05 January 2009

What Can We Do Without?

[I'm deleting my other blog, ecologicalshopper, because I barely have time to keep up with one blog. Here's what I think is the best post I put up over there, from July 31, 2007. The rest is about to disappear into the ether.]

In "Default Settings and Modern Lifestyles," Chinese writer Yu Aiqun muses on the things she has learned to take for granted. Things like daily showers, multiple electric and electronic appliances, running water.When I was a child, my home had a refrigerator, a stove, an oven, a toaster, a mixer, a blender, a crock pot, and a dishwasher; a television, a record player, and a radio, a few clocks, a dehumidifier, an electric typewriter, two telephones, an electric razor, one car, and a fan. My brother and I got the fan at our bedtimes; after we were asleep, my parents moved it to their room.Today, for my family of three, we have a refrigerator, a stove, an oven, a microwave oven, a toaster, a mixer, a combination rice-cooker and slow cooker, a blender, a cuisinart, a dishwasher, and an electric kettle. We have a television, a DVD player, two computers, cable modem, wireless router, several printers, two radios (one hand-cranked for power), a portable DVD player, several clocks, two cell phones, two air filters, two air conditioners, two fans, a nebulizer, an electric hair-trimmer, and one car.And we have tried to minimize. We live in 1000 square feet, give or take a wall or two, and we are deliberate about keeping our possessions to a minumum. Once The Offspring reaches a certain age (I don't yet know what that is), I'm sure we'll be buying another cell phone and another computer.What can we do without? I'll have to think on it.