Through the years I have intentionally simplified my life down, on every level I can. In a society where excess is the norm, and in many cases encouraged, it is a sure challenge. Considering the critical state of the planet and all the creatures that live here, this may be the worthiest challenge I can think of.
I thought it would be interesting, both for myself and for whoever might stumble upon this, to list all the ways I can think of where we have reduced here in our home and in our lives – lightened up our impact and limited down our consumption. The idea is to inspire further efforts. The idea is to ultimately live harmoniously with the planet and everything that lives on it. I think it is important to act as though everything we do matters to the life of another living being – because it really, really does.
R E D U C I N G it down, to a list…
- We drive only 2-3 times a month
- We only flush when needed (it is really less times a day than you might think!)
- We eat whole foods rather than packaged foods where ever possible, which allows us to buy much of our food in bulk
- We eat organically grown foods, almost only
- We eat fruit instead of fruit juice
- We buy bulk tea instead of tea bags (no need for box, tea bag package, tea bag, tag)
- We are vegetarian (it is stunning, the ratio of resources used to resource output in the meat industry)
- We have a water filtration system (no landfill filling plastic water bottles!)
- We compost
- We recycle everything we can
- We reuse what packaging is suitable for things like shipping materials (those awful plastic blister packs make great padding!)
- We shop at thrift stores almost exclusively. There are SO many useful things that people get rid of.
- What we do not buy at the thrift store we buy from small organic businesses (Check out VitalBodies.com for a great selection of carefully chosen organic bedding, towels, water filtration and other such sustainable household items).
- Our home is filled with natural materials and fibers, which means everything in it will biodegrade! Oh, how I love this!
- We use biodegradable, non-toxic cleaners
- We do not watch TV or movies (if you think about it, this really does fit on this list!)
- We have a “bug cup” with which we take spiders, flies, moths, and other creatures that get into our home, back outside so they can find what they need (often moths cannot seem to make their way back out). Nothing is squashed, flicked or swatted in our house.
- We bring our own cloth bags (some of which I made myself out of recycled fabrics) when we shop for food. Since we only shop once or twice a month, this requires a lot of bags! I forget every now and then and it is always stunningly A M A Z I N G how many bags just ONE TRIP OUT accumulates.
- I will add to this list as I can…
We often talk about “the things of things of things…” when you have things, it usually requires more things to maintain, update, coordinate with, recycle, get rid of, transport, etc those things, if you know what I mean. Less truly becomes more, as there is more time and energy for more useful, progressive, healthy endeavors.
I would love to hear ideas about how others reduce and give back to the earth. Comments are sincerely welcome.