11 May 2010

Do we "need" to buy?



My friend, Roger, (who is now a Fully Ordained Monk) use to buy exactly enough food to last for one week, each week. He would buy exactly what he would be able to eat, no more, no less. Any left-over ingredients from the week would end up in some sort of rice-bread concoction that he would bake into a loaf somewhat similar to the consistency of hard-tack. He was precise. A botanist, environmentalist, minimalist and socialist.. all wrapped up in a Berkeley Bio Chemistry Major--and one of the loves of my life...
Integrity like that ignites me. I become obsessed about ideas that have to do with living off the grid or of pulling out of my consumerism habits altogether, and to see another friend living that way while simultaneously living in the heart of Marin County--it's quite a feat and also quite respectable. I do like the nicer things in life, but I also like to rough it from time to time--I chose to. It makes me more aware of how wasteful I can be and puts things into perspective for me as a consumer. Everything I buy, I am saying, "I fully support this business". If I don't fully support it, I shouldn't be spending my money on it. Money is a powerful tool when it comes to keeping businesses around. If we want farmer's markets, we must support them fully. The same thing goes if we want organic food. We must fully support those businesses we want to see around for the long term, otherwise what we are saying is, "I can't commit". If we want to see change in the world, we must put our money where our mouth is.
By not going to the store every time I "need" something and by not eating out, I can create a huge shift in my own habits that will create positive change in me as well as release my, 'ingrained, habitual need to buy. (cont.)

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