Friday, November 21, 2008

Waste Not

One of the things I appreciate about Lisa the Maid is that she is always helping us conserve. She turns off lights and outlets that have been left on (the outlets here all have an off switch if you're not using them). She's always opening the windows instead of turning on the air con. She doesn't use the fan we gave her for her room or the one in the kitchen. I appreciate all this, although we've yet to see any difference in our electricity bill.

But sometimes her focus on conservation is convicting. Like last week when the kids and I made American Indian pudding for fun in homeschool. We wanted to see what a traditional Wampanoag dessert was like. Turns out it's a good thing we weren't Wampanoag. It wasn't bad, but none of us wanted to try more than a few bites. Lisa came to me four times that day, asking me what to do with the leftovers. Each time I said, "We don't want it. You can throw it out." At the end of the day, it was still sitting on the stove, covered with a plate. I put it in a plastic bag and threw it down the garbage chute so she wouldn't know I'd thrown it. I get it - we're wasteful! And we probably should have eaten it given that there are starving people in the world who would love to eat a Wampanoag dessert even if it wasn't great. I am without excuse.

When we are back in the States, I'm going to ask her to wash our sheets once a week and run the air conditioners regularly. This is to keep the dust mite population at bay, or hopefully even diminish it. I suspect I will have to STRONGLY communicate the need for this and hope she doesn't ignore my request as she sometimes does with other things I ask her to do which are obviously wasteful. But it's been a good reminder that I should think twice about my consumerism.

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