I am giving up Corporate America for Lent

CB022158Not really… since I don’t celebrate Lent and especially since I am far from religious (pretty much as far to the left as you can get). However, I have decided to try my hand at giving up “Corporate America” for the month of March. Yes, I know… today is already the 5th — but I’ve been pretty good for the last 5 days. Plus March has 31 days… so cut me a break, it’s a long month.

So what is my definition of Corporate America? You know, the Man, Big Brother, Corporate Fat Cats and all the others. Large, corporate chains and mega stores — who I often give my business to. I’m done… at least for the month of March. So who does that cut out? For starters, all chain grocery stores (Stop and Shop, Shaws and Roche Brothers) — which is sort of how this idea started. The Husband and I were sitting around and chatting about ways to reduce our trash and recycling output and ways to be more sustainable… when I made the comment that I bet we could live without ever going to a “real” grocery store.

Now obviously I still need to give my money to these criminals in the form of gas and other essentials, but I can go a month without going to a regular grocery store. At least I think I can. Now, some could argue that Roche Brother’s (a local grocery chain) is really a local business; true… but I hate that place  — which is a story for another time.

I will allow myself to go to Trader Joe’s — because I support what they are trying to do. I will focus my shopping on Russo’s Market in Watertown, local fish and meat shops and any other place I feel deserves some business in the down-turned economy. Granted, this would be a lot easier during the summer months, when local farmer’s markets are brimming with local fruits and vegetables… but that’s what challenges are for.

I’m just waiting for some of you to ask… what about your beloved? What about STARBUCKS!? Good question. I’ve already had it this month… every day except for today. At least SB tries to do their part for the environment… but I will try to cut back. My plan is to avoid anything and everything that’s not a local business as much as I can. That doesn’t mean I won’t buy products that aren’t made locally — that’s an entirely different challenge. I will do my best to buy local products whenever I can, but it’s not always possible. Obviously if I need to urgently buy something that can’t wait (like medication, etc.) I will make an exception — but for the most part, see you later you greedy moguls.

So how I have been doing so far? So far, so good! I did pick up a few things at Roche Brother’s on the 1st, before I knew I was going to do this challenge. The bulk of my groceries this week came from Russo’s though… and then I stopped by Super 88 today (which I will write about later). I plan to use what I already have in my pantry and freezer and if I need something that would normally require a grocery store visit, I will try to be creative in my purchases.

What I’m really hoping will happen from this experiment is that we significantly reduce our recycling. We recycle more than 50% of our garbage now (probably closer to 75% — we’ve been doing great with my New Year’s resolution)… and much of it is from products that “make life easy” — like juice boxes, individual servings of crackers and cookies, individually wrapped cheese, frozen PB & J sandwiches, bottles of flavored water, etc. So this will force me to portion things out myself and to use more washable containers vs. ziploc baggies (which we try to do anyway). I already bought a little reusable juice box for the boy… and he is very excited to use  it. It will also force to make home made things more often, which I have been trying to do anyway.

So, we’ll see how things go. I like a challenge… I get bored easily and like to mix things up — so this should be fun! Anyone want to join me???



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