Thursday, November 15, 2007

21st Century Consumer Man

I don't know if the first decade of the 21st century will be the time that Americans finally wake up to embrace the principle that small is better (a pursuit that really consumed me when I was a college student in the 1980s). But I'm really feeling like a part of that movement right now: Today my reusable ACME shopping bags finally arrived and I had a chance to head to the shopping center with them and my Xtracycle. That's about $40 worth of groceries, etc., below in two of the bags on the left side of the bike. The bags aren't full and I haven't even begun to use the other side of the bike! And, it's also possible to strap stuff to the snap deck above the rear wheel, meaning I should easily be able to carry two and three times as much stuff. Pretty exciting. And the bike handled like a dream on the way home, even with the weight being all on one side.
The pic, by the way, was taken with another consumer good that also came in the post, today. This purchase was a good bit more expensive than the shopping bags -- a camcorder (a Panasonic SDR-H18) that I bought for work purposes (I need to record some of my work with my chaplain students). The camcorder can take small stills in addition to recording video.

So, I am indeed willing to admit that some of the thrill I feel tonight may be the joy of good old-fashioned consumerism (it's fun to play with new toys!). But there is some genuine being kind to the earth in there as well. And, in the small is better department, the camcorder is wonderfully compact (especially in comparison to the over-sized, outdated alternative without the editing features I need which I would have had to use otherwise).

Shabbat Shalom!


More pics of the (loaded) bike:

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