What we buy is a tricky subject in many ways for us because there isn’t much to shop for (in terms of clothing, shoes and some other things) in México and especially in Queretaro. Our choices are very limited and expensive, so what we end up doing is shopping through the Internet, especially for Natalia and Lucia’s stuff, they grow out of everything so quickly!! We send everything we buy to a U.S.A. address, and from there, whoever is coming from California to Mexico gets to carry it home.
I’ll tell you about something that happened last year, which turned out to be a huge eye opener… There’s this online store that I like and use very much for the girls clothing, it’s based in Portugal. I had made a purchase and on that particular order, I clicked to follow the status of the delivery, it was nuts! I saw it go from Portugal to Spain, to Germany, to the U.S., to Mexico!! And it was only a pair of dresses. Can you imagine the amount of energy and fuel that went to that small order??!! Matthew and I were amazed by the huge journey they had to go through, and not to mention that they’re not cheap either, so I started putting together some dresses for them.
Another confession: As I told you on a previous blog entry, I was in California a couple of weeks ago, and I was shopping with my mom for toiletries (yes, we get those in the States too!) and I found some sturdy plastic boxes with dividers for Christmas ornaments. At the time I didn’t even think about it, but when I had to go to customs and import them, then put them on a plane to Mexico City…. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t one of my brightest moments, I got so guilt stricken about the whole thing, but not much more I could do.
Next time, of course, I’ll just use some cardboard boxes and make the divisions myself. But that’s the change happening to us since we started with the 360º Energy Diet: You start paying attention to trivial decisions, and they end up being not so trivial after all.
A major factor in this process of awareness is the Internet, I am discovering each week more and more people and ideas that are changing the way I see things. I received an e-mail about a year ago, with a link to The Story of Stuff, and even though it has its critiques, I still find it illustrative in this sense. It makes you ponder if you really need all of this, all of that.
Another cool thing I just discovered via Ted Talks was this whole different approach to consuming, or in this case “redistributing,” through something called Collaborative Consumption. It’s a super basic idea, but it totally makes sense. I got so excited by it that I took a couple of books on my trip to the States so I could exchange them for different ones, I’ll let you know how it turns out.
And on another and completely different subject, for household cleaners we do somewhat of a better job, although some we get bulk-size at Costco like biodegradable dish soap and detergent, and some we make at home, especially the ones used for cleaning windows and toilets. Since we reuse all our water with an on-site water treatment system, no chemicals can go into the sewer. At first I was kind of hesitant about making our own stuff, (it felt a little bit too Little House on the Prairie) but with these two books I found that it wasn’t a hassle at all, and it’s much less expensive.