Sunday, July 21, 2019

Consumption and (for?) Creation: Vitality and (for?) Purpose.

My headphone-less time mowing the lawn this morning gave me a lot of good head-wander-y time, which continued my consideration of how I take in A LOT of information surrounding sustainability in our cycles of consumption and creation. I say 'cycles of consumption and creation' because the ways we consume feed the ways we create. Input and output. In my terms of 'vitality' and 'purpose,' this refers to the things we take in for vitality in order to put out purpose. 

I've realized that I've developed my own principles of sorts regarding how to consume (i.e. be a human!) with intention and an eye toward sustainability (of health and wellness for all creatures and environment), yet I've never tried my hand at writing them down! Given how much I love to write, this surprised me. So here goes! I'm really curious to see what comes out. Of particular note, as I write these, I'm also keeping an eye toward how the ideas I lay down intersect with my interests in the outdoors, food, dance/ mvmt and style. My principles (of sorts):
  • Buy Less. 
  • Wear Out: Use items until they've 'met their maker,' then recycle, donate, regift or dispose of them properly.
  • Purchase Sustainably: When buying (food, clothing, anything!), conduct careful research into a product's sustainability, and as often as *possible, choose items in which creation, use and disposal promote it. Specifically, aim to buy items made with sustainable and recyclable materials and made in accordance with ethical working conditions, and avoid animal testing and products as much as **possible (*I recognize that it is not always possible, in terms of time and monetary resources, to select items that are ideal in these ways. This is where 'Buy less' and 'Use items until they've met their maker' come in).  (** I occasionally purchase leather goods, as well-made items have a long life. I aim to buy goods that have been made from by-products of an animal at the end of it's natural life).
  • Re-Buy: When you've found a product in line with your style and sustainability desires, bookmark it and re-buy it when it's 'met it's maker.' It's freeing to 'know your style' and stick with it, especially when the items you consistently re-buy hold up for a long time and uphold your sustainability standards.
  • Natural Materials: Choose products made of natural materials (clothing ex: cotton) as much as possible. For items made with synthetic materials, care for them responsibility (clothing ex: place clothing made of synthetic fibers in a Guppy Bag to catch the plastic and other such waste fibers they produce in order to divert them from going into the water supply and eventually the ocean).
  • Avoid Packaging: When buying, avoid packaging as much as *possible, particularly single-use plastics (ex: bring reuse-able produce bags and glass jars for bulk items to the grocery store). 
  • Eat Plant-Based: leaning toward vegetarian and vegan as much as *possible (*I eat meat when it's the only available option and I wasn't able to bring an alternative, and when I am traveling having new experiences).
  • Power It Yourself: Walk or bike for transit whenever you can.
  • Split the Impact: Carpool and take mass transit when possible.

I acknowledge that my access to the time and money it takes to follow some of these principles is a privilege, and that we all have to follow our own paths on all things. That said, I offer these ideas in the spirit of information sharing and in case anyone else would find them helpful (because so many random people find their way to my blog!). 

I'm also curious as to what revisiting this will warrant. Until then!

1 comment:

Amelia said...

Erinn, it's like we are sharing a brain on this one -- I am doing almost all of it, down to using a Guppy Bag and buying leather on occasion! I also think about the idea that the greenest product is one that already exists, so I first ask my local Buy Nothing for something before I go and buy it :) I think sitting down and thinking about how we approach being more ethical and sustainable consumers is so important -- thanks for sharing your experience!