It’s Thursday so I’m Crafting my Life! It also happens to be Blog Action Day ’09, and the topic is ‘Climate Change’, an issue near and dear to my heart. I think that crafting a life for myself and making environmentally sustainable choices are highly interrelated, and today I will explain exactly how.
We are inundated with advertising all the time, everywhere we go. We constantly hear messages encouraging us to buy stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. After all, we work hard, so we ‘deserve it’, whatever ‘it’ is. It could be a vacation, a new pair of shoes, a tube of lipstick, a television, a fancy new home, a trip to the spa. And while a few little indulgences really can make life worth living, when you add them all up they become part of a cycle. We work hard to make money. Because we work so hard, we reward ourselves. But the rewards add up quickly, so we work more. On and on it goes.
This cycle of working and spending doesn’t just affect us, either. It affects the planet in big ways, too. Everything that we buy, whether it’s a product or a service, has an environmental impact. That plane trip, those shoes, even that tube of lipstick all come from somewhere. Some plant was harvested, some resource was mined, some factory or airplane used fuel to turn it into the item on the store shelf in front of you. In the process finite resources were used, pollution may have been released and carbon was emitted. Even an organic piece of fruit from a local farmer uses resources to get to you, although not as many.
I’m quite the little ray of sunshine today, aren’t I? I’ll stop my doom and glooming, and get to the point.
The point is that by not buying so much stuff, you save money and you also save the planet. Living simply is a powerful choice, a statement that says you would rather have time and reduce your impact than own 237 pairs of shoes or have a home that looks like a showroom. Not that shoes or a nice home are bad, in and of themselves. But the pursuit of these things for their own sake just might be. Spending money to keep up with the Joneses or fill a hole in your life is a losing game, and not just for you.
I am certainly far from perfect. But one of the big choices I’m making as I go about re-inventing my life is to simplify. To hang my clothes to dry. To visit second-hand stores and spend afternoons at the park instead of going to the mall. To give home-made Christmas gifts in less-than-pristine wrappings. To work in my garden and grow vast quantities of cucumbers. In the process I am spending less, impacting the earth less, and teaching my kids to appreciate the little things.
What about you? Are you doing anything to simplify your life? I’d love to hear about it. Because I really believe that if we all do something, that’s the sort of thing that changes the world.
In addition to Blog Action Day today, I am also participating in my first ever Green Moms Carnival. I am so excited to be taking part! My contribution is Walmart’s Sustainability Index. There are also some other really fabulous green bloggers sharing their views. So hop on over to In Women We Trust to read more about Sustainable Standards: What’s the Consumer’s Opinion?