Last year, after a New Year’s inspired run on decluttering my home, I learned that the less stuff I have, the less I have to organize. It’s certainly a work in progress (always the desk!) but it’s helping me to not be so attached to having, acquiring, buying, and storing so much stuff – even if my small house forces the issue. This fall the Rethink Waste Project “Less Is More” focus isn’t just about rethinking the accumulation of stuff in our lives, it’s also about finding other opportunities to reduce waste and increase health, resources and more.
Less Purchases, is More Time (and less debt)
Do I want it? Sure! Do need it? Ooh that can be a tough one. If you actually ask that question to yourself when making purchases, more often than not you find you really don’t. And with each purchase you make you spend money, that you work hard to earn, maybe in lieu of free time with friends and family and doing things that make you feel connected. So you buy more stuff. We’re stuck in a never ending cycle of consuming and it’s effecting the earth in a big way. For every item we buy, the impacts to our environment are mostly upstream out of sight. For a great visual on this check out The Story of Stuff. After 20 minutes your habits will be changed for the better.
Instead of replacing, consider repairing! Stay tuned for Rethink Waste Project’s Repair Cafe, coming this fall!
Less Chemicals, is More Health
Our everyday lives are inundated with exposure to chemicals. From fire retardants in our furniture (and baby products!) to pesticide residue on our food and lawns. One simple way to remove exposure to chemicals, save money, and reduce waste is to replace your slew of individualized cleaning products with a DIY clean green kit. Check out these simple recipes and replace your products as they run out.
Want to learn more about the effect of toxins in our environment? Check out the screening of Living Downstream, screening September 21st at The Environmental Center.
Less Packaging, is More Resources
10% of of the cost of our purchases simply pays for packaging – packaging that ultimately has to go somewhere else – hopefully to be reused or composted, maybe recycled, but often headed to the landfill. When we buy over packaged products we are using precious resources to just get an item from A to B, and there are alternatives. Fresh produce and the bulk aisle are our best ways to not only avoid excess packaging and waste, but to ensure we are buying unprocessed real food which is better for our health in the long run.
Less Work is More Time
After maternity leave I returned to work 4 days instead of 5, and although it decreased my income by ~20%, the increase in free time makes it more than worth it. Check out these 3 great animated videos to get psyched up to live more, with less.