Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A lotta stuff

Do you ever feel like there's too much ... of everything? I get waves of sheer repulsion for the 'stuff' we seem to accumulate in our daily lives. I also feel a sinking sensation when I push my trolley around the supermarket and see. so. much. Who needs this much choice? Where does it all go when it's 'no good' any more? And why, oh why, do we all get sucked into this spiral of wanting and spending?
Having a kid has probably played some part in this fretting about our collective overconsumption. For a couple of reasons: a) I only work in the office three days a week, which means I don't have the 'disposable' cash (see, even that term grates on me) I once had; b) the stuff that comes with kids ... sheesh ... especially primary-coloured plastic stuff (my house is drowning in it) screams overconsumption; and c) becoming a parent has instilled me in a new, even greater reason to worry about the future of the planet ... why should we keep on messing it up for the generations to come?
And so I try to cut back. But it's not easy. Sometimes I achieve the goal of avoiding the supermarket all weekend - a good effort, I think. Other times we come away with our trolley brimming and my heart sinking just a little. I could go on about the packaging (the endless plastic!) and my annoyance that the cryovac trays supermarket meat comes on aren't recyclable (why not?), but I won't. Instead, I am making a pact here to continue buying my meat from the local butcher, fruit and veg from the greengrocer etc. I do try to do this when I can, but I have to admit that when you have a whingy two-year-old in tow it's sometimes easier to strap him in the trolley and get in and out of the damn supermarket ASAP than have him touch all the mangoes in the fruit shop, smash a bottle of pasta sauce in the deli and climb up the counter at the butcher.
See, ease. Perhaps that's what's driving our economy? Anyhow, why am I all het up about overconsumption right now? It's because I've realised it's not long till Christmas.


Melinda said...

Thanks for commenting. You know I'm with you on this one! Our kids spend much more time playing with sticks and mud puddles than they do their toys. It seems like such a waste!! We're trying to be more consumer conscious about how our purchases impact the environment AND our local economic. If we buy locally, we benefit not only the environment, but our community! I could probably fill your comment box to the brim here, but I'll stop now! :-)

kurrabikid said...

Too right - I think we country gals have a great sense of duty to local business. It's something I'm proud of and I do try to put my money where my mouth is. I also sometimes wonder about the 'haves and have-nots' of the world. Not to get too heavy about it ... but is it right that my kid has more toys than he can possibly ever play with in a single day while others have nothing to eat for dinner?