I am a girl on a mission. Nothing noble or thrilling, possibly not even interesting to anyone other than me, but I’m hoping thats not the case.
I’m tired of shopping and wondering if the item in my hand was made by a 7 year old in a sweat shop in Cambodia. I hate the fact that non breakable items like silverware come packaged in 4 pounds of styrofoam, various types of scissor-proof, nuclear war resistant plastic, and thick, unrecycled cardboard. I really don’t like imagining what chemicals my plates or cups or frying pans have been soaked in or manufactured with.
I will not turn this in to a political statement about the environment, because regardless of how you feel about Al Gore, its pretty clear we are a wasteful species, and not even Glenn Beck could convince himself thats a good thing. We have also become increasingly complacent to the chemicals used in so many of the things we use every day (have you looked at the ingredients on the back of a bottle of regular shampoo? Yikes). Generations before us used cast iron pans for cooking and managed to survive, so why is it we all feel that Teflon is necessary, knowing that the fumes it creates can actually kill birds in close proximity? Why the heck do we all need trendy water bottles made of materials proven to cause cancer?
My boyfriend and I recently signed our first lease together, and will be moving in to a roomy two bedroom, two bathroom apartment on the Malden/Melrose line in July. I’ve decided I am going to use this opportunity to attempt to create a “green” living space (has that term reached cliche levels yet? Probably…but I can’t think of anything better at 2 am).
Now, the easy solution would be to go to some of the great eco-friendly and socially responsible retailers of furniture and home decor… especially www.vivaterra.com, www.arhaus.com, and www.tenthousandvillages.com. I have visited each of these sites frequently, and end up spending about $5000 (in my head).
Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your perspective, I have my Impending-Student-Loan-Debt Gnome sitting on my shoulder at all times these days. He reminds me that I do not want to be paying for my graduate degree, or a salvaged wood coffee table, when I am 70.
So therein lies the challenge that inspired me to create this blog: can an average middle class liberal tree hugger create a beautiful and well designed home without putting a single penny on a credit card?
Here are my rules, which are subject to change, because I made them up to begin with:
1. Try to buy anything I want for the apartment used (craigslist, antique stores, yard sales, etc) before buying it new.
2. Look for eco friendly and fair trade products whenever possible. Try to research where some of the “stuff” I see at places like Target and Pier 1 actually comes from
3. Donate or sell anything I don’t plan to use in the new place rather than throwing it away.
4. Don’t spend a ton of money, be creative
Next, I’ll post some pictures of the new apartment. It’s my first “blank slate” in terms of decorating and I’m really excited about the space and the possibilities.
Thanks for reading!