Papers, pApErS, PAPERS!

Holy crap man. Isn’t it amazing how much stuff you find when you’re trying to move? Suzanne is a hoarder of important documents. Bills, pay stubs, notices, medical records… if it’s on paper it’s been saved for the past 7 years. So this weekend was spent sifting through papers. With some pizza and a shredder on hand we took to the task of shredding up the better portion of a decade worth of documents…

There’s a method to my madness though. I’m a seasoned vet when it comes to moving so I’ve been using this handy little tactic whenever we have to pack dedicates. Use the shreddings as padding and filler in the boxes. Works out great. Lord knows we have tons of it. While I don’t expect us to be bringing that many fragile objects up, my recent debacle with UPS has made me consider using it for everything and anything we’re bringing up.

On a side note though I’m quite happy with our progress. I disassembled my universal gym and broke down our Ikea bookshelf over the weekend as well. The weights aren’t coming and we’re still debating if we should bring the bookshelf. We have a LOT of reading material that’s coming with us and will need something to hold it but this is all dependent on if we’re getting a furnished place or not. If not then it’s coming. If so then we’ll chuck it in storage. I also find it disturbing that I managed to condense almost my entire wardrobe into one skinny dresser…

Okay so it doesn’t factor in my button-up shirts, suit and jeans but for the most part I’m about as light as I can possibly go. Mind you this includes spring, summer, fall and winter clothes… well maybe not Nunavut winter clothes. Southern Ontario clothing is more accurate. ;p

I’m pretty sure I’ll probably trim this down even further once d-day draws closer. I’ve never been a slave to fashion so parting with clothes is NOT a painstaking process for me. 😀

Dilemma and Concession

Living in the north will require a lot of compromise.  Compromise due to the availability of goods primarily, which is fine – except if they tease your principles.  For instance, I’m a vegetarian.  I’ve been a vegetarian for over half of my life now.  I plan on remaining that way after we move to Nunavut.  Yes, this will likely be exceptionally expensive if I shop exclusively for meat substitutes.  However, it will also mean consuming a lot of fresh produce – which as even those of us in southern Canada know, can be pricey at best, and not so fresh, at worst.  I’m not concerned though…this is something I can live with.

Sometimes it's hard to know which way to go... (Source: Andrew Beierle,

The problem I’m facing now is due to cold weather.  With temperature potential of well below even -20° C on a regular basis, all recommendations point to animal-based clothing.  I have investigated the option of synthetic materials compared to items like goose and duck down, and fur.  The synthetics would likely keep me warm enough on most days, but perhaps not on those days where extreme temperatures and wind chill dip to below -60° C.  We humans just simply have not been able to replicate the natural insulation that most polar animals have adapted with and survived through thousands of years.  The other issue is that most synthetic materials require a huge amount of energy and create waste in excess of items where animal products have been used.

You see my dilemma.

And so, I must consider what my principles mean to me.  I’ve always lived my life with the intention of minimizing my impact on the environment as much as possible.  I recognize that there are times where we must live off the earth, and absorb its resources – but we must never forget that we have been given so much from it.  I am not a vegan, so I am not completely against using animal products.  I do however try to use as little of them as possible.  If I do not need to use a product create by or from an animal, I will not.  If a suitable replacement is available, I will use that instead of the animal product.  This however can be a very expensive endeavour, and being completely animal-free takes dedication.

I’ve researched one particular company:  Canada Goose.  They are very forthright with regards to their animal usage and policies.  Their policies are sustainable and extensive testing of their products have allowed them to use the minimum amount of fur as possible.  They do not use endangered animals and respect hunting policies and limits.  They do not purchase down or feathers from suppliers that obtain these products by live plucking – this is an inhumane and cruel method of harvest.  Finally, they truly support the sustainability of traditional native hunting methods – considering this is an Inuit territory that we will be moving to, this is perhaps one of the most important parts.

As I have grown and accepted my reasons for becoming vegetarian in the first place, I believe my beliefs have matured.  Some people may call me hypocritical for even considering clothing made from animal products, but I’m not so sure.  I’ve never pushed my beliefs on others.  I’ve never stated that I do not ever use animal products.  I’ve only ever been a supporter of environmental and humane animal treatment.  I do not agree with fur for vanity, but I have always been a supporter of traditional native hunting rights…there is a level of respect intrinsic in the activity that some of us that use animal products just do not have.  I am not against those who eat meat – I just prefer that if they choose to do so, that efforts are made to understand where that meat comes from – in the hopes that humane methods of harvesting are sought.

It would appear that I have an important decision to make – one that I think I have already made.  I’m quite certain that I will have to succumb to the wilds that lay ahead of me and buy for survival, rather than principle.  Though, when it all comes down to it, I think that’s a good principle to have.

The Great Sort

Anyone who’s moved at least once in their lifetime knows how much crap you can accumulate over the years. Our sentimentality makes us cling to objects as though they are our lifeline despite them having been buried away in a basement, closet or shed for ages. Why can’t we ever just throw or give anything away? I’ve moved around for most of my adult life so I’ve grown accustomed to the whole moving process. This latest venture to Nunavut is one that’s going to pose probably the biggest packing challenge ever. How does one consolidate a decade worth of clutter into one move with limited space?

Phase 1 – The Great Sort – Thankfully we don’t live in an incredibly large place right now. If we did I’d dread having to sort through all the madness we could have amassed. My plan of attack is to use the basement as the Grand Sorting Station. Since the cats don’t hang out down there anymore I can use the space to start my three sections – The Taking Now Section, the Public Storage Section and the It’s Gotta Go Section. Course I can guarantee that as soon as I start moving forward with any of that the Terrible Twosome will want to inspect every little thing that’s going on. I think we’ll be leaving quite a few things for the apartment. We’ve got a nice array of lawn care supplies as well as bathroom and kitchen equipment that would come in handy.  Our landlord rocks so I’m sure we can work out some kind of deal. We’ll be leaving the place in far better shape than when we came here, that’s for sure.

I haven’t quite decided on when I’m going to take a stab at the first motions of sorting, but I imagine it to be sometime in the afternoon. I have to get a foothold in before Hurricane Suzanne comes rolling through. I’m not saying she’s a messy sorter or anything but she has what I deemed as Dyslexic Cleaning Tendencies or DCT. People who suffer from this condition don’t clean in a logical order, for example room by room or section by section, but more rather will be in all places at any given time. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s sense to the madness but her madness and my madness don’t match up well when it comes to that facet of our relationship so I just end up standing back and watching as the hurricane blows through then i resume my work.

…but then again I do have the latest episode of Ultimate Fighter PVR’d so I could very well become easily distracted….

Gotta loooove procrastination. 😉