How to be a Non Consuming Consumer…and look good doing it!

May 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm (Art, Eating Nature, Excellence in Business, Freedom, gemstones and Jewels, Health, Letting go, Local Made, LoVe, Polo, Remanufactured goods, Sailing, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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My own lifestyle often sparks my deepest thoughts.

I love quality well prepared food.

I love beautiful well made clothes.

I love learning new things.

J’adore bijouterie! That’s French for I LOVE jewelry (and gems).

I also love the planet and all of us on it…well most of us.

I love the creatures and the flora.

…and so I strive to live in harmony with these values. How do I do that you may wonder (work with me here I know you may not really care), well let me break it down for you.

I grow some of my organic  food such as Persian melons as they are hard to come by organic and buy at farmer’s markets organically grown and my local Windmill Farms neighborhood market. This helps limit what I buy at Bigbox inc. I like knowing my food is as fresh as I am and is employing my neighbors and compadres without coming from a hemisphere away and all the pollution that entails. I live in Southern California so we grow a ton of the food out there.

I regularly donate to the Amvets and Goodwill as well as shop there. I find some sweeet finds in USA made, Italian made and French made couture for a small fraction of what Mrs and Ms. Big buck$ paid for them and very often in near new condition. There are a zillion reasons why this is a score.

  1. I’m not paying full price.
  2. The reseller makes money to pay employees when I choose to buy there.
  3. I get to be the fashionista I was born to be…don’t judge I see you looking when I stroll by.
  4. I am not contributing to new sweat shop labor from major companies who source the cheapest available markets as well as freighters again crossing the seas leaving their oily ooze in their wake.
  5. I get to enjoy things for a season and then pass them on when I redonate them for the next lucky customer or gift them to adoring friends.

When I buy new clothes I buy from locally designed and made companies and individual designers. Here is why this is a major win/win.

Paul Rico

  • Locally made means more people locally working.
  • More local tax revenue.
  • I look amazingly stylish and not like everyone who bought this season’s offerings at Bigbox inc. or Massmall.
  • The clothes are designed with my specific area’s climate and lifestyle in mind…you know old school. I live in a temperate climate (or until global warming bakes us all I do) and I need cool breathable clothes for days and layers for early mornings and evenings. I live in a city on the Pacific ocean so beaches, boating, sailing, hiking in the mountains and desert and polo are all under an hour away.
  • The cost is not greater than many mainstream department store lines and yet surprise not made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh or China but here in my neck of the woods often by the designers themselves. Major win!
  • They don’t travel far at all. Often under fifteen minutes by car or 45 minutes by public transportation. Less global warming more great weather.
  • When I choose to give them to a friend or local thrift store they will be treasured as the gems they are and snapped up again by savvy shoppers.

Last year I went to a variety of sailing schools to learn to competently sail a yacht or dingy. I spent a year learning something so new to me my brain ached and so did my body after very windy days…and I love it! Joining a local sailing club affords me discounts on my zero carbon hobby and allows me the ability to take friends out for a beautiful day too.

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This year I am learning to play polo. All new rules all new whole body workout and balance work at its finest. Another green sport played outdoors with other humans and horses all working in teams and cooperating while competing and learning on a fast curve…as my coach says you only leave the field one way if you ignore the rules…in an ambulance or life flight helicopter. I always want to play another day so I catch on quick!

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  1. I want the earth to live another day too so I strive to live in a way that enhances everyone’s opportunity to live another day in peace and prosperity.
  2. Hobbies that are green enhance everyone’s enjoyment.
  3. Workouts outside don’t need well lit air conditioned gyms, with bleached infused workout towels and chemical soaps (but if that makes you happy who am I to tell you how to get your sweat on) but for me that was a toxic way to work out and caused allergic reactions to the chemical cleaners. I am a canary.
  4. I don’t need to take vitamin D supplements as the sun is abundant even in the early morning.
  5. I get to wear my cowboy boots more often without line dancing.
  6. I meet and bond with players versus being next to people at the gym.

On the bijouterie front I remanufacture jewelry here in San Diego so I’m not adding to the issues of conflict minerals and mining slavery and injustices. I buy broken stones and recut them, I buy mining cast off parcels of rock and use water and grit to cut them. I recycle silver and gold to make the settings and I take buy backs from my clients. Here is why buying from your local remanufacturer versus the HSN or QVC is a planetary win.

New Jewels 007

  • There are no conflict diamonds or rubies unless you are referring to the fact that your aunt wanted the ring grandma gave you. Want to preserve her legacy and make sure all the cousins have something from the family jewels. Break it up and make a charm using the stones for each or make earrings. The possibilities are only as finite as your imagination.
  • No additional stress on the planet from mining.
  • No sweatshop labor to cut the gems (sweatshop in my world is me on a hot August day).
  • No sourcing through dodgy governments or buying cartels who routinely abuse their citizens and your wallet.

So I’ve probably rambled on too long so I will release you dear reader with a question.

Are there easy ways you can lower your carbon footprint while also enhancing your individual life?

I would love to hear from you.

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Today’s Word is Gratitude

November 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm (Letting go, LoVe, Relationships, Sailing, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

In a fast moving techno saturated world I can easily become distracted from the obvious…my health, a beautiful tree or flower and the love of my friends and families. Lest you think I live in harmony I assure I live far from a perfect existence…but then again that isn’t the point is it? The point is to be present for all of it. Less judgement more understanding and pure enjoyment.

I live in a temperate paradise next to the Big Blue Pacific. I am thankful this and everyday for the live giving ocean, the gentle winds and the warm sun on my back and the food in my organic garden. The wind and sea conspire to race me while sailing on a recent afternoon. A friend ask when is sailing season over in San Diego? I replied never. Sailing really gets fun in the winter just like surfing.  

So I am thankful for my beautiful city and the characters it holds including the guy who wasn’t looking and ran his overfull warehouse store cart into traffic and almost into my car…he clearly by his words was not having a an awesome Monday. I am grateful he was able to remind me how fortunate I am in my little corner of the world. I am grateful for my wonderful friends and co creatives at Hera Hub Mission Valley. Without whom I would not be in one of the most productive times in my life. A place to go and be in a wonderful group of supportive entrepreneurs is a gift indeed.

I share a house with my young adult son, two dogs and my elderly parents who sadly often forget their many blessings. I hope they remember to give thanks on Thursday when they dine with my brother for all his help in keeping them safe and independent at home with us. My son is a strong physical and mental presence for us all and I feel fortunate to have him there to help them as well. So you see we have a good thing  that can be awkward, crowded, tense and delightful (all in the same day often) and we have each other and that is the point.

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In Other News…Two Cali Women Plan on Winter in India

November 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm (Letting go, Relationships, Sailing, simple frugality, Travel) (, , , , , , , , )

So I am planning a trip to Mumbai this winter in time for Holi day with my friends. This means cutting expenses (I have added two new ones this past month) and paring my belongings further and looking at things with a different yet inexperienced eye. I have a dear friend who lives in Mumbai and we also want to go to Goa to relax on the beaches and do some sailing. My bff is coming along and she is slaving away in her cubicle until then to raise the necessary funds.

 

By slaving away in a cubicle I mean working for peasant wages for the proverbial rich uncle. I am sure he is a lovely man outside the office but inside he is a man bent on success to the point he is blinded by his own folly in chastising employees and family alike. Many divides exist in this Dante’s office scenario. We will release our heroine from her chains and allow her spirit to grow as we travel to India and beyond.

I am my own master, and by that I mean I am indentured to my elderly parents as there life supervisors as it were. Meal planner, cook and asset manager. I still have my own art to create and show as well as easing my young adult son further into manhood and adult life. I will asign various tasks to various talented folks to handle things while I am gone. They will do a fine job without me of that I am sure.

The beautiful thing here is we are both single and not encumbered by that most delicious of dishes, the human male. We are both huge fans of the species but know that often we must trek alone to learn our life lessons. We are along in different age ranges. She is the age of my daughter and yet as my friend (and their’s) does not come with a family history related to mine…sometimes a good thing.

I have a zillion Skymiles and so I will go that route to India and have saved some cash over the summer (when I wasn’t busy spending it) for expenses in India. We both love to sail boats and plan on doing so there as well. We also hope to rent or buy bicycles to ride around the beach towns but will use taxis in Mumbai for safety reasons! This trip is about new perspectives, new weather, new food, new cultures and all the wonder that is foreign travel.

Any random reader stumbling across my cyber-thoughts who has experience in the travels in India would be a welcome response.

 

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What I do versus what others think I do…

September 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm (Art, Letting go, Relationships, Sailing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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My typical day starts with waking up to late to get an early start and too early to get a late start…

I check my wall board calendar and prioritize the many things which clamor for my attention. I am in the middle of creating jewelry collections for some upcoming events and appointments as well as helping my antique parents manage their lives. I am single by choice because at this point it just makes sense. I have enough on my plate and poolenty of responsibility without wondering if I am spending enough time with w partner to make them feel loved. I know many of my friends dont “get it” but, hey I rarely ask others permission before I choose my own path in life…but again I digress.

So after strategically mapping out the day I get busy on the many piles from yesterday…or I go sailing. The latter not often enough, the former seem to keep growing!

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Another Reason to Clear the Clutter

May 28, 2012 at 10:48 pm (Letting go, LoVe, Sailing, simple frugality) (, , , , )

So as I window er marina shop for a sailboat I am understanding why I have come so far in downscaling my possessions. I need to be able to organize and pack for bareboating efficiently and easily. I also know that the boat will come with many surprise expenses and must be careful not to get caught up in the latest gadgets for my boat!

So today instead of hitting the beach or sailing I am gleaning through my possessions for an upcoming Craigslist and Ebay session. The proceeds to go into my sailing certification fund.

I know this will sound funny to some people reading this but, the fact is the less I own and the more I consider what I own the easier it is to be generous, spontaneous and understanding of the challenges of the many who have so much less than I do. I have a roof, food (with the chubby rolls to prove it) transportation, an education and my health. I wake up each day to these and know that the challenges I face each day are unlikely to be in these categories. I eat simply and mindfully for health and energy and pay attention to the messages my body has for me such as get more sleep, or be mindful of eating only when hungry and to keep fit.

Sailing has a profound way of keeping you in the moment every moment. Thinking about something else is hazardous when sailing and subtracts from the pure enjoyment that is sailing which should be revered.

So I leave you with this thought…what would you take up if you had the money and the time? Maybe you can already if you move towards that goal instead of waiting for some ethereal tomorrow where all your bills are paid and you have plenty of time. Today is the day to start living the life you dream of…

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