eco-steps-- taking small steps toward conservation, being healthier, saving money and all that, I've been on somewhat of a minimalist kick of late. I've been contemplating the notion that by using less of everything, that we can actually have more! And if we apply that principle to just about every aspect of our lives, there will be more of everything to go around. Here's where I am coming from:
Water: Even though 2/3 of our planet is covered by water, we can't use 99% of it. So it would make sense that the smarter we are about our water usage, the more usable water we have to go around. Read more on this.
Stuff: This one is a biggie. Most of us have more stuff than we can possibly use, and yet, we keep buying it. Stuff costs money and takes up room in our homes. So if we have less stuff, there is more money in our wallets, more room and less clutter in our homes and less of a negative impact on all of the natural resources it takes to make all that stuff. So if you want to get rid of some stuff, there are all sorts of places to responsibly take care of it (not throwing it in the garbage!) Check out these links for places to give your stuff new life: Craig’s List, Freecycle, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Volunteers of America. Read more on this here and here.
Food: Another biggie. Despite growing world hunger, most of us have way more food than we need, and much of the food that is available to us is not of the highest quality (ala packaged, processed, antibiotic and pesticide-laden foods). The answer? Eat less. If we eat less, then theoretically there should be more food to go around for everyone. (Barring all of that geo-political food battling that goes on between nations). If you haven't heard of Michael Pollan, or have seen the movie Food Inc., it would be a good time to look into what they have to say. You can also carve a significant amount of chemicals and pesticides out of the picture by going organic.
Of course, there are many ways of reducing or scaling back on our consumption to live better. Three authors that I've been digging lately are:
Leo Babauta: http://zenhabits.net/
David Damron: http://theminimalistpath.com/
Everett Bogue: http://www.evbogue.com/
They each have interesting ideas of how having and consuming less has given them more--more freedom, more enjoyment, and even more money in their lives. Maybe we should all be a little more like them.