As ever, I’m behind with my monthly updates on my word of the year. But part of that is because I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’ve decided to do something totally new with my ongoing word of the year project. I bought some domain names today and I have a plan so stay tuned!
But for now, my monthly update for March.
I did a terrible job of tracking receipts this month… as in all I have is two ferry tickets. And I don’t even have those because it was a work trip and I gave them to our business bookkeeper! So I really don’t know what I spent unless I go dig out all my bank statements and if we all wait for me to do that then this will never get written.
Glass Straws from GlassSipper
One thing I did get in March that was I was excited about were… my glass straws! I’m not a big straw user to begin with but, I do use them in smoothies because they just work better. I ditched the plastic straws and got these awesome glass straws from GlassSipper!
They’re a local company on Granville Island – they have a glass blowing studio that’s open to the public if you’re ever visiting Vancouver and they produce some beautiful things. I had no idea they did glass straws though until the owner posted about something business related in a female entrepreneur group I’m part of on Facebook. I looked up her company and voila… she was local to me AND she made glass straws!
I bought a starter pack and two heart straws all in the smoothie size. They just pop in the dishwasher and I love that they’re clear so I can see if they’re actually clean. I love them – use them every day! And they come with a lifetime warranty which made me very happy – I feel like I’ll use them for a long time to come.
Travel and Transportation
Ethan and I started the month with a trip to Victoria to speak about “Building Community Through Social Media” at the BC Farmers’ Market Association’s annual conference. It was a lot of fun. It’s been a while since Ethan and I have done a work trip together and it was one of our more enjoyable ones.
We took my mom’s little Toyota which is much better on gas than my truck and gave us more storage for our stuff. And we took the ferry, which I always enjoy. We did briefly talk about flying but it was spendy and I felt like from a consumption perspective the ferry might be the better choice (but after doing a little reading I found out that’s not always the case and that the environmental impact of all our travel options is a very complex thing!).
Once we got to Victoria we parked the car and walked everywhere we needed to go for the rest of the weekend so there was no gas used and no $$ for transit. And the city was in full spring mode with lots of cherry blossoms. The trip was also a business trip so the money we spent didn’t come directly out of my pocket (just indirectly as it’s our business so at the end of the day, we did pay for it all – but most of it was tax deductible!)
I drove more than usual this month as most of my errands were local. Not local enough to walk but too local to have any decent or reliable transit options (where I live transit is designed to get you efficiently in and out of Vancouver – not between suburbs, unfortunately). But I timed all my trips to be in minimal traffic so I wasn’t doing too much stop and start action.
I also did my annual car insurance renewal. We have government run car insurance in BC so options are very limited and every year my insurance goes up, despite a 10 year clean driving discount.
Food & Clothing
I didn’t buy any new clothes in March. And food was pretty uneventful – I didn’t make any big changes. Mostly just tried to be thoughtful about what I was eating and where it came from.
I did listen to this really interesting episode of the That’s So Maven Podcast with Megan Faletra of the Well Essentials that gave me a lot to think about. They covered a lot of big topics surrounding food: food culture, food sustainability and food security. And Megan is new to me but I plan to spend some significant time on her site where she tackles a lot of topics around sustainability – I think she could be a great resource for my 2018 word.
Health and Wellness
I don’t think I spent any money here…
But I spent lots of money here!
But what was shocking was how both companies shipped a tiny handful of open stock markers in huge boxes stuffed with paper and air filled pockets. That really made my stomach tighten up and made me feel like I’d be better off purchasing them at a slightly higher price when I’m near an art store in real life. I just wish I had a decent art store close to me… a decent art store and a decent book store… <insert sad face>.
I’ve noticed amazon does this a lot too and I hate it.
And to be honest, Blick’s had amazing prices but when I factored in the exchange rate and the shipping, it was only pennies cheaper. They just had some blending sets that I couldn’t find in Canada that were a good base to start from.
I also spent some money on dog food and a prescription refill for Sam, some kindle books and a couple of magazines, a pack of LED lightbulbs, some hyacinth bulbs for my front yard, and a new filter for my furnace.
A Few Things I Pondered
One thing that irritated me is that after all the news this past month about plastic straws being phased out at many restaurants or only distributed by request was an article in the Globe and Mail about balloons being the next big trend in decorating for events instead of flowers. Of course it was accompanied by lots of beautiful instagram photos.
I would link to the ridiculous article but you can only view it if you’re a Globe and Mail subscriber.
There’s been a lot in the news in Canada lately about the mess that our recycling system is in and the challenges it’s facing with China restricting what they will buy now:
- Your Lifestyle is Making Blue Box Recycling Unsustainable
- Toronto Wants Restaurants and Grocers to Stop Using Black Plastic
And it really drove home just how much we need to pay attention to the old adage, reduce, reuse, recycle where reduce and reuse come first and recycle is the last resort (well putting it in the trash is the real last resort but recycle is only one step above that). I liked this article on Sweden and their culture of encouraging people to reuse and repair items and their remarkable efficiency with dealing with their trash and recycling. I feel like we could do so much better here.
And then you see things like this… Dr Martens Scrap Their Lifetime Guarantee Range. That’s discouraging.
I look at my lineup of Converse sneakers… my high-tops I bought when I was 16 (nearly 30 years ago!) are still in great shape. The two low top pairs I bought a couple of years ago both have holes in them and need to be replaced. But with what? I love my Chucks. I love the emotional connection I have to the brand – their classic, timeless appeal. But their quality has sharply dropped in recent years, like so many other classic brands. And I don’t know if I can justify the purchase of a new pair.
But at the same time I really really really want a new pair – I feel like a 5 year old who wants to throw a temper tantrum over it all, which is silly.