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January First, 2010 – living in the present

A fresh dawn.  A new year.  A new decade.  A new moon.  Kiss 2009 goodbye, farewell.

ajz1.jpgI welcome this day and decade with open arms and a surprising thirst for firsts.

Having reflected on the past year and decade, and considered plans for the coming ones, I figured it’s time to focus on the present.  Just be.  Think, Act and Be in the present.

I was casually reading a local newspaper yesterday, and one word seemed to jump off the page:  Jazzercise.  A few words later, and I was pondering taking a Jazzercise class for free, at eleven on the morning of New Year’s Day.  The biggest challenge:  could I actually get my butt to a class on the morning after New Year’s eve?

So, guess what?  There I was, just a few hours ago, Jazzercising my way through Day One of TwentyTen, and it felt great.  Pretty funny.  Here’s to firsts.  Go get ’em.


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Friday, January 1, 2010

the sustainability spectrum – part 1

You buy organic food but you’re not sure what fair trade means.  Or maybe you’re a strict vegan who drives a hybrid.  You could be a religious recycler, or an energy curmudgeon, or just getting your feet wet into this “green” thing.  You have ideas about what’s right, and you have questions about what you can do better.


Join me as I take a trip along the sustainability spectrum, the matrix that connects us all here at the Alternative Consumer.  Meet people like you, and not like you.  Hear about their lives, what they buy, what they think about and how they live.  From housewives to college students, consumers to freegans, vegans to cattle farmers.  Then ask yourself, where do you fall on the Sustainability Spectrum?


Nicole Levine (pictured above) opens up the hatch of her BMW to grab a few reusable bags out of the back.  “I think about it all the time,” she says “every time I pick something up to buy it.”  Nicole works part time as a real estate appraiser in Santa Barbara.  She’s a mother of two and the wife of a lawyer.


She frequents small independent grocery stores like Gelstons and Lazy Acres.  Once a month she makes it down to the farmers market. Her cup holders are full of Coffee Bean cups that she brings back for refills.  “I’ve had this cup for a few weeks now, I just have them refill it” she says. (more…)

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