Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Where Do You Get Off?

I just spent two hours at the kitchen table debating lifestyle choices with my husband, Lennard, and our kids. We're getting serious about this "halving" business, despite my husband's contention that "we already did it."

We covered moving to a smaller house, what kind of bags to use in the trash, should we buy chickens locally and slaughter them ourselves, should we become vegetarians, what is more important - our carbon footprint or our consumption footprint? Or are they the same thing? My head is spinning.

But I keep thinking about the fact that there are 6 billion people in this world and counting. All of them want my lifestyle - my wealthy, safe, comfortable, North American lifestyle. And they can't all have it.

But there should be a sustainable lifestyle that we all can have. One based on the idea that there is enough for everyone if we make wise choices. That's what all this "halving" business is edging us toward. At what point do you stop consuming? When do you have enough?

I guess it's my contention that my family has just about enough (if not too much) already. There are more things that I want, but very little else that I need.

I think we "get off" right here. I'm still feeling my way through the implications of this, but I'm getting somewhere. It isn't about more, anymore....it's about time and people and creativity. And that's scary. Because if I stop consuming I'm not going to be able to buy my way out of my boredom anymore. I'm going to have to create my way out of it.

1 comment:

L Harris said...

Great great post. I agree. When we were thinking of Christmas gifts this year, we couldn't really think of anything we desperately needed or wanted wanted wanted. I really had to wrack my brain. I am thinking along the same lines as you are. Stop consuming. We are happy were we are, maybe a little less. And that's why I love your blog. Thanks so much! lol. I have lots we can get rid of. Instead of buying more stuff, we are renovating.