"Because you can't hug a tree if you can't find one."


Happy 2008

Phew! The season of excess is over.
Sorry to be a Scrooge, but the holiday season was really getting to me. I love to spend time with my family and friends, and enjoy the festive mood and spirit of generosity, as well as just knowing that the days will soon start to get longer.
But the spirit of Consumerism was too overwhelming. The emphasis on piles of gifts, all over-packaged and wrapped in yards of paper (or mylar), the imported plastic decorations, and those darn X-mas trees. Instead of debating whether chopping down trees or buying imported plastic ones is "greener," I wish we could get on with the business of evolving a culture that conserves resources and builds community.

Luckily, some friends invited us to get away from it all and come Upstate for New Year's weekend. We all played in the snow, the kids got to know each other and the grown-ups talked about art, politics and parenthood. I don't know why it surprised me, but our friends also think the way we all consume is unsustainable. We talked about how we should be able to produce more of what we need, rather than feeling like we are stuck with whatever (recipe/formula/size/color) manufacturers want to sell us. And we agreed that food packaging should be refillable rather than recyclable. (Our friend Donna had emailed us this article, which started the discussion.)

If we had been thinking this way 10 years ago when a bunch of us were neighbors in Fort Greene, we could have worked together to make, grow and buy things in bulk. Now we are more scattered, and have all got kids that keep us busy.

Everyone indulged me by watching A Celebration of Unshopping, our video from Buy Nothing Day
back in November. And I came home refreshed, encouraged, and with plans to get together again and work on some great projects for 2008.

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