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Columns > John Whitler

Published: 2007/12/21
by John Whitler

New Beginnings

The end of the calendar year represents a time of change, or at least an excuse to talk about the changes we hope to make in the coming year. Personally I view each day as a new beginning, something someone much wiser once said that has stuck with me. So whether you like to make change happen every day or just a couple times of year, I would like to offer a few things to reflect on.
For me the music venue I frequent the most is about a mile and a half away. I am typically running late for the show and I end up in a taxi cab. My hope for the new year is to walk, ride a bus, or take the subway the next time I am going to a show.
In 2007, I virtually eliminated the purchasing of CDs in favor of online music purchases and exploring free music through podcasts. I hope to continue this trend in 2008, and although I am sure I will acquire new music, I hope to re-visit the music I have. My iTunes Library is out of control and totally unorganized. I really hope to explore the Smart Playlist feature as well. Here is a great link for someone other ideas are organizing your music collection.
When I am at a show, I will most definitely be drinking the most local beer that comes as draft. It is pretty sickening to see the number of bottles generated at each show. Local beer comes from closer to home, is typically fresher, and supports the people around you. Kegs can be reused and are much more efficient than individual bottles. Draft beer is often more economical as well, typically a pint (16.9oz) costs the same as a bottle (12oz).
For your pre-show indulgences, consider grabbing a growler or two from your local brewpub. If you are purchasing wine, again consider local wineries that use organic and sustainable farming practices, and use real cork to bottle their wine. Here is a great link to an article for the reasons why.
Shaving is certainly optional in the jamband community, as it should be. If you are considering shaving your beard during this New Year, or maybe this spring when it warms up, consider the type of razor you are using. The triple-blade-action I currently use is a vast improvement over the single blade disposable that was in my house growing up, but it seems I spend a heck of a lot on each razor and throw one away every two weeks or so, depending on my shaving frequency. I read a great article that highlights the benefits of what some might call, the old-fashioned or more traditional double-edge razor. Feel like saving $140 a year, check out this article.
The choices we make in the coming year can help improve the environment and save you money at the same time. Being conscious about our decisions sometimes takes a little more time and initial thought and investment, but usually pays off in the long run. Above all, making changes that are better for the environment makes me feel better and hopefully has a positive impact to those around me. A friend reminded me the other day how fortunate we are to even have the time to think about these choices. Most people around the world have to focus on their everyday needs and may not have any choices at all. If you are fortunate enough, or conscious enough, then the choice is clear, go green in 08.

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