune; also, the urge to go to work in the slums of India helping orphans, as I just saw Slumdog Millionaire, too. you can see I tend to be a little melodramatic)
There are already tons of lists out there for everyone to view about how to green up your home. I won't copy them to my blog. I don't think I'll be making a "simplify your life" blog, either, because obviously there are others much more experienced and thoughtful when it comes to doing this. Not sure what I will do. Perhaps give up this blog altogether, as decorating is seeming so selfish and materialistic to me right now. Especially with the terrible unemployment that is happening across the country...
I will return with a middle-ground approach, but am not currently knowing what that would look like.
Hope everyone is well, employed, and having good 2009 so far.
5 hours ago