I am reading the book Zero Waste Home [aff link] by Bea Johnson that I got from the library. The book is all about simplifying life by reducing what you throw out. Some ideas from Bea:
I just finished with the book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. It is a convincing book. She began an experiment when she realized how much she had and began fasting from things to help bring her closer to God. And to listen what He wanted from her. She did 30 day fasts from things like media and spending. Lived with 7 pieces of clothing for a month. And spent a month praying the hours and taking a weekly Sabbaath.
By the end I was convicted. Do I really need to spend so much money when that money could be used to help more people? And my recycling has been pretty haphazard lately, so I am rinsing out my cans again. It will probably be a long time before I buy new clothes again.
This books is not a how to simplify type book. This is a "this is what I did" book that may inspire you to take action as well.
It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.
– Amelia Barr, novelist
The other day I threw out a can instead of recycling.
I believe in taking care of the earth. We have the right kind of bulbs. We recycle everything that can be recycled. I use cloth bags. We buy mainly locally and organic if we can. We use natural cosmetics, grooming products and cleaners.
Yet I could not bring myself to wash out the potato soup can. I was tired of washing out the cans. I didn’t want to ever have to do it again.
But, the next day I saw a can. I rinsed it out. I kept going.
We have enough guilt in our lives, without adding eco-guilt. Do what you can. Feel good when you lighten your ecological footprint. But, don’t kick yourself in the rear with it when you can’t be pure eco-friendly.
ARSO is an acronym used by people working with the environment. It stands for…
So what are things to Avoid?
What about Reducing?
What can you Substitute?
How can you Offset your carbon footprint?
Now since I am all for living simply, I would never suggest you start doing all of these at once. Choose one to work on this week and let us know how it went.
We woke up to a Snow Day today. We have about a foot of snow on the ground right now. I was thinking how wonderful it was to work from the house and not have to drive anywhere in this.
When my husband first got his job, we lived about 40 minutes away. In winter, especially it felt like a long commute. Others drive over an hour to get to his work.
We decided to get a house close to my husband’s work. Right now his drive is only 10 minutes (well 20 during the snow storm last night). And when I worked outside the home, it was only a 10 minute drive for me too. I looked for a place close to our new (at the time) house.
Cutting down the commute can have one of the biggest impacts on your every day life. This simplifies your life in a big way. If you live an hour from work – you are commuting for two hours a day. What else could you be doing for those 2 hours?
Shortening your commute also saves on gasoline and helps the environment. Longer commutes equal higher stress. When you have a long commute, time with family and friends and time for basic home and health maintenance dissolves. Bad traffic often leads to grumpy moods when you get home.
Is there any way you could find a house closer to where you work? This would be a perfect time to downsize. Some states even have grants and loans to help people live where they work.
Or if you don’t like your job anyway, you can begin looking for jobs closer to you. Even if the job pays less, you will be saving with fuel, wear and tear on the car, meals to go when you have no time to cook, etc.
If a new job or a new home isn’t in the picture for you right now, is there anyway you can telecommute a couple days a week. Or take public transportation so you can at least do something while you are going to work. At my husband’s work a few people got their work hours changed so they could all ride into work together. You can see how much money you would save with the Carpool Savings Calculator.
Just because you can’t move or change jobs now, doesn’t mean you can’t plan to do this for the future. Too often we think we are stuck – with our mortgage, in our jobs. We forget our choices. Things can change if you plan for them. Here is a 10 step plan for career change and here are resources to plan a relocation.
Is your job and commute worth the effects on your lifestyle?