Posted by: David McKay | October 11, 2011

Becoming a Better Consumer

The true cost of things is not being accounted for.  Plastic does not go away.  So, make a change.

  1. Single-use plastic bags and plastic bottles.  Done.  Stopped using both.  There have been times when not accepting the easy out and getting the plastic bag or bottle has deprived my life of something.  Sacrifices must be made if one truly wants to embrace a cause, if one truly believes something is important.  In reality though, this was really easy to give up.  I just stopped.  Reusable bottles and bags.
  2. Bread.  I love bread.  I stopped buying bread in plastic bags; I had to.  Fortunately, the local bread bakers in North-central Vermont are amazing at what they do, and they put their bread in paper bags.  But this can be expensive (five and a half bucks a loaf).  I now bake my own bread.  All it takes is flour, instant yeast, salt, and water.  It is really that simple.  I used Jim Lahey’s “No-Knead Bread Recipe” to get started.
  3. Grow food.  I started with just a few things, on the back porch and a small garden plot at a friend’s house.  Basil, a few kinds of hot peppers, and tomatillos.  I have five pounds of seed garlic that I will be planting next week.  That will yield, ideally, 30 pounds of garlic next fall.  Who doesn’t love garlic?  I can use it for trade and barter.  Chickens for eggs is next…

What it comes down to is being aware of my choices, and learning how to create new choices.  I think about what I will accept in my life, and if it involves plastic I ask myself how I can do it differently.  As I change my way of thinking, I discover that I actually need less.

I consume less.

Our so-called “American” way of life is a dead-end consumer waste land.  We are on the brink of destroying our planet.  Other countries around the world are trying to emulate this lifestyle of ours.

Let’s give them something better to emulate.

Awareness is the first step.  There are people out there who can help you develop your sense of awareness.  Along the right side of this page you will see a list of some places to go.  Click on a site, read a little, start thinking more.  It’s a beautiful place, this planet of ours.  I would like to keep it that way.

A few days ago, high up in the Green Mountains of Vermont, I watched the last red glow of a sunset out beyond the Adirondacks.  I have had many moments like that — when I can feel the curve of the earth beneath me, when I can comprehend the vastness of the sky, when I can be in tune with the places I have been and the places I will go, and the place I am in right now.  And it humbles me, to be a part of this living planet.

It is up to each and every one of us to help keep it beautiful.

Responsibility is not convenient — it’s necessary.

Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse.


Thanks for reading!



  1. This is really beautiful.

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