This blog was started, and is intended to illustrate that environmentalism happens through small acts, is not difficult, and that it does not always have to be some big life changing event that forces you to live in the tree tops with no electricity. All that being said, one of my small acts was to start this blog to gain some friends to help me save the world.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Leaves

After that last post about wanting/using/needing less stuff there was an article that appeared re: the same subject matter (  What is funny about all this, is when you really start to think about it, you can apply a minimalist attitude to just about anything.  And although this is not much of a stretch, here is my thought for the day, apply this attitude to leaves.  Seriously I wrote about this last year, do not bag your leaves, it is pointless.  If you live in a part of the world where the leaves are falling now, don't bag them in plastic, use them (make those leaves work for you).  Saving the plastic bags would make you an awesome minimalist , at least in the plastic bag department, and that is huge. Any areas where you can cut back is awesome. 
I have been relived this year, because for every yard that I have seen bags and bags of leaves sitting in waiting for pick up I have also seen at least one yard using the leaves (but just fyi I would be even more happy if we could just eradicate this silly habit all together, then we could tackle bigger items, like I do not know maybe something like ending world hunger).  Raking fallen leaves into natural areas or sucking them up with an electric blower converted into a outdoor vacuum are great alternatives to plastic.  The other option is also just to leave a few on the leaves on the ground to act as mulch for your yard.  Bottom line is you do not need the plastic bags.  
I get that I probably preaching to the choir here (please read my blog :), not too desperate) and anyone that still uses plastic to dispose of leaves would most likely not be reading this blog.  But maybe it is your neighbor that is using plastic, and maybe you can have a friendly conversation about the benefits of not putting the leaves into plastic bags, and the time, energy, and money that could be saved by not doing so.  Maybe you write to your city council, or whatever sort of local government you have, and request that leaves do not have to be bagged to be collected, but maybe just left in piles at the curb (I know they do this in some places).  It is just a thought, and I am allowed to dream right.  I mean I see this advert on the television the other night for these stretchy bin bags that are supposed to keep more plastic out of the landfill.  Well this is another way to keep plastic out of the landfill and more money in your pocket.  Seems like such a dur! concept to me.  But it is helpful for me to see this sort of stuff, like leaves in plastic bags or stupid television commercials, because it offers a gentle reminder that others might need some gentle reminders.  Quick tangent before I end the post.  I was participated in a recycling volunteer event this weekend, and I was shocked by the number of people who still refused to recycle or were unaware of what you could recycle.  Anyway lets help people who don't know.  Lets spread the word that less is more, recycling is cool, and leaves do not belong in plastic.  Be a minimalist  save the planet.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

No more stuff please

So for the last few weeks I have really been struggling with this blog.  I was not able to figure out why until I saw a friends Facebook post the other morning.  All the post said was about giving up all her clothes except for 7 complete outfits, because that is what she needs.  And that is when it struck me, my problem is that I do not want stuff any more and I guess I feel that I am becoming a bit repetitive and less creative about ways to write about this.  Let me be very clear here I have not been cured of capitalism (no such luck), and maybe that is a bad term because I am not trying to be super political.  But I am not so easily bought any more, and I want to get people to think about that, less really can be more.  I should have figured all this out when I read that minimalist article (see link below) a few weeks ago, but lets face it I am a little slow on the uptake sometimes.  Anyway I have discovered that all of this relates to my ideas of environmentalism.  There is no real advantage, for you as individual or the environment as whole, to need more stuff.  The planet cannot sustain that sort of life anyway.  A little fact that I read a while back (so may be some mis-wording here) stated that if everyone on the planet were to live as the average American did we would need at least 3 planet Earths to support those lives.  There is a huge difference between need and want, which sometimes is less apparent when there are TV adverts telling you that you need something that really you only want.  It winds up that we take more from the environment to produce more junk for ourselves that essentially will have an end life at some point in time.  And lets be honest the end life is pollution in a landfill.
The other side to this, besides the obvious environmental connections, is the humanitarian one.  I do not see on a regular basis (and maybe I should) that people all over the planet survive on very little every day, far less than what I already have.  I have everything I need and then some, but what do I need with all the some.  I guess that as I am getting older I do see more truth in the fact that more stuff you own the more your stuff starts to own you, and I do not want to be owned by anything let alone stuff.
I sometimes feel very alone in these thoughts as it is hard to convince some family and friends of these more minimal (could never call myself a true minimalist) ideals.  To quote the great wonderful and always inspiring hero of mine, John Lennon, Imagine (just for one second) no possessions, for so many now that is almost an impossible thought and for so many more that is a reality.  I can think it though, and I love that thought. Less stuff to clean, to pay for, to deal with, and less to throw away.  The environment would be so grateful.  And as the planet explodes a huge human population we need to think about less in order to help more.  This is not even about making a level playing field but just remembering that when you take away all the stuff, we all NEED (not want) the exact same things.  So try and grow your own garden, throw away and buy less stuff, want less, give more, buy second hand, do not take plastic bags, do not be bought so easily, do not live beyond your means or your planets means, remember others, have some leftover love (hey it all counts dudes).  Be smart and caring, and know that this is not crazy (at least that is what the voices in my head tell me).