I agree with what many of you mentioned. Living sustainably is all about finding the right balance for you. Like eating right or exercising, you have to find what works for your life. And that is likely going to be different than what works for someone else.
Katy mentioned that she wished more eco-bloggers continued blogging seriously after their "eco-challenges," because in some ways, finding the balance is the more interesting and relevant story. And, I agree with that as well. It's inspiring to see that people can give up fridges or heat or shopping or what have you for a year, but it's in some ways even more inspiring to see how people handle the day to day of their lives year after year after year.
And I think that's one of the reasons why I've kept blogging. Why I don't gloss over my struggles.
I was talking to Honda a couple months ago about how everything I own is falling apart. This is what happens when you go from being a non-consumer to being a student to being unemployed. I haven't really bought much in 2.5 years, and well, it shows. My laptop is dead. My iPod is almost dead. I need all new shoes.
I haven't figured out yet how I'm going to handle all the new purchases I will inevitably have to make. The other day, I stood in the Bath aisle of Bed, Bath and Beyond for fifteen minutes trying to decide whether or not to buy a toothbrush holder. On the one hand, not having one had been bugging me and I was fairly certain a toothbrush holder was going to be hard to come by used. (And while I am generally very pro-used things, I also think the likelihood is high that if I found a used toothbrush holder it would be kinda grody.) On the other hand, a toothbrush holder is hardly a necessity.
If I had lacked a toothbrush holder during my year of non-consumerism, I would have sucked it up and gone without. I would have used a cup, or just left my toothbrush on the sink.
But I'm not a strict non-consumer anymore. I wanted a toothbrush holder and I could get a fairly inoffensive one fairly cheaply.
So I bought it. Because life is, above all, about finding balance. And while I don't plan to become a spendthrift, I also am ready to start buying a couple things here and there that might not be, strictly speaking, necessities.