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The Story of Stuff

I have been reading bits and pieces from the Unstuffed blog and am finding myself both inspired and humbled. Lately I have been feeling like I’m back-sliding in my efforts to live a more sustainable life, and have been wondering where I can make improvements. The idea of buying everything local – not just food – has crossed my mind in the past. Of course it is pretty much impossible. But what about this concept of not buying anything new? Do I have what it takes to live to this standard?

The other day I was discussing the idea of standards with a friend, and she was suggesting that it is important to be flexible with the standards we set so that we can sustain them. I agree completely, which is why I set some caveats around my eating local project. But over the past months, as my life has been spinning out of control, these caveats have allowed me to get really sloppy about my rules. Sure I only buy local food for my home, but how often have I been eating out of late? And how many times did the vending machine provided dinner last month? Sure Miss Vicki’s chips are labeled as “Cambridge, Ontario” but are they really? Where do they get their potatoes, and do they really make the chips in Cambridge or is that just a corporate office? (I’ve actually written to ask and will post what I learn). More importantly, what am I supporting by buying chips out of a vending machine? Is this what I want to be doing?

The bottom line is that I need to raise my standards, to get back on track and to refocus my efforts and goals. The New Year is good for that, and I’ll be making some new additions to my “eat local” guidelines for January 01. Reducing how much stuff I both consume, and have in my life is going to be a central focus.

In the meantime, here is a link – which I came across on the Unstuffed blog – to a short documentary and interactive website on “The Story of Stuff.” It’s really fantastic and well worth the few minutes it takes to watch, which I urge you to do.

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2 Responses

  1. Hi there! Thanks so much for mentioning me in your blog.
    I’m thrilled to meet another Ontario-an and I look forward to following your journey of local eating and sustainability.

    Have you discovered this blog yet? http://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/

    Ferdzy is a wonderful storyteller and has delicious recipes!

    All the best,
    Amber

    • Hi Amber! How nice to hear from you. I’m really enjoying your blog; you are inspiring me to raise the bar on my efforts towards sustainability and I look forward to learning more ways to do so as I read on. I’m also quite curious to find out what your plans are for 2009 in that respect!

      I have come across the blog you mention but haven’t been following it yet. I’ll be sure to spend some time doing so over the holidays. Cheers!
      Hélène

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