Think Globally, Act Locally

Showcasing some thrift-store outfit or other.

A short-ish PSA from your friendly local Stay-at-home Astronaut:

  Not to be a party-pooper but, if you haven't noticed, the world is pretty fucked up right now.  All is not lost... yet, though to salvage things we need to get our act together.  Stat. 

  Obviously, change on a global scale must come from a higher position of power than my own little soapbox that's this blog; the pressure we ought to be putting on our leaders to act faster and better however does lie in the way we use our individual voices, as damage control just won't do anymore.  You know what I'm talking about.  You are experiencing the effects of Climate Change as we speak, whether it's something as seemingly innocuous as 90 degrees in October or seasonal wildfires followed by flash floods and landslides here in California.  The urgency doesn't seem imminent when we watch reports of natural disasters somewhere else, but how prepared are you to handle it when it comes to you?  Most of us aren't.  The fatalistic part of my imagination can already see a new kind of immigration wave forming in the future--climate refugees forced out of their homes in droves during the next decade, displaced and disenfranchised because we were too lazy to recycle or too stubborn to believe in science.  Fear-mongering isn't my brand, so I won't go there.  I'll hope until there's no hope left, and I will keep doing all I can to save the world stop this, now. 

  Ideally, we'd all live in smart, solar-powered homes with composts and vegetable gardens in the backyard.  We'd all drive electric cars and wear clothes made from recycled plastic bottles.  Unfortunately, this isn't that kind of future.  Still, there are other things we can do.  Again, preaching to the choir here, but I have to get this off my chest: BUY LESS CRAP.  Packaging is out of control.  Fashion is one of the leading polluting industries, and clothes aren't made to last--some items have the factory-to-landfill life span of as little as a month.  Plastic is not just in the oceans (a plastic bag was recently spotted lying on the bottom of the Marianas Trench!) but in our DNA.  I mean, you get the picture.  The bone I have to pick is with celebs at this point.

If one more celebrity tries to sell me something, I swear I'll lose it.  

  Everyone now has a goddamn makeup line.  Body concealers, highlighters, perfumes, lipsticks, facewashes, eyebrow pomades, you name it.  Clothes lines, shoes, purses, sunglasses.  Vitamins, slimming teas, phone cases, cookware, adult coloring books, pet jewelry, bespoke toilet paper... People would buy anything if it has the right label/brand name slapped on it.  And they would pay good money; a Supreme t-shirt can go for a $100+, a limited edition Kim K scented candle for just as much.  And now, thanks to Ye, we can also buy Jesus merch for $200 and be saved in the process.  It would be hilarious if it wasn't so blatantly consumerist: peddling the latest shapewear in between getting wrongly-convicted people out of jail.  That's not news.  America has always been great in the kind of capitalism that sells you an idea along with a product.  Touch the screen, call now, buy one get one free, get now pay later, and all that.  The difference is that in almost 2020 we can't really afford to spend on the wrong stuff.  A LV bag is cool, but it's not save-the-polar-bears-from-extinction cool.      

  Of course I am not entirely ascetic; I do buy stuff.  I'm partial to skin care and shoes, and I own close to fifty scarves and pairs of earrings.  I'm not immune to the charm of home decor or stationary, either.  Being the bohemian I am, I appreciate the good, pretty things in life.  I freely admit that some brands are better than others.  I have bought products after I've seen the ads on Instagram, too.  I am definitely not blameless for I've had my share of "shopping therapy".  We've all been there: a new top or a pair of jeans makes us feel great about ourselves for total of 15 minutes before we're back to wondering what's fuckin' point.  Is the array of cream jars and bottles of serums I have sitting on my bathroom counter what really makes me feel young?  I love textures and colors and funky styles and accessories as much as the next gal, but none of it improves my life considerably enough to truly matter.  A good bra is almost impossible to find, and boob comfort is paramount... but no particular brand of sports bra has ever incentivized me to go running.  Plump lips look awesome in selfies, but no lipstick has ever reminded me to kiss my husband more often.  It's the "toolbox fallacy", thinking that once you have ABC you'd be finally able to achieve XYZ. 

  So let me paraphrase: buy as much crap as you want or need, just buy smarter.  Voting with your wallet here in America can be as powerful as voting at the polls. 

Invest in things that last to reduce single-use plastic. 
Buy second hand--there is amazing furniture in consignment stores, and cool clothes in thrift stores to reduce landfill waste. 
Read the labels and avoid foods containing palm oil.
Choose cruelty-free cosmetics to eliminate the need for animal testing.
Support local brands to reduce your carbon footprint.   
Go paperless, be it for your monthly bills, party invites, or Holiday cards.  This year I'm sending a digital Christmas greeting to all my friends, despite my obsession with stationary.
Instal energy-saving appliances at home. 
Grow flowers to help the bees.
Eat less meat, especially beef.  Not only it's kind to cows (who have eyelashes AND best friends!) but it reduces greenhouse gases.
Read e-books.
Replace ziploc bags with glass containers.
Carpool if you can, bike, or use public transit if you have it in your area.
Remember to bring your reusable bags and coffee mugs, and buy your produce loose.
Use bio-degradable cleaning solutions, and chlorine free sanitary products.
Speak up! Vote for green policies and long-term solutions.

  I am no Greta Thunberg or Naomi Klein; hell, I'm probably not even as good as you already are in this.  I can't tell you how to live your life or how to spend your money.  My personal goal is to maintain a sustainable lifestyle as an example to my own children.  I have lots to learn, like the fact that $10 can buy me a fancy lip-gloss or provide life-saving vaccines and mosquito nets in struggling countries. 
  All I ask is to not buy into the celebrity brand craze if you can't wholeheartedly believe it's for a good cause.  Moral relativism aside (gosh knows I've dumped enough disposable diapers and wet wipes and Amazon delivery boxes), there comes a time when we have to stand up for something.  And as much as I stan certain pop-culture icons (and respect their right to make a living), I don't think there's anything sexier than clean air and virgin rainforests and unbroken icecaps.     

Peace out.


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