Have you ever had so much fun that you completely forgot to take pictures? That’s what happens when the day is all about great food, friends, and silly games. Our friends Red & Jen (that’s them on the left) hosted a Thanksgiving potluck, and you know what? I didn’t see a lick of plastic. Okay, maybe I just wasn’t looking for it. Because sometimes I just have to turn off my “Fake Plastic Fish” brain and turn on my “connecting with others and forgetting about judgments” brain. I kinda wish that part of my gray matter would light up more often.
So here are a few notes with only a few pictures (which were actually taken by Jen and sent to me the next day!)
1) Michael and I got up early Thanksgiving morning and cooked butternut squash pie with a gluten-free pecan crust, baked yams (w/ butter, brown sugar, & lemon juice), and Autumn Harvest Salad with Persimmons. I got a little frantic time-wise towards the end. I should have made the pie crust the day before and let it cool down because it burned after I filled it and cooked it again while it was still hot.
2) Our contribution was plastic-free except for the cap of the milk bottle used for the pie filling.
3) Did you know that butternut squash can be substituted for pumpkin and tastes just the same? In fact, at the farmer’s market, we were told that often canned pumpkin is actually butternut squash. Of course, we don’t use canned pumpkin, opting for actual pumpkin. So the squash was way easier to prepare as well.
4) Each attendee brought one or more dishes in reusable, non-plastic containers. In fact, Michael and I were probably the only ones who brought plastic –schlepping two insulated food carriers on BART across the Bay. Of course, they were food carriers we’ve had for years. And why not use them?
5) Jen laid out all reusable dishes, glasses, utensils, and cloth bandanas that she uses as napkins.
6) Jen also proudly displayed her own water bottle cozy, inspired after my travel mug debacle. One tube sock and a safety pin. What a gal.
7) Jen also showed her handiwork creating a glamorous outfit for Tiger Boo, the best-dressed lady at the party.
8) Between dinner and dessert, we played Apples to Apples, which is a scream even though the card decks come wrapped in plastic. Okay, I guess I did notice some plastic. :-)
9) We brought home leftovers in the same dishes we’d brought with us. No plastic wrap required.
Friday: Buy Nothing Day
Once again, no camera. Not only did I not buy anything, I turned off my computer, cell phone, television, and attempted to live without lights for the entire day. I didn’t leave the house for fear of being tempted into buying something. And was I bored? No way.
First of all, I had Soots and Arya to entertain me. (Photo taken the next day. No camera allowed either.)
I got a lot of chores done. Chores and projects that get ignored when I’m glued to the computer. And I cleaned up the pile of papers and boxes by my desk. Yeah, the one I wrote about earlier this year.
That night, I lit local beeswax candles and thought about how I’d like to have a day like this once a week. Maybe that’s unrealistic. But maybe not. We’ll see.
Saturday & Sunday: Crazy Shopping
I realize I’ve been writing about how Buy Nothing Day should extend to the rest of the year. But Nick Aster from Triple Pundit makes a good point. In his post, “Black Friday? Buy Nothing Day? How About Buy Something Responsible Day?” Nick writes:
…the idea is to make a concerted effort to encourage spending some extra money the day after Thanksgiving at businesses who are making sustainable efforts — be they sourcing and employing locally, producing ecologically minded goods, or just making an honest effort at reducing their footprint on the earth…. The point is to actively stimulate a new, greener economy a “BUYcott” could accomplish much more than a “BOYcott.”
And that’s exactly what I did:
- Secondhand sweaters and a pair of used Simple shoes from Rockridge Rags
- Fair trade organic chocolate, a fair trade knitted summer hat, and a fair trade embroidered shirt from Global Exchange’s Berkeley store.
- A couple of organic, fruit-pigmented cosmetics from 100% Pure (more on that in a future post)
- Two pairs of organic cotton pants from See Jane Run
- A little metal pencil sharpener to carry with me from Elmwood Stationers
- Organic produce from the Temescal farmers market
Plus, I took several bags of stuff to Goodwill.
All this shopping was via bicycle of course, except for several pairs of organic cotton underwear from PACT, the only things I bought online, and believe me — I need them!
So what do you think? As I wrote in my post about plastic-free binders, I think we need both reducing overall consumption and also supporting sustainable businesses. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Although, at this point, I think I’m pretty much done with discretionary shopping for another year!