Seductive Sirius

On January 5, 2015, I posted this on my Facebook page:

Ah, Sirius, how I have loved you! We have traveled many miles together and I have enjoyed your company immensely, your commercial free programming, your myriad of stations to choose from, the way you are always there for me even when I’m driving through remote places. But today’s topic is entitlement. I really, really tried to justify my NEED for satellite radio. I travel a lot. It’s commercial free. I listen to Christian music on The Message. But truly, there’s no way I can justify $200+ a year. Sure, I was given the option to change to a more affordable subscription and I really wanted it. But I stood fast on my decision and kept saying no thank you. And for the price I pay for my semi-annual subscription, I can support several of my favorite artists by buying their albums.

Sirius has been very diligent in contacting me every few weeks to let me know about their latest and greatest offer to win me back.  Typically their flyers go into the shredder and their emails into my trashcan, but this week, well, this week they came out with something fabulous.  The letter was titled Enjoy Thanksgiving with a Free Listening Event!  From November 19 – December 2, they are turning my Sirius radio back on – and I can listen for free! The fine print said that all I need to do is go to sirusxm.com/listen1 to learn more.  No commitment is necessary!  If I do want to continue my subscription, it will only be $20 for the first five months.  What a fantastic offer!  I actually considered it for about twenty-four hours.

Sirius

In the end, I’ve decided I’m going to pass.  While I do enjoy commercial free music, at the end of the day, I still can’t justify it.  It’s also possible that as a big corporation Sirius XM Radio, Inc., might not be one I want to patronize. Unfortunately, there’s not enough information available about them (other than financial) for me to make an informed decision so I will have to let this offer pass me by.

Are you ever tempted by clever advertising?  What offers are hard for you to refuse? 

Traveling

This week I’ve been away from home on business.  The meetings went well – we built some bridges, shared ideas, solved some problems, and even had time for a little fun.  Still, I can’t tell you how great it felt to put my key in the front door, walk over the threshold, put down my bags, and be back home.  It seems like Hannah felt the same way – she had to go lay in her crate for a few minutes and then systematically take every toy out of her toy basket and play with it a little bit.

When I was much younger, I thought it would be fun and glamorous to travel for work, that it would make me feel important and significant.  I admit I was a little envious of those folks that traveled in first class, all decked out in their business attire.  I imagined them running successful businesses, making important decisions, living glamorous lives. 

Like so many things I once believed, that’s not really how it is. Traveling is exhausting, unpredictable, and is subject to weather and the abilities, moods, and cooperation of many different people. A lot of people I talk with say they would prefer not to travel for work, they only do it because they have to.  There are others who enjoy that life, however, I’m not one of them.

Even though we ate at nice restaurants, (we had a lovely meal at Terra Preta and it was a delightful surprise to find that the Detroit Street LunchBox at the Detroit airport features Zingerman’s products!), I feel like I need to fast for a day to let my body recover.  I’m looking forward to eating meals I’ve prepared with my own hands and having some time for contemplation after dinner while I do the dishes. 

There was also the problem of trying to find places to patronize that had a positive rating in the Better World Shopping Guide.  One day the only lunch option we could find was Panera, with a D+ rating.  They did send me a survey after the visit and I took the opportunity to add a comment asking them to please make changes that would change their rating.  Marriott is one of the preferred hotels for my company, so I stayed at the Courtyard, which has a B rating.  Unfortunately, the gas station where I filled up on the way to the airport was an Exxon station, which scores an F and is rated as the number 1 worst corporation on the planet.  Yikes!  There were probably other stations I could have stopped at, but since I was running a little behind schedule and hadn’t planned ahead to find a preferred station, I opted for convenience. 

Now that I’ve got my bags unpacked, my lunch ready for tomorrow, and my slippers on, it’s time to relax a bit in the recliner and say a little prayer of gratitude for all the blessings and comforts of home. 

How do you feel about traveling for work? 

Shopping Updates

Not gonna lie, being a conscious consumer isn’t easy or cheap!  Here are a few updates from October.

Since colder weather is fast approaching, I want to purchase some new fair trade, organic flannel sheets for my bed.  Normally, this is something I would pick up at Target or Bed, Bath, & Beyond, both of whom carry organic sheets.  Unfortunately, the Better World Shopping Guide rates Target as a D and Bed, Bath, & Beyond as a D+.  Since I’m trying to only patronize companies with a B+ or higher rating, both of these are off the list. 

Thankfully there are some options online, but they are a lot more expensive than what I would pay at a local retailer.  And by more expensive, I mean about four or five times more expensive.  It’s one of those moments where it’s time to put up or shut up.  The frugal side of me has a hard time paying that much for bedding, but the conscious consumer side of me wants to do the right thing and reward companies who also do the right thing.  It’s going to require more time and thought to thoroughly research and make a good decision so I will report back once I figure it out. 

Today I received an email letting me know that Dr. Bronner’s was just certified as a B Corporation.  Yeah, I didn’t know what exactly that was either, so I checked out the B Corporation website.  Their trademark states: A Celebration For People Using Business As A Force For Good. Yes! There are 1468 B Corporations in 42 countries in 130 industries, which is really encouraging.  There’s a search engine on the site that will help you find companies in your area with this certification.  Maybe they will lead me to a good source for organic flannel sheets!

Overall I’ve been really pleased with all the products I ordered from Dr. Bronners, with only one exception.  The Peppermint Organic Hand & Body Lotion smells wonderful, but it doesn’t seem to moisturize my skin as much as I need and it leaves a rather slimy residue behind.  Perhaps their body balm is more the type of product I need – I’ll be giving that a try when I place my next order.  Their lip balm is fabulous, though, probably the best product I’ve ever used. 

Bronners Lip Balm

A few weeks have passed since I talked about it, but I still haven’t been able to force myself to go the mall to do some winter clothes shopping.  Thankfully, we’ve had some nice warm weather this week so it hasn’t been a problem.  To be honest, the trip probably isn’t going to happen until it absolutely has to.  Instead I’ve gone to a couple of consignment stores, Clothes Mentor and Plato’s Closet, and some local thrift stores and found a few items to add to my wardrobe.

What stores do you patronize?  How do you feel about trying to be a conscious consumer?