Responsible Consumption

The Interdependence Project, a meditation/activism group I participate in (when I have time, ha!), does a Responsible Consumption monthly challenge every once in awhile.   There's a pledge, suggestions for individual areas to focus on, and a place to log any 24 hours of your consumption practice.  (They have lots of great projects and classes, if you're in the NY area, I definitely recommend checking them out.)

Here are parts  of the pledge I particularly like:
  • Remembering that everything in the world is connected, I pledge to do my best to be aware of the damage caused by lack of attention and careless convenience.
  • Knowing that it’s impossible to cause zero harm, I pledge to maintain a sense of humor about my actions as I practice, while still working to limit the negative impact of my consumption choices on myself, others, and the planet we all share.
I love the idea of mini self-improvement projects like this, challenges to your normal daily operations.  Small steps seems to be the best way to make these types of little life changes, because they're not difficult, they just require a small shift in your regular activities.  Take the water bottle issue... I've finally gotten into the habit of carrying my resuseable bottle with me, EVERYWHERE.  I drink a ton of water, and if I leave without it, I end up dehydrated for the day.  But it took a slight adjustment.  Now when I leave in the morning, I check to make sure I have my wallet, keys, phone, and bottle.  Done.

I think I've also (mostly) conquered the resuseable bags, energy efficiency, composting and reducting waste, minimal shampooing and healthy food areas.  I'd like to work on carrying a coffee mug (I probably waste at least 1 paper cup a day), carrying a tupperware or glass jar for leftovers for when I pick up food on the run to reduce packaging and waste, and minimizing other unhealthy personal care products.  The goal of the month is to really focus on a particular area, so I think I'll go with the coffee mug / tupperware practice.   It really just seems to be about planning.  Here on the IDP website, they suggest a basic kit:

Low Impact Survival Kit
One of the big insights that came from those of us who did the practice last time was that if you started out with a few key pieces of equipment it became really easy to cut down on waste and actually saved money too. 

- Drink bottle : check
- Container for food/left-overs: this month's practice 
- Shopping bag: check
- Chopsticks, silverware: 
- Cloth napkin

So with a sense of humor and more awareness, it begins.  One step at a time...  So what could you work on?


  1. What's your beef with shampoo?

  2. 1) it has chemicals that haven't been tested for toxicity. i'm trying to avoid having them wash all over my body every day.
    2) it makes my hair dry and frizzy, it's much curlier and happier without shampoo. more here - http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curl-products/all-about-the-no-poo-routine-2