Thursday, May 15, 2008

Cutting Costs

I'll admit it.  I think my environmentalism comes from being cheap.  I also think my creativity comes from that same frugality, as does my skill set as a bona fide pack rat.  They all compliment each other quite well, and I'd have a harder time living by my environmental convictions if I were as spend-happy as the average American.  Yes, I do have the rare but existent impulse buys and hypocritical purchase cravings that I occasionally give into if I can't fight them off, but by and large, it's great to be a cheap environmentalist.  It's a bit of the 'chicken or the egg' phenomenon: I could easily say that I am thrifty in order to lighten my ecological footprint, and that is mostly true today, but my preferred lifestyle choices are certainly conducive to "simple living" in terms of low-consumption and low-impact, and in that sense I know I'm lucky.  I'm lucky because living by my ideals usually isn't a struggle for me.  

Let's take a few steps back to see what I mean.   Something in the house breaks (say a wooden stool) and I don't want to throw it in a landfill or deplete the Earth's resources by purchasing new item to replace it?  Great, we have a craft project!  Notice I didn't even mention the money I saved by not buying a new one, but there was a point in my life where the cost factor would have been a bigger deal in my decision-making process.  Regardless of what drove the decision to fix the broken stool over chucking it and buying a new one, the decision we made there was cost-effective and environmentally sound. 

Mike actually gets credit for this craft project. (Not only is being thrifty conducive to an environmentally friendly lifestyle, but having a thrifty and crafty boyfriend is too!) 

The stool top is made of several pieces of wood, and they were coming apart (that's what happens when you find used stools in alley ways).  So Mike took an old Altoid box and screwed both the top and bottom over the crack on the bottom of the stool.  The other metal piece in the middle is from a broken electric stapler that we took apart a long time ago. I had saved this metal scrap because it looked like an exclamation mark and I thought it would be a nice touch for a mixed media/collage piece, but function over form called for a new use.  Anyway, after screwing the Altoid box pieces and metal exclamation mark right over the crack on the bottom of the stool's seat, the stool is now as good as new.  Voila!

1 comment:

DJ said...

You'd think that people would realize that saving energy and using less stuff saves money-- but they don't, or they don't care. Where I grew up (NH), waste was considered a sin, no matter how wealthy you were. I wonder when and how waste became a symbol of wealth?