I learned this morning that if this whole thing were the lists, the stats in my imagination, this would be called a listicle.
Listicle n. a (newspaper, magazine, web site, etc.) article consisting primarily of a list.
What the hell, why not just continue in the list tradition. In looking back I find since January 2008 I had lists about stuff to purge, appliances, myths in America, my favorite blogs and internet strengths, visioning exercise questions, MLK volunteering challenges, ecofreak challenges, cleansing food and cleaning supplies.
This is what I wrote the first week of January:
What am I doing in the next year that will help with global warming – clearing the befouled air, that halo of atmosphere?
- Water I use
- Gas I burn driving
- Electrical energy I use
- Factory made food I consume
- Food from outside local area
- Factory products I consume
- Waste I produce
- Paper & Cardboard (or compost)
- Cloth shopping bags
- Cloth napkins
- Cloth hankies
- Cloth wipes
- Glass jars
Six weeks prior to today’s halfway mark listicle I felt the need to review where I was at with this general list. It is a thorough review without list specifics or many statistics. And this was done prior to my list of telephone, television, truck and internet elimination. Correction. Although elimination is a word I would prefer to use, reduction or change or substitution are each words better suited to what I hope to accomplish before the end of July. I will be eliminating costs while retaining usage in new ways.
Lists are a part of a small fraction of every month’s posts. In February I had a jump in posts on design and feminism, while lists were incorporated in my posts on decomposition rates for garbage, the dirty dozen products to keep out of the home, the major phone companies’ sins (including spying), electrical usage statistics, diets don’t work, global grocery bill comparisons, girlie goop, and a list of stuff white people like. Note: not included in the last list, but ironically one of the recent things documented at Stuff White People Like . . . You guessed it, statistics.
By March I all but eliminated lists. Indeed I only had two lists 1) quiz questions for television electricity usage and 2) losses. In April I listed worm attributes, Fauxgressive or anti-feminist despite list, cost of living items from the 60’s, old white men's hit list and all my slipped patterns / habits due to community projects. May’s lists were major. Besides the year to date review and the elimination post already mentioned. I will be reissuing my 26 item 2nd half of the year purge list soon.
This month of June ending tomorrow had some statistics on a manual pump and was followed by the list from Grist called How to talk to a Climate Skeptic. This is a cornucopia of a list too.
So, I started this year with my step one priority baselines of usage. These were the Riot for Austerity numbers with the American averages and the 90% reduction numbers alongside.
In the broadest sense, I have reduced electrical, water usage and have minimal trash. I just don’t buy things. My only purchases besides the solar oven, manual washer, toilet sink and food storage containers have been at the thrift store. Cleaning products, personal products, all paper goods and most plastics are gone. My fossil fuel usage is next to nothing and my food is primarily local. But even with these giant steps forward, the last half of this year will bring some serious eliminations, reductions and reuse/retrofits.
At this point I think I will continue with only the occasional list. I would love to generate some charts, just because it is geeky and I might have fun finally learning more mastery over the MS chart function. (Microsoft and mastery in the same sentence is oxymoronic, besides geeky.)
Thing is, I know myself well enough to know that on some day in the future I will be riveted by the numbers and want to get it all onto an excel spreadsheet. Yikes, I just can’t imagine right now why the fuck it seems worthy when the thought of it strikes me as more than a bit obsessive.
In part I believe that I have become critical of my own tendency to think what I am doing is special. I know better. There are people doing what I am doing much more completely, creatively, educationally, etc. I value this experience for my sake and it’s not for nothing. My angst is this; I am wobbly about what part of all this matters beyond my own musings.
Coffee mug via Despair, Inc