Monday, 14 January 2008

Time to walk the talk.......

I have been thinking about over consumption a lot lately.

I have been thinking about how we are changing a whole generation by giving them everything they could ever want or need. I worry about this. I think it is going to bite us in the ass big time.

I lived in Southern California for about 5 years, a place where it was never too hot, never too cold, no bugs and life was pretty easy. And you know what I learned. I don't appreciate good weather unless I have had a winter to suffer through. It was weird lesson to learn. Here in Dunedin where the weather is often yucky when we have sun the whole neighbourhood comes alive as we all think the same thought, "I must go outside, I must enjoy and saver, I must garden, I must lie in the sun and read and I must try to get to the strawberries before the bloody birds get them". I swear this is a universal thought in my neighbourhood on a sunny day. You feel the joy a sunny, warm day brings.

I think about it when I craft and find myself more and more drawn to using recycled materials. Because I have made the commitment (due to budget and environmental reasons) that all the fabric in our curtains and upholstery will be from recycled materials I now get the joy of discovery at op shops and garage sales and I am ashamed to admit the depths of my stash. I know I value my handcrafted clothing more than store bought. I know my gift recipients agree. Is this why so many of us are crafting more and more? Is this why I am growing more of my food? Is this why I am drawn to making my own bread, jam, baked goods? Can I only appreciate what isn't easily gained? In our effort to make life easy for our kids what are we depriving them of?

( Calorimetry from Knitty, lovely little pattern it is!)

I met a knitter the other day who was down in Stewart Island for a week and it was cold. She didn't have a hat but she just couldn't bring herself to buy one because she is able to now make them. She is a brand new knitter who has only made scarfs but was confident in her ability to make a hat. So instead she froze. She laughed about it as she was making a hat in the warm sunny weather we were having in Dunedin. I completely agreed with her. I would have done the same thing. I have done the same thing.


Emily said...

I did the same thing, too! By the time I finished the hat it was warm again. But I did wear it on the Tongariro Crossing!

I think your speculation about the rise in home-made is spot-on.

Stell said...

me to, I just don't buy things I can make easily, and some times not easily, and the end result is some times I don't buy and don't make so don't have! And welcome back - I've missed your musings to prod me into thinking about being a better person for the world. Rampent consumerism tempts me to often. You know now we make our own wool wash, dish wash, clothes wash and cleaning powder due to you, ruth, morag and jenny.

Penny said...

I know!!! When I was a kid, I was always horrified by the handmade gifts I received from my aunt, now I have become that aunt. However, I like to think my gifts are a little more hip! (not sure that they really are, but...., someday they will appreciate it!)