Do you think about the impact that you have on Planet Earth?
I’ve though about my impact a lot in the past few months.
I’m pretty normal. I buy things, I break things, I throw things out. But I’ve wondered more and more whether I really need these things that I am surrounded by. And more and more I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really need them.
They’re superfluous. And perhaps even a bit dangerous.
“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.”
No, I don’t think I need to get rid of my gaming remote and my valet tray and my travel mug and start living without any possessions whatsoever. But I know that I can be distracted by all the things that surround me.
I’ve come to appreciate the motto of a group called The Minimalists. They like to say, “Love people and use things, because the opposite never works.”
I’ve been all too often guilty of loving things and ignoring the people and opportunities around me.
So I’m embarking on an experiment. A double experiment, actually. Minimalism and zero-waste.
I learned about minimalism a couple of years ago. My family had recently moved, and there were about a hundred and fifty cardboard boxes sitting in the new house’s basement, untouched. Those boxes started me thinking on how much stuff we owned, and how much of it we didn’t use. Around that time, I came across the concept of minimalism, and it greatly appealed. I knew that I would be leaving home in the near(ish) future, and I didn’t want to have to deal with lugging great quantities of stuff around with me. But my interest was mostly in the convenience and ascetic aspects, not in the philosophy.
It’s this philosophy that attracts me now. I see many people trapped by their possessions, missing out on everything around them, and I want to simplify. I want to love people and use things. And there is no better time than the present to start.
Zero-waste is a much newer interest. I ran across the phrase randomly a couple of months ago, and was instantly intrigued. I’ve always experienced some discomfort when seeing a street lined with garbage bags and trash cans. Something doesn’t sit right. We’re called to be stewards of the Earth, and dumping tons of junk into landfills doesn’t seem like the right way to go about that.
But it’s all very well and good to talk about doing these things. What am I actually going to do? And for how long?
The length of time is going to be defined by a minimalism experiment called Project 333. In this project, you choose 33 pieces of clothing, including outerwear, accessories, etc., and wear only those pieces of clothing for 3 months. Of course, everything else that you might have worn but didn’t can be donated at the end!
At the same time, I’ll be evaluating my possessions and getting rid of those I don’t find real value in. But I’ll have to get rid of these possessions while creating zero-waste, which may turn into quite a challenge!
To go zero-waste, I am going to drastically reduce the amount of waste I create. Quantitatively, I’ll track the amount of waste I create, and attempt to cut it in half over the next three months.
And, of course, I’m going to blog the whole thing! I’m committing to posting every Monday and Thursday for the full three month span, with updates on progress, thoughts on various aspects of minimalism and zero-waste living, and probably a whole bunch of other random stuff as well.
Welcome to my journey. Hopefully I can encourage you to consider your impact on Planet Earth.