Friday, March 03, 2006

Chacala and Me and Consumerism

I just finished reading the March issue of Tricycle magazine, which I think is officially a Tibetan Buddhist magazine. But most of the articles and coverage seems to be aimed at any kind of Buddhist or person who meditates. My son brought that issue and a copy of the latest Shambala Sun down last week. Plus The Sun, another great mag. Those are the magazines
I miss the most in Mexico. People have been really nice about bringing them down to me.

Anyway, one of the many great articles this quarter/month was about consumerism from the Buddhist point of view. One of the remarks was that to make the most effective changes to reduce your consumer/environmental impact, you should look at your transportation and housing/energy usage. I thought, well I am doing pretty well with transportation since I haven't had a car for more than two years. And I almost always ride public transportation or get a ride with someone who is already heading my way. But then I started thinking about a car ride I took with a friend of mind a few days ago. It would have been just as easy to take some collectivo rides to get there and we didn't even consider the idea. I don't know why.

Anyway. My direct energy usage is pretty minimal. I have two light bulbs, one for my tent and one for the eating table outside. And I only use one or the other at a time. Plus my small refrigerator. But I do use electricity from somewhere about three times a week to charge my computer battery. The electricity at my place comes via four or five extension cords and serves five different buildings plus the camping area. So I am nervous about using it for the computer. A

And my ramada ( the open, roofed structure coverning my tent and camping area) is made from wood posts that have already re-sprouted and are now small trees. And the covering is prunings from palm trees. And the floor is a rock base covered with sand. Pretty ecological I guess. I use toilets that are flushed with buckets of water, and showers that are warmed by the sun mid day. I do have trash, but not much.

But I am still filling some of the holes in my life with consumerism-type activities. Lately I was on a kick for about two weeks about these colorful plaid plastic carry-all type bags they have around here. I got the idea (after two years of thinking they were really ugly) that they would be good for hanging on my rope clothelines and storing tools and toilet paper and my umbrella, etc. So for about three town trips in a row I was focused on looking for these bags. It sort of keep me focused on anything but me for a bit. They only cost about a dollar etc, but it was the distracting quality of my short-lived fascination with collecting the bags that seems sad to me.

But, on the other hand. I make do most of the time. Replace elastic, mend clothes, look for stuff I can use (like wooden crates in the trash for bookshelves, etc) I can use, and make things for myself rather than buy, buy used clothes to replace my disinigrating wardrobe. I have been wondering if my favorite expense, magazines, is another consumerism thing. I guess it is. Both seeing all the ads, and just seeking out my favorites.

At least I have given up TV again. After about a month of watching a novela (soap opera) about three nights a week, I got disgusted and quit. I really never have liked TV very much. I rarely watched it as a child, and didn't have one (no electricity or access) from 1960 til the mid 80's. Really, it was hanging around with the crew at Chico's that was the draw anyway. But now that Ms. Chico, Narcisa, is having bed rest at her daughter Aurora's, there isn't much of a draw to watch TV. Except for that month of the soaps I haven't watched TV at all for about 27 months. No biggy. Or seen a movie either, now that I think of it. I am a reading addict though.

I am tired of writing about this, but I am thinking about how I keep myself distracted via collecting objects, even seashells, sea glass, driftwood, etc for my camp.

Just a reminder, if you want to contact Trini about Spanish classes you can email her at trinimoya2 (at) or go to Trini's blog. When emailing use the symbol @ rather than (at) please,

Or for info about airport pickups/rides to Chacala, boat rides to watch whales or surf go to airport pickups and boat rides

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