Sled Dog Skippy

The Compact, Days 25-31

I stopped posting last week because I was dealing with a knee injury and was really depressed. Then my mom called and told me my grandma died. She was 95. It was difficult to be here, and not be able to go home. That was also depressing. Last week was not a good one.

Anyway, things are looking better. Here are the numbers:

Day 25
Nada

Day 26
Pet: $59.13 (dog food)
Gas (Skippy): $10.00

Day 27
nothing

Day 28
Misc: $23.58
This purchase was for some greeting cards & gifts. My best bud, MK, recently accepted a new job in NYC. I got her a happy congrats card and a little giftie. I also got a get well card for my mom, since she has been feeling ill for a while.

Grocery: $26.00

Day 29
Entertainment: $60
This was a big spend for us. We went to Marimba Madness with some new friends. Yes, we listened to Marimba music for several hours in a cool bar to help raise money for the Homer Council of the Arts. We ate deeeeelicous food (thank you Michael & Beth for buying our dinner!). And drank. And yes, we were merry. This was totally worth the splurge and was very fun.

Day 30
nothing

Day 31
nothing

So, month 1 down! I am continuing The Compact and am working on finding creative ways to get over my “shoppies.” I recently wanted to buy some clothes for my vacation. Instead of looking for deals or even thinking of investing in quality clothing, I just went to my closet, sorted and unpacked another box of summer clothes (a misnomer in Alaska) and played dress-up. I styled some outfits and had fun listening to trashy dance music. And the other good outcome is that I’m basically packed for my trip already! Um, yes, the trip is in March. I also sorted more clothes and had a nice pile to donate.

How are your compacting efforts going?

2 Responses to “The Compact, Days 25-31”

  1. Kim says:

    Hey Skippy, thanks for the update! Again, I’m very sorry to hear about your grandmother, and about the fact that you couldn’t go home. I hope you’re doing okay. I’m keeping you in my thoughts. :-)

    On a Compacty note, nice one, not buying new summery holiday clothes. I think buying summery things is one of the hardest things to resist.

    Things are going well in my Compacting. Nothing new so far. I am tempted to buy this novel I really want to read. Its a classic of 20th century Turkish literature, and I want to read it, because I’m dying for some fiction and because I think it will be culturally educational. But I just ‘rented’ a book by Pema Chodron (on meditation, etc) from my local yoga studio, so I’m putting off this book purchase as long as I can!

    We just got paid and for the first time since we’ve been in Istanbul, I think we might have a money surplus! But I am resisting the urge to splurge by keeping in mind our planned trip around eastern Turkey in the summer. This is my big goal.
    I have to say that at the moment, the Compact doesn’t feel so hard. But, this whole plastic thing, on the other hand… ITS INSANE! Since I’ve started noticing all the plastic and thinking about reducing it, I JUST FEEL LIKE MY LIFE IS BEING TAKEN OVER BY PLASTIC! I can’t escape! Even when I try to ask for something NOT to be put in a plastic bag, I am ignored and into a plastic bag it goes. Or at the market, which is so nice because everything is fresh and has minimal or no packaging, EVERYTHING is measured and put into a plastic bag. And pasta comes in plastic. And yogurt comes in a plastic bucket or tub. And shampoo and soap come in plastic. Its mental. I don’t know what to do. I feel completely swamped by it, and I don’t know what options I have. Sigh. If you have any words of encouragement or creative ideas about how to reuse plastic buckets or something please let me know.
    I am planning to switch to bar soap instead of soap and shower gel in plastic bottles, and when a friend from America comes to visit in March, I’m going to have her bring me lots of bar shampoo (which should mean I don’t even need to condition my hair anymore, according to the reviews I read about it!), and also switch to bar facial cleanser. So that will be a few plastic bottles eliminated from my life. But it seems like a drop in the bucket, you know?
    Okay, sorry for so much blabbing. I think you’re doing a great job simplifying, so don’t be too hard on yourself for your purchases! Keep going, Compact buddy! smooches.

  2. Skippy says:

    Hi Kim,

    Ah the plastic. I feel your pain. Today I spent more money on emergency soup rations for an upcoming storm (we sometimes lose power for a while in high winds)…I bought the ones in the tin cans, even though the dried soup was my favorite kind and made A LOT more (for less $$$)…but it came in a weird plastic packet. Dang it! And there is probably more salt and icky things in the canned soup than the dried….le sigh.

    Don’t be too hard on yourself with the de-plasticing. It truly is impossible to avoid in our current packaging state. Even my personal anti-plastic hero, Beth Terry of Fakeplasticfish.com STILL consumes plastic each month. She certainly consumes much less than most people but it’s still there. There are some things (like her kitty’s meds) that just won’t be packaged another way until our oil reserves run out and we can’t make it any other way. Or we wake up. I’d prefer the latter.

    Is there anyway you can learn to use a Turkish phrase to say “Can you please use this bag?” while handing a market seller a plastic baggie that you already have? Would that be met with revulsion or anger? If not, just try it! Maybe you could start a conversation and just say how much you enjoy the beauty of Istanbul and Turkey and you don’t want to see it covered in plastic. AND that you want to save that seller a little bit of money by not doling out a baggie to you. Saving money is always attractive!

    Carry a couple of baggies in your purse for those tasty snacks you buy! There are lots of re-useable totes you can fold into your purse or backpack if you make an impulse buy –but I know you aren’t…:) I’d avoid the weird polypro bags that everyone in America seems to love–they look like material or natural fibers but are still plastic!

    Plastic buckets….well, if you were here in Alaska, I’d have about 10 million uses for them because we can’t get enough of the bucket. :) If it’s a good size, try using it for other food storage. Before I started making my own yogurt, I’d use the old containers as Tupperwares for food storage or to take my salad to work. You can also poke holes in the bottom, paint ‘em and use them as planters.

    I also am the weirdo who takes my own food containers for leftovers to restaurants. I know. But whatever–I am embracing my dorkiness and I know it’s important for the planet. One person really CAN make a difference! The fact that you even realize how much plastic is in your life is much more than most other people will do (or, as it were, not do).

    HANG IN THERE, ENVIRO WARRIOR BUDDY!

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