Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Cycle of Too Much

Do you have too much on more than one occasion I feel like I have too much. Too many books, too many clothes, too much food even (because sometimes I don't plan very well).

I don't like having too much, it bothers me because it makes it hard to appreciate what you have and it makes it difficult to make decisions.

What do I mean? Well take the situation some ladies have when they have too many purses or shoes. They don't want to give them up because this or that purse or pair of shoes should go with this or that outfit. So you see some shoes you want or like and forgeting that you have just about the same pair of shoes at home you buy the shoes, wasting money on a pair of shoes you didn't really need (or a purse). Where is the sense of that?

So when I get in the postion of having too many clothes or what not, I purge and get rid of the excess.

What about too much food? Sometimes, because I love to cook, I buy produce for something I want to cook. Then being frugal I get home and notice that the leftovers for yesterday are enough for dinner today and should really be eatten now. Then my appetite changes and I no longer want what I intended to cook, so I have ingredients for a dinner that will never come to pass. A lot of times I go with my creativity and mix things up and use what I have, but sometimes I throw out food that should have been ate. Then there is the case of having too many desserts, you snack on dessert or whatever all day then you wont be hungry for dinner.

If you have too much food, it's more likely you will have too much weight to go with it.

I always think about things as, "Do I have enough?" If I have clothes, food and a roof over my head I am happy. Think of the endless amount of learning that is wasted because of all of the unread books on your shelf. Think of all the wasted money from food you cannot eat. What about the fully finished house that you had to have, the high end car, can you take it with you?

I am a minimalist, or I try to be. What do you minamally need? Do you really have a right to endlessly consume? Really?

Well think about this...

For the past, however long, builders have been building houses. Not starter houses, but fully finished (may be poor quality, but finished) houses. No starter houses? Why? Because the profit margin on a starter house is too low for them (or I should say was). So they glutted the market with houses. People playing along, not content to build there life up from where they are, decide they need the fully furnished (bought on credit) 7 bedroom house because others are doing it and they should be able to have a new house, of course they feel they deserve it. Plus as I said all the furniture, the best car, the newest fashions, the best toy's for their kids, the best vacations. Consume, consume (it's good for the economy anyway right?). So what do we end up with, a glut of houses, people losing their homes, all of their furniture . . . basically their freedom. Did it only affect them? Not at all!! The spending of money that everyone didn't have artificially increased the amount of all goods on the market. Increased the cost of living, doing business and the toll on the planet. So if you wanted to be the responsible one saving your money to put a down payment on a house, forget it. If you want a house you have to do like everyone else because $40,000 down or so is extremely hard to do. People borrowed all right!! From everyone else not only today but from everyone in the future. How fair is that?

Think about the garbage dumps full of 1 time use or limited use trash. What would happen if the garbage trucks didn't pick up the trash for 1 week, or 1 month or a year. How would you deal with your garbage then?

So my philosophy, is the environmentalist philosophy, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. It is not only the way to save the planet, but it is also the way to save your money and your freedom.

My list for sustainability this year:

1. Buy handkerchiefs instead of Kleenexes.
2. Buy reusable bags, even produce and bulk bags.
3. Find a way to avoid plastic baggies and plastic garbage liners.
4. Find a way to make a better garden.
5. Plan foodstorage and how to use it (by not aimlessly buying stuff to store).
6. Reduce the amount of makeup, shampoos cosmetics that I need and use. (Don't buy something unless it is really all the way gone. Buy in bulk my soaps and shampoos. Buying only high quality organic makups because they have generally been better anyway. Etc...)
7. Use what I have, and find out what I have before I buy more.
8. Be glad that I live in America simply for the fact that I have a chance to make a difference.

~Strawberry Girl

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