While I hate to brag, I really have to share that I'm writing this blog entry from Hawaii! We are staying on the North Shore of Oahu in a house on the beach. This is the life. Really! I know it's just a vacation, but I could see myself living in a place like this fulltime.
Most of our time will be spent right here in this house getting some of that R&R that I've heard rumours about. We'll do a few touristy things but for the most part this house and this beach are just where we want to be. Right now I'm still trying to slow down and enjoy the unfilled time. It's hard - I keep looking for stuff to do. I figure this time next week, I'll have perfected it.
Now I'm sure you're wondering "Just what does this have to do with living a greener life?" Well, I'm so glad you asked. It has PLENTY to do with it. You see, I have a plan. While we are here, we are not at home with all of our things - those things you know I'm so attached to. We are not using all the things we use every day - all the cleaners (both house and body), all the gadgets and so on. We are taking time to take stock of our life and to see where it is we want to go. I'm living without my stuff - which is giving me the time and distance I need to think more clearly about what it is I want out of life.
While I haven't gotten to the point of writing it all down - I do know that things will have to change as my vision of life has changed over the past decade and I've just not adjusted my lifestyle to meet that vision. Upon my return, you will get to find out more on this topic. Remember I said March was the month to declutter - well, it's about more than just stuff. It's going to be about decluttering a life, making room for what's important (friends, family and so one) and letting go of what's not (shopping for fun, a disposable lifestyle, etc.)
I've also learned that travelling with a baby is an experience and that it is NOT an earth friendly one if your baby isn't able to regular food yet. Since my son has allergies - he can't eat a lot of commercially prepared baby food. He's just beginning to eat things with more texture and is not ready for 'real' food. This means making him something different from us. I forgot my hand mixer, so I'm limited in what to make him as I need to be able to dice it finely. I ended up buying a lot of baby food - I searched to find the few things he can have and stocked up. (not too much variety but he won't starve) I also bought some stuff I can cook for him when we are at the house. At home I make his food and freeze it in ice cube trays. Can't do that in Hawaii as it's too hot to be carrying it around when you go out. Plus - if you do keep it frozen - you can't heat it up for him at the beach. So jars and fruit cups it is. And I'm not sure what to do with them. I never throw them away at home - so I'm hoping to find a way to recycle them. Otherwise I can see me bringing it all home. (did I mention my suitcases were full when I arrived here?)
We also bought a playpen for him to sleep in (we'll keep it at our family's place to use when we visit) and we bought a beach umbrella to keep him in the shade. Both of these will get plenty of use over the next few years - by us and by anyone we know that can use them. And when we are done with the playpen, it will go on to another life with another family as I intend to take good care of it. (another key to being green - take care of what you have - make it last and then pass it on so it can continue it's useful life)
The fact that my suitcase is full is a good thing, though. I could have filled another suitcase coming here but by squeezing it into less space, it means that I don't have room to buy junk. We don't plan on bringing home souvenirs for everyone. No sense in bringing home stuff for their next garage sale. It's definately not earth friendly to buy stuff people don't want! My own souvenir will be a baby food jar with some sand in it. Maybe a little piece of coral (it's washes up on the beach here) and a shell or two that we find (uninhabited, of course!) That's it. We will have pictures, maybe a post card or two, and our memories. This will be a first, that's for sure, as I usually come home loaded with things.
Oh - and just in case our house-sitter is reading this - don't worry! You're getting some thing - just not something disposable!