No more stuff please
Posted on Nov 13 2012 at 01:19:03 PM in Earth & Geography
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).