Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Looking back, moving on.

I've been tracking my consumption for a month now.  I've enjoyed it and I've learned from it, but I'm putting the blog on hiatus.  I'm writing a play, and quite a few days I've said, "I'll work on my play as soon as I finish today's blog post."  And then an hour or two goes by...and I'm ready for bed...and my play languishes.

But here's what I've learned:
  • I do have two hours to write every day if I commit to it. 
  • I don't waste as much money as I thought I did. (I spend about 25% less each week then I'd realized.)
  • I don't generate as much waste as I thought I did.  Usually less than an ounce of packaging per week.
  • I drive or buy something every single day.  I didn't go even one day this past month without doing one or the other, usually both.  
  • Much of my consumption revolves around my social life.  Most of my driving and almost all of my restaurant/bar/coffee shop expenditures have to do with meeting up with some or all of the playwrights.  And Fiddleheads, the food co-op, is also a meeting place for me.  I don't just go there for the local, organic, minimally-packaged food.  I also go there because I'll almost certainly bump into friends, whether they're customers or other volunteers.  This is especially important to me because other than farmers market days or waitressing days, I work alone from home.  I would feel isolated without these near-daily excursions. 
On this, the day beforeThanksgiving, I also want to say how grateful I am for much of what I consumed.  I ate well in large part because local farmers--some of whom had given up more lucrative careers in order to do something they believed in--grew wonderful food.  And because enough volunteers have given enough hours so that Fiddleheads remains open.  And because quite a few people, knowing my low income, have tucked sweet potatoes into my market bag or bartered or given me discounts. And, too, I saw plays because someone drove me or someone bartered.  I read plays because someone organized a writers' group.  I wore clothes I love because someone took the time to donate them to a thrift store instead of tossing them in the trash.

What next for this blog?  I'm not sure.  Maybe I'll bang out my play and get back to tracking my consumption.  Or maybe I'll find that I'm still not writing my play, therefore I might as well go back to writing my blog.  Or maybe I'll post occasionally, not tracking everything every day, but posting when I have something interesting and useful to share, like a tutorial.  Or maybe I'll just find that I miss this, and that it's worth the time I put into it regardless of what else is going on.

Thank you for reading.  Writing this blog made me more conscious of what I consume and why.  I hope it has done the same for some of you.



  1. It's been a nice ride and I've enjoyed being reminded of what makes New London such a great place. Best wishes and godspeed.

  2. Come back and let us know how your play is going!