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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Change Everything…or at Least Question Everything

January 14, 2013 at 8:43 pm (Eating Nature, Freedom, Health, Letting go) (, , , , , , , , , , )

As I begin another calendar year and focus on what I want to achieve going in it occurs to me that I really need to question more of my accepted beliefs.

282981_10151200469048002_1847061650_nThese beliefs are as simple as I think bread needs to be served with a meal down to what I put in my coffee or tea. It is also as complex as why I think a doctor must be consulted for health issues when I already know the answers or at least the question. I’m not saying stop seeing your doctor but, for me it comes down to doing everything in my power to stay healthy get healthier while adapting to a more positive lifestyle.

So when I gave up grains (excepting quinoa) I started asking why when we have so many fresh whole food choices the American table always seems to include gluten loaded GMO wheat bread made with a variety of toxins designed to preserve your bread and shorten your life. I ask why we think certain foods are breakfast foods and others are for lunch or dessert. In the US we think of the entrée as the main course and yet the word which is French means appetizer or first course.

I gave up buying clothes made anywhere except my hometown San Diego unless they are from a clothes swap or local thrift store. My thought process is this that since an item is second or third hand it is okay since it was already transported here for its first incarnation. The thrift buying and swapping has allowed me the budget to buy local designer made clothes. ( https://www.facebook.com/break.themould.9?fref=ts, https://www.facebook.com/staciemayclothing?fref=ts ) I no longer keep clothes in a variety of sizes. They fit or they are sent on the next lucky wearer. When a friend my size comments on how much they love something I am wearing I make a mental note and when it is time to move on I offer it to said friend. I will still enjoy seeing it on someone new.

My personal bath supplies involved sourcing from a local woman who makes all her soaps and I choose the bamboo charcoal soap for my easily irritated skin. Her bath bombs are da’ bomb and come in delightful essential oil scents.  ( https://www.facebook.com/MyLuckyDragon?fref=ts ).

My food is now sourced from a variety of farmer’s markets as well as the grocer and includes much more organic choices. The microwave sits dormant. I don’t buy food in cans and I buy nothing to be microwaved. I enjoy my life too much to succumb to illness and degenerative disease which can be prevented through lifestyle adjustment.

I have given away a large number of books yet again as I realize they are available online, e-book and library. A rare on American History stays in the small keeper collection. The others were joyfully received by the new owners.

I don’t keep a lot of photos and I have had friends and family look at me funny when I tell them it is about living in the present. Our ancestors before camera had to remember people in their hearts. I have given away many and have one shoebox of photos. When the lid won’t close it is time to go through them again.

I threw away multi vitamins and supplements which are bio available in my new living food diet. Too many additives and sugars in them.

I don’t need to own, insure, store and house everything i have ever owned or desired. Often I think that idea which has bubbled into hoarding for some folks comes from wanting a memory of the $ money spent. A reminder or perhaps we think we can cash it out one day and maybe today is that day.

Sometimes in love and stuff it is time to move on…

 

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Local Designers Rock!

December 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Local Designers Rock!

This dress was made for me by SYC Designs here in San Diego. Sameerha is an amazing talent. I buy local, eat local and manufacture local

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Fashion as Revolution

November 19, 2012 at 9:22 pm (Art, Freedom, Letting go) (, , , , , , , , , )

Fashion is often dismissed as part of a lifestyle which is offensive to those who toil in sweatshops and cannot afford those very items they create.

I propose a different vision. Fashion is at the basis of our daily communication with our world professionally and personally. By creating and manufacturing, distributing and selling all within a region realigns our economy to our lifestyles and wages. I’m suggesting something as basic as a local sustainable economy reflective of the needs of San Diegans.

The flip side of this coin is developing the top end resale business. A perfect compliment to buying locally manufactured clothes, jewelry, food etc. is the upcycle and reuse of those outside elements already in our midst.  Those Dior pumps from 1992 look amazing with Stacie May’s Gatsby inspired modern take on the Afternoon cocktail dress. The 1960’s Cini of Newport beach California sterling jewelry lavalieres are a divine accessory for so many Southern California moods and events.

Part of my lifestyle is recognizing that I need to add more whole foods and organic into my life as I transition to less meat and more raw fruits and vegetable. I feel so good when I eat macrobiotic, locally grown organic food. I am energized after eating versus wanting to take a nap. One restaurant near me that offers only wholesome choices is Casa De Luz in North Park offering fresh, local organic cuisine. Everything I have tried is so flavorful, clean and fresh I am constantly delighted by their innovative combinations. I am restored to see this as a growing food movement in contradiction to corporate farming and GMO spread as local fashion is to the sweat shops and corporate management of cheap, poorly made fashion.

The argument designed to confuse is that all this localization costs more. It does not as it fits an equilibrium which we must strive for. I don’t need six cheap tops I need versatile quality and I can do that with local made and consignment and thrift stores to find quality vintage finds…often once made in America.

Soyez le change….I am the change in my consumer choices.

Local fashion talent

Paul Rico interprets the little black dress for San Diego’s women.

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