Less is MORE + people are more important than things

Okay, maybe it's this early morning yoga that has me feeling more frustrated about our culture's consumerist, short-sighted ways than usual. After I got into a tizzy about all the things our government isn't doing to take care of us, the people, I decided to just focus on my part in this. I'm like many and don't make a lot of money but try to support local companies and organizations within my limited budget. But I need to do MORE with my limited resources and time. Or in some cases, do LESS, which is free!

I've come up with a short list to get me started.
1. Move my limited money to a LOCAL bank.
2. Never get a plastic bag… I'm loading my car up with used paper bags and canvas bags today!
3. Do my very best to not buy ANY unnecessary plastic. (This might be difficult since my favorite yogurt comes in a plastic container… and I need more tape… which sort of is plastic.)
4. Donate time to my local cooperative grocery store
5. Host simple dinners to share food and community with my friends
6. Ride my bike to the postal annex to ship out all Effie Girlie Finerie orders
7. Only buy cosmetics from trusted "safe" companies… most of them like to put fun additives like mercury and lead into them (http://www.safecosmetics.org/).

I've made this list as simple and as doable as possible and hope to add as I go. I will let you know every Friday how it's going. It will be called "Less is MORE, every week." I realize this isn't a huge step (some of you might be appalled that I drive a gas guzzling car and don't have solar panels on my roof) but I like many need to take it in manageable steps. After all, I grew up in a culture that taught me Benetton clothes really would make me cooler, that I should be embarrassed to drive an old rusting car that runs perfectly and that people who have big houses are really… just better.

The Story of Stuff video really gave me a swift kick to do more meaningful things with my time and money and use less and waste less. Check out the site, they have a blog with great updates that are informative and inspiring.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, ideas, plans. GO LESS!


danca said...

Hi Angie! This post is very moving, and it's a sad thing that somehow buying and accumulating things took over doing, experiencing... These days I am trying to find a place that sells sustainable fabrics, and It hasn't been easy. I figured next best thing is recycling :), have to start somewhere.
Looking forward to more of "less is more." It is very much true.

angie said...

Hi Danca! thanks for your comment. I agree environmental fabrics can be tricky. I dye hemp and silk and it goes through like 3 countries to get here :(

Here's a NYTimes article that's about the "green" fashion dilemma: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/13/fashion/13green.html?_r=1&oref=slogin
The great thing about anything you make is that it will be made by you and made in this country. A few smart people have said taking care of the environment includes taking care of it's people;)