Drastic Measures

In front of the Blue Massif in Torres del Paine National Park

Since returning from the wild amazingness that is Southern Patagonia, I’ve been coasting a bit. I’ve re-fattened myself on the amazing food that is available to me here (mostly delicious, delicious cheese), taken a lot of nice showers, enjoyed wearing no baselayer whatsoever, and seen some great friends.

Strangely, I feel guilty. Despite giving up six months of my life to volunteer and travel in South America, my life here is so cushy and wonderful…and I feel undeserving of such great things. Of such comfort.

So I’ve been coming up with ideas to make differences in my own impact on the globe. I travel a lot, and that makes a huge carbon footprint. I have a lot of clothes, some of undeniably sketchy origin (if even Gap gets busted occasionally for labor violations, where do my shirts from Forever 21 stand? Oh, that’s where). My diet probably makes some serious impacts as well, since I just love those bacon cheeseburgers.

So I’m taking some drastic measures. Two, to be exact.

1. I will eat only two non-vegetarian meals per week. Producing just one of my beloved bacon cheeseburgers uses 10,000 gallons of water. Imagine how many baths that is! Or how many more vegetables! Plus, being a mostly-vegetarian is better for my own health and makes it so that I will have to get more creative with my cooking.

Delicious roasted chicken is only for Sundays now

2. I will not buy any brand-new clothing that is not Fair Trade for the next year. I’m allowed to go to consignment shops and to buy anything that I like from fair trade resources. I already have a ton of clothes. This will force me to get real about how much I actually need and fill my time with things other than shopping. Like DIY-ing the shit out of some new skirts. Or making some jewelry. Or crocheting my own ponchos.

These two changes will change my life! But subtly. Steps in the right direction.

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