Thursday, May 17, 2007

Stop the madness

I called my cell phone company yesterday and told them to shut my cell off as my contract is up. I told the young man on the other end that it's been a hard winter, money-wise and that I'm paying $70.00 a month for a phone I might use four or five times a week, just to call home and talk to my kids and husband for five minutes or so (I use about a 150 minutes a month).

After expressing his sympathy for our financial straits, he offered to suspend my acount.

"Yeah." I said. "That will work. Then I can turn it back on when I'm ready to pay for it again." Though I really didn't plan to so I'm not sure why I said yes.

"Oh no. You'll still get a bill."

"Umm. On a suspended account that I'm not using?"

"Yes ma'am."

I quickly told him to stop the madness. Close the account.

Today I bought a pay as you go cell phone. $10 for the phone, 30.00 for 300 minutes. I should have done this months ago.

Stop the madness has become my battle cry.

I'm tired of being over-charged, tired astronomical gas prices that sometimes make me wonder if quitting work would be less expensive than driving the 34 miles to the office, and I'm especially tired of the climbing prices of groceries and clothing. Don't even get me started on how much it costs just to have electricity and running water (our water company doubled their billing rate two months ago and the electric bill went up 50.00 this winter--with no changes in how much power we're using).

There's a really interesting eco-village in Northern Missouri that has my attention. I'm not ready to move any time soon, but I think a lot of their decisions are smart and am wondering how many of them can be put in to practice in my own life. They use solar and wind power exclusively, don't waste anything at all--every scrap of food, every bit of fabric or piece of wood is earmarked for use. There are houses there built entirely out of construction left-overs, or adobe and straw. They fill their days with hard work and their evenings with community and/or family gatherings. Their cars run on used cooking oil and/or trash. They have huge organic gardens. Unfortunately making the shift to solar power is expensive as is the converter for the car so I won't be jumping on the eco-friendly wagon any time soon.

In lieu of that I am tackling the waste in our own lives. My next stop the madness target? The sattelite tv. If you see smoke coming from my part of the world call 911. It means I've been burned at the stake as a heretic.


Scotty said...

NOoooooooo, not the satellite TV! Aaargh, she's doing it to the remote as well!

Where's my matches?


Mary O. Paddock said...

Yeah. And at this rate I may be rationing the water and electricity as well.

Scotty said...

:-) I hear ya. My last power bill was $300+ - I've told the kids that;
a. if they don't turn the damn lights off I'll take the bulbs out
b. if they don't turn the TV off I'll activate the pin code required to even turn it on
c. if they don't turn off the X-box I'll take the controllers away.

And don't even get me started on the 20-minute showers...