Tuesday, December 21, 2010

going without

These days, the world is filled with grim prophecies.  Global warming, food shortages, fresh water is diminishing. We know that we are harming the planet, yet we keep doing what we will, using, abusing and taking resources like we own this Earth.

I remember the first time I watched An Inconvenient Truth.  I cried.  I cried hard, not because of what we were doing to Mother Earth, but because this was the legacy we were leaving for my son.  We are creating a planet that, in some form or another, is already in crisis.  And yet we carry on as if nothing is wrong.  We all use plastic.  Plastic pens, baby bottles, toys, utensils, phones, cameras, makeup containers...everything is plastic and it never goes away.  The plastic bag that holds the lettuce only long enough to get it home will always be on this planet in some form.  It will never fully biodegrade, but that won't stop us from using it.

What on Earth are we doing?  I'm at fault like the rest of us.  I'm better than some, but still guilty of over using, buying un-locally, driving a gas guzzler.  But surely there are some things, even a few things that each of us can do to make a difference.  One thing that I have noticed that is becoming a trend is the act of going "fridgeless".

Fridgeless households are just that.  They are homes, modern day, regular homes, without fridges.  Items are bought only on the day that they are needed, cold cellars are used, and items that we commonly refrigerate for no reason, like eggs, are kept out on the counter.  Ta da!  No fridge!  Not willing to take that leap, we did buy a newer, smaller fridge.  About 1/2 of the size of our old one, in fact.

But then, a few weeks ago, we lost an appliance.  The dryer died.  Panic set in.  We needed a dryer, like, NOW.  But, we were busy and we didn't get to it.  I started using my IKEA dryer rack placed over the floor vents.  Guess what?  I've barley noticed not having a dryer!  In the summer, I constantly used the clothesline outside.  No dryer.  So, what's the difference?  Everything I wash is dried on the rack.  In fact, it is almost convenient.  It saves me one trip to the basement!

So, think about where and what you can go without.  Maybe you could stand to have a smaller fridge.  Maybe you could go dryer-less.  Maybe you don't need to buy that new plastic such-and-such.  Even if you try and fail, at least you tried.  And who knows, you might just be starting a new enviro-fad!


  1. pretty soon I'm going to see Adam installing a composting toilet! :D Great post!

  2. i would love one! actually, haven't you ever heard my "bring back the outhouse" rant???? you're in for a treat!

  3. If you add up even one or two changes each household could make and times that by millions, it makes you realize that we all could be part of the cure for this planet of ours.
    One small step for us, a continuing journey around the sun for Earth.

  4. Em, you are my hero! My pendulum tends to swing between the extremes (ok, not the real extremes, but extremes to me)-- taking me from a life where we only buy local / organic foods, walk everywhere, use as many bulk products as we can to avoid packaging; to a sort of complacency where we just get in the car and buy the pre-packaged dinner because we're tired / lazy / busy.

    Thank you for this important reminder that the little steps are easy in retrospect and really do make a difference.

    One big change we have made over the past several years is greatly reducing the amount of animal products in our diets (down to pretty much zero now). This serves both our desire to live lives of kindness and nonviolence toward animals, and our desire to tread lightly on this great earth. Because of the gross inefficiency, pollution, overuse, and cruelty associated with the animal agriculture industry, we decided to say goodbye. It was hard for the first few weeks, but now it's second nature. I'm not saying that everybody should be vegan, but I do challenge everyone to reduce their use of meats, overly processed foods, and produce from halfway around the planet (as well as my biggest pet peeve: bottled water from around the world)-- even by just one meal a week.

    Happy holidays Em!

    follow our foster:

  5. You'll have to work harder to convince me about a composting toilet, especially if I have to install it...;)