Friday, November 25, 2005


(In the bustle of yesterday's cooking, cleaning, eating, and napping, I didn't get to the computer much. So in short order today, I promise to have three seasonally-appropriate posts. This is 3 of 3, see also the two previous posts).

The next month is the season of gluttony. We kicked it off with a bang yesterday, by collectively pigging out. Today, it kicks into good old American retail mode, with the super sales and shopping frenzy. Bootstrap analysis has been doing a good job of exposing some of the sad consequences of our consumer culture. I'm going to blatantly borrow a few ideas from her, just to give them more exposure.

First off, today is Buy Nothing Day. For 24 hours we are to forgo the sales and the shopping and the wanting and the getting and just be happy with what we have. I've tried this in the past, with limited the success. The closest I came was one year in college when I only bought a 1/2 gallon of milk. The worst was a year when I bought a car. Today, though, I think I am going to make it. I'm home now, and in an hour I'm heading over to S's house to hang out and eat leftovers. Then I'm going to school and then I'm coming home. We rented movies yesterday that should get us through the weekend, and I've been making fun of Husband every time he suggests shopping.

Bootstrap analysis also alerts us to the fact that our holiday card giving traditions are a massive use of paper and even extra gasoline to get them from Here to There. She advocates not sending cards. But my envelopes are already addressed and I like writing and sending real, snail-mail letters at least once of year. So here's my proposal: For every holiday card I send, I will remove myself from at least one junk-mail list. Fortunately, Bootstrap analysis has done the hard work for me, and provided contact info for common mass mailers. So far my total: 0 cards sent, 1 catalog unsubscribed, and I added my name to the DMA mail preference service.

I'll keep you posted on my not-buying and unsubscribing activities. I challenge you to keep up with me.

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