Ever since I was 11 years old, I have been a bargain shopper. This always worked to my advantage, because when I began earning money, it went a long way. $4 tee shirt? Yes, please. $2 shampoo? Done. $20 for shoes? YAAAAS. And that worked well for a long time, because after college I was an unpaid intern for a year and then was accepted in to an international graduate program (and learning is expensive shit) so my mantra was always "the lower the price, the better."
Here's the problem: I started listening. Studies were released about the link between preservatives in makeup and breast cancer. Gap Inc. was outed for running a sweatshop in a third world country. Tylenol was linked to liver disease. There was a boy who almost died on an episode of House because he bought a new pair of jeans from a guy in a truck, and didn't wash them first... although this was fictional, I could definitely see this happening in real life. Dirty ass mosquitos were running amok. Anthrax, SARS, bird flu, pig flu... the return of ebola. Dolphins were dying because their snouts were getting stuck in the plastic rings that fit around soda cans. Coca Cola doesn't have cocaine in it anymore, but the amount of sugar in it will lead to death almost as fast as an overdose. All of our food is secretly corn. A Sea World employee died at the hands of a whale whose life was stolen from him. The ice is melting, and the animals that weren't built to swim won't stay afloat forever. A lot of these everyday things that are low priced are a direct result of the goal to cut costs in production. When you cut the cost of production, the price goes down, and the risks go up. The world is changing, so I decided maybe I needed to change too.
I started listening to people who were aware of these things already... My mom was buying all organic food. My sister was using makeup made of organic food. My coworkers eat and shop local as often as possible. I watched a video about a girl who gives a big shit about the environment, and the only waste she's produced in the past TWO YEARS can fit inside a glass jar. Your purchase is a declaration of support. And I know the struggle, because I am not rich. But if you live like the French and buy pricier things, less often, you might actually consider each one a little more valuable too.
So this blog is for those who are trying to navigate the world without accidentally or inadvertently being an asshole. I still use plastic bags every so often. I still throw out food that I forgot to eat before it went bad. I still buy clothes from the Gap. But I am trying to make everyday changes, so if I am trying to figure it out anyways, I should share it in case someone else is, too. And because I have a lot of rage, I am going to say "fuck" a lot.
So here's to the simple things, like goats, and coconuts.
Click here to read my first post.