Non-Consumer Mish-Mash

by Katy on July 24, 2009 · 7 comments


Here’s another piece in my Non-Consumer Mish-Mash series, in which I write about a little of this, a little of that.

I was chatting over the fence with a new neighbor, a retired gentleman from Northern New Jersey. He joked that he was going to call the “sustainability police” on me for having such a lush and healthy lawn. I argued that since my backyard is deeply shady and unable to grow food that I was exempt. I pointed out that we live in Oregon, hardly a desert environment, but he just wouldn’t let it go. (He doesn’t know about my status as The Non-Consumer Advocate.)

Don’t suggest that my life is not green just because I have a small patch of lawn.

You might just wake up Soprano style.

New Season’s Market, our local swanky natural foods chain had two pound boxes of blueberries on sale for $6.99 this week that were both locally grown and organic. So I stopped in on my way back from swim classes today only to find that unlike the ad, which featured cardboard boxes of berries, these ones were encased in clamshell plastic.

What the heck?!

Why, why, why are so many foods that never used to be packaged in plastic suddenly so? Any benefit from choosing local and organic foods is completely negated by being boxed up in a petroleum product that lives forever. Even if I were to recycle the plastic, (which I would) the process of shipping the plastics to a recycling plant to be melted into a new product is hardly earth friendly.

So what did I do?

I stopped in at Safeway and bought a five pound box of locally grown/ non-organic blueberries packaged in yes — cardboard also for $6.99.

I found out today about a local movie first run theater whose matinees are only $4, and is currently playing the new Harry Potter movie. Hooray!

Thank you very much to Dawn, my new favorite N-CA reader!

I spied a really nice large formal flowerpot lying on its side in the yard of one of my mother’s rental cottages. I brought it home and filled it with scrounged potting soil. I then bought one of Trader Joe’s $2.99 pots of basil and divided out the basil plants and voilá, I now have a super lovely potted herb garden that looks fabulous on the brick patio.

Thank you Mom!

I’ve given two interviews in the past three days, one for a book the other for a print article. I love having the opportunity to reach new audiences.

If you are enjoying The Non-Consumer Advocate, please forward posts to like minded friends, (or even non-like minded friends who might be in need of a bit of inspiration to see frugality as a joyful rather than punitive choice.)

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog and especially those who take the time to post comments. It’s the feedback from readers that keep me writing and inspired. I ♥ you!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Angela July 25, 2009 at 3:33 pm

Ahhhh! I also get so frustrated at the ridiculous packaging of local, organic produce at New Seasons and especially Trader Joes. Seems like a needless use of resources.


Alisa July 25, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Waking up Soprano style means NOT waking up.


allison July 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm

I like the trailers for the new Julie & Julia movie, but I didn’t know it was a book until I picked it up at the thrift store today for $1.99. It’s already a good read, but I will still want to see the movie.


Rebecca July 26, 2009 at 1:07 am

One thing I love about living in the country: No one cares about the color of your lawn, and if they did, they wouldn’t dare joke to call the “sustainability police” on you because it’s YOUR property and YOUR lifestyle choice (and YOUR pocketbook getting hit when you wear out your well pump). It’s people like that who make people who strive to live green, frugal lives seem like holier-than-thou zealots! If there’s one thing that’s going to hurt efforts to foster everyone adopting a sustainable lifestyle, it’s seeming like a holier-than-thou zealot!

Besides, why can’t a shaded lawn be naturally green in Oregon, even in the hot summer? We never water our lawn, and the shaded parts of it are still green (we live in a rural area near Seattle)! And if you are watering it, for all he knows, you’re using grey water.

I’m indignant for you, can you tell? 🙂


Karen July 27, 2009 at 2:41 pm

I too get so bothered by Trader Joe’s packaging: why does every single cucumber, apple, broccoli stalk etc need to be wrapped in plastic?! I feel as if shopping there is indermining my goal to not support plastic packaging/wrapping etc, much as I love Joe’s. I bought some permanent, food-grade silicon covers from Italy–yeah, silicon is not perfect, but it’s the lesser of two evils, and you only buy it once every several years–so that I never again have to buy plastic wrap for around the house, which puts me in a bind about bringing plastic containers home from T J’s. Does anyone know of a campaign to pressure them to drop the plastic?


Angela July 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

I would also be interested in hearing any news about a campaign to stop Trader Joe’s packaging sins. It drives me crazy, and it’s on my list of blog posts to find out more about.

Katy- I would have made the same choice and bought nonorganic over organic because of the plastic.

And I also agree with Rebecca that it’s that attitude that makes some people suspicious of a green lifestyle, which is too bad. It’s just human nature- there all all types of people, and they become involved in all kinds of things. He was probably just being funny, but it does have that judgmental tone.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: