Conscious Shopper Goals

>> Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mr. Conscious Shopper (who is actually Semi-Conscious, but lets me do all the shopping) requested that I make a list of my goals in this experiment. There are soooooooo many changes I want to make in my life that it would be impossible to list them all (and boring to read), but here is a list of things that are currently making me feel guilty (with some possible solutions in parentheses).

  • plastic (find alternative products that don't involve plastic)
  • over-packaging (find products with less packaging, shop online less, buy less)
  • pesticides and chemical fertilizers (buy organic, plant a garden)
  • industrial farming (buy from small farmers, plant a garden)
  • canned foods (can my own fresh fruits and vegetables, use dried beans)
  • drying my clothes in the dryer (get a drying rack)
  • sweatshop labor (shop thrift stores, buy American)
  • dairy cows (drink soymilk, eat less cheese, find out if there are happy cows around here)
  • gas (ride a bike, get a bike trailer for the kids)
  • wastefulness (buy less, fix what's broken, shop thrift stores)
  • eggs (buy free range eggs, get chickens someday!)
  • advertising to children (watch less TV)
  • home energy usage (programmable thermostat, raise the AC, lower the heat)
  • paper (buy recycled and FSC certified paper)
  • food waste (compost)
  • water usage (low flow shower heads and faucets)
(This list is in no particular order, and I doubt it is a complete list as there are always more things to make me feel guilty.)


Lila September 18, 2008 at 11:34 PM  

i love you ERIN! i'm so glad i was on your mass email cause i've thought of you a MILLION times! i'm so glad you are being proactive and made this site! being from "california" i am more exposed to these things but have really stepped away (coming back to the green side though...). All my life, i have felt it only makes sense to recycle and give back to and care for the environment. I am looking forward to coming to your blog often to get more hints seeing as we will be having a baby soon (hopefully-adoption). i already have organic onesies and went to to look for more stuff. and of course, i personally use AVEDA products. when they are shipped, it's with 'popcorn' stuffing made from food! i don't remember what but i actually ate some, amazing. (i no longer work for someone else or an Aveda Salon but do use it personally). Anyway, i'm very impressed with your site, lov eyou. lila

Conscious Shopper,  September 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM  

Lila, I'm excited to hear that you guys are going to be able to adopt! Have you thought about cloth diapering? I'm going to be posting my experiences with that soon. Cloth diapers are great!

Emily September 19, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

Erin, I am so torn about this cloth diaper discussion. There is a green blogger (I will try to find the link) who I really like, who reports (with loads of reliable evidence) that cloth and plastic ultimately have the same environmental impact. I find this shocking (I was raised on cloth, and always planned to use it), but don't have any evidence either way. Have you heard of this?

Conscious Shopper,  September 19, 2008 at 2:02 PM  

I think the verdict is still out on which is better for the environment (although most of the studies I've seen on why disposables are better were sponsored by diaper companies...), but for me there were other considerations that I found important. I wasn't going to address this issue for awhile, but you've gotten me inspired. Look for my defense of cloth diapers sometime this weekend!

LeGrand September 19, 2008 at 2:31 PM  

Please don't defend cloth diapers! Jaime has considered that, and I want nothing to do with them. Also, have you tried chocolate soy milk? We think it's delicious. It surprised me cause I've never liked the regular kind and especially not the vanilla flavored stuff. It makes me gag.

I would like you to expound on your first goal of finding alternatives to plastic. I'm just not sure if that just means things like bottles or what exactly.

Jaime September 19, 2008 at 2:43 PM  

Hey Erin! I'm interested to see how your experiments go. I just read this article about the labels used on eggs yesterday and thought it might be interesting to you:

Also, I was totally interested in cloth diapers, but I'm not sure they would be feasible for us right now. We only get 1 laundry day a week in our apt and I'm not too keen on letting dirty diapers fester and rot for that long before I can wash them. I couldn't find any diaper services nearby either.

When I was researching them, though, I read that the only studies that say cloth and disposable are equally bad for the environment were 1) sponsored by diaper companies, like you said, and 2) based on drying time that was way longer than necessary and using older dryers that are much less energy efficient than modern ones. So I don't think the verdict is really out - using cloth is definitely more "green."

LeGrand September 19, 2008 at 2:50 PM  

Disregard anything Jaime just said, and do not respond unless it's telling her to get over this cloth diaper idea.

Conscious Shopper,  September 19, 2008 at 6:37 PM  

LeGrand, I've been reading all sorts of bad things about plastic lately. Apparently, it's been leeching into our foods and disrupting our hormones. Also, it's really hard to recycle and doesn't biodegrade. There are huge groups of people that choose to eliminate plastic from their lives (as much as possible in our plastic culture). I'm not going to go that extreme, but I am going to try to use less.

Conscious Shopper,  September 19, 2008 at 6:42 PM  

Jaime, Thanks for the article about the eggs!

I wash my diapers twice a week. Once a week might be pushing it on stink-factor, but I wouldn't give up on them just for that. Just make sure you get a diaper pail with a tight fitting lid (I use a trash can) and keep it in the bathroom. Maybe you could consider being a part time cloth user - using them on the days closest to your wash day.

Jaime September 19, 2008 at 11:00 PM  

That's not a bad idea about part-time. What do you do about wipes? Do you use the regular kind or some special biodegradable kind or just a washcloth type thing? I actually haven't thought about wipes until just now...

Conscious Shopper,  September 20, 2008 at 8:31 AM  

I got a ton of baby washcloths as gifts with each baby, so I just use those as wet wipes.

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