Sunday, November 2, 2008

Values to Live By

Yesterday, I met a stranger - an artist and gifted listener who asked questions which actually made me have to organize my thoughts before answering. Coffee and conversation inspired a more extended think about some newly developed values that have made my life more interesting and meaningful in recent months - hope this quickly compiled list encourages you too!
  • Respecting nature - even if I don't live in the country, I can do my little bit by buying biodegradable and recyclable goods, such as household products by Frosch and organic cosmetics by the drugstore DM's Alverde which are lovely-smelling and affordable.
  • Producing less waste - I always try to take a fabric bag along when shopping, and give any plastic ones that find their way into my home to charity organizations, since they can really use them! In this country, it goes without saying that paper, glass, metal etc. goes into the appropriate recycling containers!
  • Buying smart - that starts with groceries. At some point, I noticed how much food was going into the bin because it went off. Now I plan my shopping, and it makes such a difference! Before choosing a bunch of herbs or vegetables, I try to think of different ways of preparing it over the next few days so it doesn't get wasted.
  • Buying preloved - I don't want to contribute to mass production and the exploitation that usually goes with it, so most of my wardrobe, furniture and decor is secondhand. If you think wearing previously owned attire is gross, remember that much of it has only been worn once. To others' advantage, rich people often don't want to be seen in the same outfit twice, and ever more secondhand designer store shops are sprouting up in this city.
  • Making and repairing - I started collecting attractive material left in charity shops and have found many practical ways of sewing it up for items needed around the house. Quality obviously lasts longer, and in the rare event that something rips or breaks, I try to mend it instead of using it as an excuse to run out and get a new one.
  • Decluttering - whatever I don't like or use anymore goes to charity too. I learned that from a great friend of mine who regularly gives clothes, books and decor away. Why sit on your stuff if someone else can enjoy it more? If you can't abide not seeing a certain piece anymore, give it to a friend so you can always pay it a visit!
  • Combining - the desire for new clothes and accessories can be strong. For variety, I try to combine my old rags in new and original ways, and incorporate jewelry in my everyday outfits instead of waiting for a special occasion to get it out.
It obviously takes more effort to live consciously, but is infinitely more rewarding than just being a consumer! In what ways do you live creatively and environmentally aware?


Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-a fabulous post my dear, a lot of your points I also follow too. As you know, I'm a great fan of secondhand items and clothes; I also use a recycling bin regularly and also use reusable bags when I go grocery shopping. I do not hoard either, and like to give away regularly to charity. I try to live a frugal life and this is why I started my 2nd blog $haron Rose-$pending, $aving, Me, to keep track of all my personal finance.

Lulu said...

Great article! I also agree with your ideas. We all need to be more aware of our ways, and try to recycle whenever possible and cut down on our carbon footprint. I also try to shop at my local farm and always use cloth bags. I also give to charity on a regular basis