Wednesday, March 04, 2009

My world was better with just ESPN

7 weeks of being in India, away from the US economy helped put distance between me and the stock market turns (mostly the downturns). It wasn’t like I didn’t have access to the news, I just insisted on limiting my vision to ESPN, the academy awards and the occasional email from work. I figured that the true spirit of being on vacation was taking a break from it all. That, and of course, the evening cocktail.

It took 6 days to wipe off 7 weeks of living in oblivion and for me to start wearing my ‘the economy is bad’ look which I believe is a combination of worry, frugality and hope (in Obama). And so, like everyone around, I will accept that 2009 will be a tough year, 2010 will be a better year and in the meanwhile.... I will be frugal. Whether it is wondering if it’s worth spending $152 on a pair of 7 for all mankind jeans or wondering if that flight to DC is really worth it, conserving will become a priority for me.

And so, while talking cheap and talking green, here's a list of products that come highly recommended from CNN and Parenting.

The EcoPod absorbs vibrations and shock in washers and dryers, something that (who knew?) wastes a lot of energy and money. You just prop your appliances up on the pads, they will magically turn into clean, green washing machines that make less noise, break less frequently and are more energy efficient

Purely Anion fluorescent bulbs reduce carbon dioxide like other CFL light bulbs, but these ones claim to remove cigarette smoke, dust, mites, animal dander, and other particles, too (in a complicated process that somehow generates negative ions, which is good.) Let me know when they've invented a light bulb that can wash the dishes, too. Then I'll be super impressed., $18.88

Plug the Sensor Plug into the wall, and it will automatically turn off electronic devices when no motion is detected for 2-6 minutes. (Or set it so that it stays on only when light level is low.) You'll save loads of energy (and money) without even realizing it., $19.99

Mohawk takes recycled, renewable flooring seriously, by taking eco-savvy steps in manufacturing and using recycled materials. One in every four plastic bottles recycled in North America becomes is turned into Mohawk carpets, which also just happen to be a mom's dream come true; Mohawk claims they are completely stain-proof. And the hardwood floors can be bought in panels and easily assembled and removed as needed

You won't be killing any trees with Green Apple paper products. Banana Paper notebooks are made from discarded banana leaves and recycled paper and come in pretty, bold designs. A percentage of each purchase is donated to the Earth University of Costa Rica, which teaches sustainable agriculture practices to people in rainforest regions, $6.99

Naturescast uses dead barks, shrubs, twigs, and leaves to make earthy yet glamorous pieces from sandals to chunky bangles., Sandals $15, bangles $15

The PowerGorilla Portable Laptop Charger allows tech-geeks/eco-nerds to power their laptops, cell phones, and even portable DVD players with the sun.

I loved a quote that I read in an article today on why being frugal is now chic: “What I am saying is that we have moved from an era of conspicuous consumption to an era of considered consumption," Kit Yarrow, consumer psychologist and professor at the Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

This is true. It's not about flashing that designer handbag, or Costa Rican vacation in your neighbors face anymore. It is about being thoughtful about your purchases and of the situation of the people around you.

For me, I'm just glad that my badge still worked when I walked in last week.

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