Friday, November 21, 2008

Decisions, Decisions.

Thanksgiving is coming up next week. Happy Thanksgiving, BTW.

I asked Em what he wanted to do this year for Thanksgiving and he said, "Nothing." I'd gone to Chicago for Thanksgiving the past two years, but decided not to travel this year. Maybe he ate at his sister-in-laws the past two years; I don't really know, but his niece asked if I was going to cook because her mom might not feel like cooking this year. That was my thought when I asked Em what he wanted to do this year, so I asked him again just to be sure I'd heard him right the first time. He wants to eat at Luby's this year.

Charities get more donations during this holiday season than any other time of year. They're much like the retail stores in that regard. We had three boxes of non-perishable food and sundries to take over to Mission Arlington, but I'd never donated anything perishable. Kroger had turkeys on sale for $.39/lb., so we got a big one and took it over with the other stuff this week. Just because we're not having Thanksgiving this year doesn't mean we can't help someone else have one.

Some folks (in the name of environmentalism or even prevention of cruelty to animals) refuse to buy "factory grown" animals for consumption. Mission Arlington figures it needs about 5,000 turkeys to feed over 18,000 people who need help this Thanksgiving. These people aren't worried about how the turkeys lived their lives; they're busy trying to just stay alive themselves. So, I got to thinking about how we make decisions like, "Is it more important to me that many people eat a satisfactory meal produced using cruel methods that pollute the environment or that few people eat an excellent meal produced using humane methods that don't pollute?

How far do I want to take environmentalism?

With that thought still in my mind, I found myself following some links which led to Affluent People Living Sustainably, who were having their November Carnival. I'd never been to one of their virtual carnivals before, although I've visited carnivals of frugality as well as carnivals of green. While poking around at the various blogs who entered the APLS carnival, I ran across

Mon, at Global Homestead describes it as eco-apathy vs. eco-anxiety. She, too, had questions about how far she wanted to take environmentalism, as depicted in her entry for the APLS Carnival.

Every decision has consequences and it's up to us to decide which consequences best allow us sleep at night. Somewhere between eco-apathy and eco-anxiety strikes me as a good place to be.

No. 1 came over today. We visited for a while and then drove to Target to buy her a humidifier and us new bed pillows. No. 2 had the frog humidifier which prompted me to buy the frog for us at Target last year, so we knew Target would have them. They did, although the price this year was $35.00, and also had elephants, penguins, and dragons. No. 1 chose the elephant and I got not just two pillows for our bed, but strawberries, asparagus, and potatoes. I felt guilty buying food there, as I have two grocery stores within walking distance of home that won't be able to prosper if I start buying groceries at big box stores. But, we were right there in the store and these 3 items were either more expensive or not available in my local groceries. It's good to feel guilty sometimes. It's an emotion that lets us know we're somewhere in the middle of the extremes of boycotting the big box stores and apathy for buying locally.

After Target, we stopped at Home Depot. I bought a window box planter for spinach and lettuce this winter as well as a 32 gallon rolling garbage can which will become a potato apartment house this winter. I don't understand why potatoes cost so much these days, but as easy as they are to grow UP, might as well start some right away.

Shopping complete, we came back to the house to have a boggle and chat for a few hours. It's been too long since we'd done that, and it felt good. She'll be spending Thanksgiving volunteering at the shelter where she's doing her internship.

What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

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