Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Most people I know . . .

Well life as we know it is changing. Global warming, food, water and oil shortages, rising interest rates and less money to cover everything.I have made small changes in the past, using cloth nappies, switching to energy saving lightbulbs, recycling home waste, signing up for a % of greennenergy on my electricity bill and, just recently, converting to cloth for my own monthly needs. But it's not enough . . . now I've got the bug!!! And like Billy Thorpe once sang, Most people I know think that I'm crazy!! Or make that CRAAAAAAAAZY . . .

The biggest nay-sayer I have . . . my husband :( Shannon (hereon refered to as nn lol) thinks that it is all just a waste of time. When I first started to convert DD1 to clothat the age of 2m, if he changed her nappy he'd change from a mcn into a disposable (which we had there for nights and back up as I was building/sewing our stash) So after a while, I bought some terry flats as back up and went cold turkey on the disposables. He didn't change her nappies for quite a while, but eventually came around. DD2, I am proud to say, has NEVER had her beautiful little bottom in a disposable nappy. I know that they have their place in the world, but it isn't at my house.

Due to rising interest rates, an unsuitable house and an impending arrival (now known as Zoe hehe) we sold our house of six years and moved into a rental. Moving from a fairly small three bedroom highset house with air-con to a sprawling 4 bedroom lowset with 2 large living areas with no aircon just before Summer while pregnant was a big shock to the system - but so was the first electricity bill. Despite moving to a much larger house, the bill was down around $200 - our usage dropped from 38.3kwh to 15.8kwh!!! Mainly due to having good insulation and no airconditioning!!!

As it is, we are looking at moving on already. We were broken into less than a week after moving in and nn has never liked the place since. We have feral neighbours (grrrr!!) and while a huge yard would be great if we were allowed to do something with it, we have no shade and grass that could easily do with a mow every week if we had the time (as it is we hire someone else to do it!) so it is a huge waste.

I have been pestering nn about starting a vegie patch. Although I think he thinks I want to do it just as something fun to do, I really want to do it to ultimately cut costs both to our budget and to the environment. I have been doing a lot of reading lately (Aussies Living Simply is now one of my fave sites - and the food miles involved with our weekly groceries is just scary. If we grow it ourself, not only do we know that it isn't doused in chemicals, but we know that it hasn't come via the other side of the country. He was hesitant, recalling my previous black thumb (killing cacti and the like - oops) but I think he can see how serious I am about doing it and putting in the effort. We have decided that since we are wanting to move again soon that we'd be best off doing it in pots/planters. So I am now reading frantically about what will grow best both in pots and our climate. Wish me luck!!

My next step is de-cluttering. Nn is a hoarder. His whole family are. They are also mass consumers. I think (and no disrespect intended) that since they were not well off while growing up, they are trying to make up for it with material possessions now that they do have some money available. We bought singstar for the playstation a couple of weeks ago and we were trying to figure out which room it should go in - the carpeted lounge room or tiled family room. nn wanted to get a second playstation console because it was cheap 'and then we could have one in both rooms' Huh??? We hadn't used the playstation since we have lived in this house and now all of a sudden we have a great need for 2??? As it turns out we put it in the lounge room, an my Dad promptly spilt his beer on the carpet . . .

We also have old plates and coffee mugs from 3 previous sets, because they just HAD to be replaced, empty photo albums that have been given to us even though we have everything stored digitally now and a tonne of other stuff cluttering up our house. Slowly I am going to go through this and get rid of it. But not to just throw it into land fill, oh no, I have discovered the joy of trading!! The number of things that have been just taking up space here that I have been able to trade for things that I need is just fantastic!! There are a few things that i thing nn would kill me for if I trade rather than got actual money for (video camera, bird avairy) but other than that, I am open for offers!! Anything I can't get rid of that way, I'll eventually freecycle or donate to an op shop. Watch this space because I have a tonne of stuff I plan to be putting up.

Ultimately I want our next move to be away far away from where we are now . . . somewhere a bit rural would be great. I have told nn that I don't care how many times we move in the next few years (although it is a PITA!!) but I want us to be settled by the time Emily starts school. The big thing that is stopping us from doing the big shift is nn's work - but he hates that anyway!! He is up for long service leave at the end of this year, so we are trying to stick it out for that - even if it means a bit of a commute to work after our lease here expires in August. It will be a big move away from family, but it won't be that much further from my sister (probably about the same distance, but in a different direction) and MIL is always saying that she'll be on the move "soon." I think us moving will likely cause a chain reaction amongst our families, with everyone saying that they'll do it "one day" but no one taking that first step. if not, we might just have to make do on our own.

I am starting to crave the simple life . . . sick of nn working stupid hours so that we can afford to buy more junk that we either don't need, breaks well before it should, or is contributing to a dying world. I watched this a couple of days ago and it really opened my eyes up to what is going on around me. but I have decided that I'm not going to preach to nn about these things though. I'll make changes slowly and, like with the nappies, soon it will be the normal way of doing things and there won't be an alternative.

Sure I might end up being labelled the crazy hippy woman, but if I'm happy I don't care!

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