Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Every month I participate in a Green Moms Blogging Carnival. This time, we are to blog about the commercialization of holidays. At first, I thought of recycling the Halloween post I wrote for Groovy Green last year. That would have been too easy, and also I have a subversive idea I want to put out to all green mommy bloggers during this holiday season.

I have played before with the “Green Drop” idea, a green twist on artist Ryan Watkins-Hughes‘ original shopdrop concept:

shopdrop: to covertly place merchandise on display in a store; a form of “culture jamming”, reverse shoplift.

For the “Mommy Green Drop” Initiative we will only shopdrop green things. Imagine for instance, going to a Target store before Halloween, and taping subversive flyers on the back of items in the costume section. These would be flyers you would have prepared ahead of time and brought with you into the store. Or you could create almost identical replica of costumes sold in the store, with your own  green twist of course! Part of the fun, is performing the shopdropping unnoticed, while documenting with your camera – video or still -, and then reporting in your blog. There are no limits to what you can do, really.

To keep track of your participation in the project, I have created a “greendrop” Twitter account, where you can input your “greendrop” performances, with links to documenting posts in your blog. All you need is to email me for the password. If you do not have a blog, you can upload your videos on YouTube, or your photos on Flickr, again using the Twitter account as a central log.

I am feeling excited just writing about this project. If enough of us get involved, we can create a big green ripple in the holiday shopping frenzy.

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All the kids are home from their various trips. Yesterday was major grocery shopping time. What to do? Shop at Whole Foods, within biking distance but horribly expensive. Or Trader’s Joe, a lot easier on my pocketbook, but too far not to drive to.

What would you have done?

This, folks, are the kinds of negotiations that take place daily in my life as a Green Girl Wannabe. I will keep you guessing as to what happened . . .

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Lately, I have been discovering the joy of wandering in my new garden, plucking at the plum trees, and the tomato vines, and harvesting some lettuce for our dinners. And I have gotten in touch with the gatherer inside. And realized that this ancient part has always been there. Two million years of evolution can’t just vanish. It has just taken different forms. For my teenage daughter and her friends – and for me also until my green conscience grew too loud -, gathering takes the form of shopping expeditions. Men like to collect big cars, and gadgets. Little kids want more and more toys. What served us once very well, has turned into a dysfunctional habit, that is feeding China’s polluting factories

I propose we become more aware of our gathering instinct, and of the ways that it is moving us, and that we return to its true purpose. Back to nature, spending time in our gardens, not in the malls. 

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Just a moment. I grabbed it, quick, before it slipped away. Halfway between the kitchen and my office. Empty space. Vertigo. I could go shopping, get some action in. Quick remedy for transient un-ease. No. It doesn’t work any more. A vision of sisters moving amidst racks of clothes. And my heart sinks. The absence of substance is not that bad. After all.
Do you have such moments?

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Late night errand at Longs drugstore. My basket was overflowing, and I realized at the checkout counter, that the thought had not even occurred to me, to bring a bag with me. We are such creatures of habits. The green bag for Whole Foods, yes. But for Longs? Of course, I redeemed myself by declining the clerk’s offer of a plastic bag. And walked out, with my arms full of toiletries.

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Lots of deadlines. I have been too busy to shop. Yesterday, the urge seized me to visit Anthropologie. Fortunately, I only had five minutes to spare, literally. Not enough time to make it to the sales rack, all the way in the back of the store. I should be busy more often.

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Whole Foods is as much a social place, as a grocery store. I will seize any excuse to go there, just to break the monotony of a whole day spent working at home. Since I work from home everyday, that pretty much means daily trips to WF. Green Guru thinks I am not being efficient. I should be planning better, and find other ways to entertain myself.

What I need: Exorbitant gas prices that will make me think twice before I get in the car. Even better, citywide bans on private vehicles, like in Bogota, where cars are only allowed to circulate at certain times of the day. A city bike lane infrastructure, where cyclists don’t have to share the road with cars.

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Yesterday was full of meetings. At the end of the day, I decided to give myself a break and check out the new Simply Vera collection at Kohls. I only know of Kohls, from my weekly trips to the Indian store with Prad. When I asked Prad about Kohls, he said they were a cheap store like Walmart. When I heard that Vera Wang was going to do a line for them, I got very excited. Now Kohls was another place I could go to for cheap designer frills. The ads were very enticing, and I could not wait to check it out. The official release date was this weekend, but I read in the fashion forums that some stores already had the stuff. Turns out Simply Vera was a big disappointment. Cheap fabrics, high prices. I came out of the store empty handed. I was relieved in a way. I had not sinned. It was getting late, and Prad called to see what we were having for dinner. All the kids were home that day. I rushed to our favorite Italian takeout to pick up some pizza. Average speed: 75 mph. Out the window, all my talk about not driving more than 55 mph. There really needs to be some laws to help me there, otherwise, I am not going to do it.

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My mind bustling with so many exciting projects, I forgot the green bags again. Prad had placed them on the door knob, as usual. Still, that was not enough for me to remember. Needless to say, I felt major guilt at the Whole Foods checkout counter. Tonight we are having a bid dinner party, so it was not just one, but six plastic bags, that I brought home.

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Charlotte came back from her one week vacation in Mexico with her dad. I was so happy to see her. She suggested we go to Urban Outfitters to shop. That was perfect, I needed to go there anyway to buy Ahna’s birthday present. While at the mall, we also decided to swing by Anthropologie. I was so good, I did not buy anything for myself. The truth is, I am shopped out, and there was really nothing I wanted in either place. Had I been tempted, I would have probably given in. On our way back, I thought about how far Santana Row is from Palo Alto, and how much gas we used driving both ways. Could we have found the same things closer? Probably not. Were our purchases essential? Definitely not. If I was a true green girl, at a minimum, I would have suggested to Charlotte that we take the train to the Urban Outfitters store in San Francisco. Better even, I could have suggested other ways to spend time together, or other more environmentally sound places to shop like vintage stores. Same with Ahna, I could have asked her to think more creatively about things to get for her birthday. As a mother, I hate to spoil the fun with my green ideas. It is a territory I do not feel comfortable exploring yet. Shopping (at the mall) with, and for my children, is such a part of who I am as a mother.

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