In case you can't read it, one of the bumper stickers says, "Use less stuff". That's the one that gives me the warm and fuzzies. Well, that and the fact that it's on a home-made bike mod. Who says you need to buy cute, fancy bike basket? Make your own! I think this also says a lot about the attitude in Fairbanks. There are a lot of people around here with the same can-do, make-do way of living and I so admire it.
On a related note, the blog "Non-Consumer Advocate" had a wonderful post a while ago about those of us who are "secretly frugal". I certainly don't go around talking about my frugal habits (or putting them on bumper stickers), mostly out of the fear of being seen as one of "those people". You know, preachy know-it-alls who think that their way of life is best and need to talk down to others. (I think my way of life is the best for me, and that people need to change their habits so that we don't
I wonder what most of the people in my life would think if I suddenly started talking about my (somewhat secret) environmentalism more often? Or exactly what steps Shane and I are taking to save money? Most people know we don't have much (and most of our friends are in similar situations) but it's still something that's awkward to talk about. People just don't talk about money. Perhaps if more of us did, we wouldn't feel the need to spend so much of it because we'd no longer feel the need to compete with each other for the latest and greatest Stuff. And no, I'm no more immune to it than anyone else is. I want nice things too! New clothes, a newer car that doesn't cost a fortune in gas ($75 for one tank last time), a house.... The difference is, my need to spend very little to stay out of debt is greater than my desire for fleeting material goods. But I think I'm losing out on a valuable support network by not talking about this more with friends. I think we are losing out by not talking about it with each other.