Saturday, January 2, 2010
Lush at Home
During our San Diego visit, I was complaining to Eric's stepmom that she's always introducing me to these great new foods and things that I can't easily get in Denver. The teas, the nut spreads, the crackers...all delicious! But I haven't been able to find them here in the Rocky Mountains. "Well," she said, "you know, I order most of my food online!"
I wasn't really bothered by this--the woman eats about 3oz per meal, so her ordering stuff online in bulk is probably not such a bad deal for the environment, compared to others (like us). At my house, for example, we go through some serious food, and ordering online would be prohibitively expensive. But it got me to thinking about some other things, and how I order things online without much thought or worry. I wonder how I can begin to change this?
One mantra that I've really liked this last year, but haven't followed as often as I should, is Do I have to buy that? Can I make it instead? This has worked amazingly well for my clothing addiction--I almost never go to a mall or retail store anymore, preferring instead thrift store browsing, upcycling, or making my clothes. This has been liberating for my spirit and my wallet!
But other retail addictions linger. For example, the awesome facial scrub, pictured above, is from Lush. They use organic ingredients, handmake all their stuff--it's luxurious and effective toiletries. And we all know I'm a sucker for the toiletries. But the rub is, the closest Lush store is in Boulder, and it's hard to justify driving a half-hour to buy face wash, right? Otherwise, I have to order online, which adds $7 in shipping and is probably a little ridiculous from an environmental and practical perspective as well.
So I got to looking on the ingredients list for this little puppy and, lo and behold, it contained mostly stuff we had around the house: a bunch of salts, lime, vodka, lanolin, essential oils.... So I figured, what the heck? I had a little mixing session in the kitchen, through in some olive oil (most of the online recipes for face scrubs contain it, so why not?) and, voila! A perfectly serviceable facial scrub that helps keep those pesky little milia all over my face at bay, smells good, and leaves my skin feeling moisturized.
This post is a bit obnoxious, I realize. Making your own facial scrub is very small potatoes (or small salt crystals, really), but for me it's about figuring out ways I can make my purchasing and lifestyle choices just a tad less expensive and absurd, environmentally and practically.
Here's the thing: I have to balance practicality with change. E and I work full time, we raise kids, we like convenience. So change has to happen slowly and incrementally. For us, having to make an extra trip to a different grocery store (say, Whole Foods) every week is just enough of a disincentive to keep us from buying things in bulk. But maybe we can begin making enough small changes that we'll eventually be able to make that transition cheaply and easily without making ourselves crazy and stressed and bagging on the whole thing.
So, what are the little things you do to try to live more locally, or sustainably, or economically, or self-sustainingly (whichever justification works for you)? I'm open to ideas for our next small change.
If you have ideas, in particular, for how I can love ordering books from Amazon's used marketplace a bit less, I'd be ever so grateful :). More library maybe...