Today started with an appointment to look at a desk I’d seen on craigslist. I’m a big fan of the CL, partially because who doesn’t like to save a buck? But more than saving a buck, my primary motivation is simply to not buy new things as much as possible. There is so much extraction from the earth, and buying new things just contributes to that. I know it is not sustainable. This isn’t even an opinion, it is the simple reality – we’ve got a closed system that we’re living in, and a closed system means that there are limits to every resource out there. There are bigger limits on things that are either less abundant by nature, or which take longer to grow and develop, but very real limits apply to everything we “consume” (which is not a term to apply only to food).

Regardless, I try to avoid being part of the buy-new lifestyle as much as I can. I know it is not always feasable. I simply make change where I can, which isn’t to say that I have made drastic changes all at once. It was about 3 years ago that I stopped buying paper towels and switched to using cloth towels for all cleaning. It works great, and I can no longer remember what I used paper towels for, let alone why.

Step by step I make changes that get me closer to where I want to be in this life. And so today, I bought a used desk. Gorgeous, as it happens, and I unexpectedly had a fantastic conversation with the seller of the desk. He is into environmental issues, especially sustainability, and so we happily chatted about how wonderful craigslist is, how good it is to avoid buying new.

It simply wasn’t a conversation I expected to have while buying a desk from someone in Georgetown, I admit!

And then at the farmers market, where I bought yet another tomato plant (brandywine this time), I had another interesting conversation. The farm I bought this plant (and some produce) from is apparently a collective. A spiritual collective, and a lot of the ideas sounded good. They all work, but they don’t have to worry about many of the things that we do when we’re locked into working jobs we might not like and which might not be fulfilling, but which we can’t get out of because we have to pay th erent, the utilities, the everything else just to keep our lives running.

Collectives are interesting, and the cooperative effort is very appealing to me. The spiritual aspect of this particular one is not. But they say they’re open to visitors, and I might just take a day and volunteer my time, see what I can learn, both about organic farming, as well as about collective living.

I’d love someday to be part of a vegan collective. A co-housing growing cooperative maybe. Someday.

And finally, I had an interesting conversation with my favorite barrista. This was not unexpected, since he’s an interesting person, and we always manage to have short but interesting conversations. Today was a bit about him becoming car-less. It was odd, in the way of random coincidences, because I’d just recently read someone’s story on them going car-less, and I found it very inspiring. For my barrista, it was a story of his car being towed, and him getting a notice a month later that he owed a whopping sum of money to get it out of their impound. He was surprised to get the letter, since he hadn’t noticed that his car wasn’t there. (This tells you how often he drives! I was more surprised to learn that he had a car at all.) So, since he didn’t want to pay a big sum of money, and since he had wanted to stop being a car owner anyway, he gave them the car in exchange for not owing them the big sum of money.

And so now he is officially car free. We talked about the blog I’d been reading recently about the person who went car-free two years ago, which has included a really long bike commute. I have been thinking more and more seriously about making that kind of committment.

Not to go completely car-free – I have a ridiculously cheap vehicle on which the insurance is hardly any amount at all, and I have one long trip to make every Saturday in a place where there just isn’t public transportation. They don’t even have taxis! I could likely find a way to make it work anyway (I’m not the only one going to the sanctuary, after all) but for now, I might as well keep my old truck for that trip every week.

But I did put in my name to be on the list of people moving to the other office location…the one that is not any closer, but which is a reasonable public transit commute. And in pouring over some online bike maps that people have made of the area, I was stunned to realize that if I was to try to bike to that area, 90% of it (a wild guess, but anyway a really large percentage) would be on a bike trail.

Not even a quietish road on which I’d be more comfortable, but an actual trail!

Of course the actual office location is in a really horrible area for bikes, but…but I still feel like there are some possibilities here.

Though it is doubtful that I would have any way of, say, showering once I got to work, and I also know that I’m a real wimp when it comes to cold and nasty weather.

Still, biking might just be an option for more of my life in the future.

I’m really excited by the possibilities.

bees and a flower