there are more to simple life than 3 r’s

white horse eating grass

when we live simply we are deeply connected with nature. that means we take care of it the best we can, and we learn everyday to make the best even better.

we are used to three r’s, in order to go green. but there’s a lot more to do than reducing, reusing and recycling. we can

refuse // reduce // repair // reuse // re-purpose // restore // re-design // recycle

we are used to recycling. we are getting used to reducing. but we often forget to repair before reusing. to reuse before reducing. to re-purpose before we recycle. and we probably never think of re-designing.

we need to restore any time possible. to recycle when we have no other option. to re-design as often as we feel creative. and to never put anything to waste.

a bit harsh, i know. but do you ever see nature put anything to waste?

you see, recycling should be one of the last things on our mind. because it produces toxins, it burns resources, and not all materials can suffer that process. so, use organic / decomposable items as much as you can!

the media, as always, didn’t inform us on all the alternatives. as, guess what, those alternatives don’t comply with the media money-making / power system.

but hey! that’s why i’m here. the internet and the blogging platform are the most powerful tools we have to exercise democracy. or something resembling it. {for me, we don’t live yet on a democracy. but that’s a subject for another time.}

so, let’s work-out!

{be careful with your waste}

to reduce (r) = to be mindful (m) about what you buy (b) + use (u) + put to waste (w). here’s your formula to success:

r = m (b + u + w)

reducing doesn’t mean to get rid of everything you don’t want, or that doesn’t bring you joy.

it is about time to stop going with the flow of minimalist crap people are selling you. they are only inviting us to produce more waste. not to save / maximize resources.

and don’t get fooled. minimizing our belongings to have more space will only bring us joy, if we know we are doing it in a fashion that reduces waste. {if we don’t, we’ll always feel like something is lacking.}

i was almost saying that it helps the environment. but it isn’t help, it is being in communion with it.

we, humans, are drifting apart from nature. we think we are superior to all of this, but we are part of nature! time to reconnect. no wi-fi needed.

i happen to know a very good podcast about the raw sensuality of nature. it will help you get more in touch with it.

{refuse}

if you’re like me, you’re a bit confused about what refusing means.

well, it suggests that we say no to every goody, and offer, and gift we won’t use. even if it’s digital. even if it is from your best friend or soulmate. thank them, and politely decline.

believe me, the best way to vote is in how you consume products and services. invest your time and money on what you want to see more of, reject everything you don’t approve.

companies only sell if we buy. companies only offer what we desire. {here, i meant ‘offer’ as free but in marketing ‘offer’ means selling. good way of fooling us, no?}

tl;dr: don’t accept things you won’t use.

{repair}

how often do we ditch stuff because they’re broken? or are too expensive to repair? or too time consuming? or too difficult?

if we stop to consider the consequences, we’ll realize it is expensive not to repair that shoe, or that coffee machine, or that toy.

we have youtube, and pinterest, and wikis to show us every step of the process. so many creative people to be inspired from!

i’ve heard of a mom that turned sneakers into sandals. clever! and savvy.

{reuse vs. re-purpose}

often, i misinterpret these two words, employing them interchangeably. but

reusing = to use something several times in the same way {like having a clothe bag to go shopping}

re-purposing = to take something and use for something else {like using a card box to store books}

by reusing we’re reducing the items we buy, consume and use on a daily basis. by re-purposing we transform something old into something new. pure alchemy!

{re-design}

nature is re-designing all the time. companies are re-designing all the time. and we ought to re-design our stuff, our minds, our spirits and our spaces all the time. that’s the only way to evolve, and to improve.

permaculture is an exemple of redisigning agriculture + social culture. and the venus project is a different model of social + economical design.

{restore}

to restore is to give back to nature what’s hers. like using organic leftovers to make compost, that will serve as fertilizer. or to save the water you used for washing veggies to water the plants on your home. there are plenty of water restoring tips here.

always remember that we are nature. anything you do to her, is an act directing to you.

«-,- { keep writing, } -‘-»

vector of a venetian mask

#themaskwriter

<<<333

if you liked this x, you’ll love my y on the unwise side of minimalism. z is fun too!

~~~~

p. s. i like to start small, so here’s to baby steps on reusing / re-purposing / restoring / and recycling water!

the unwise side of minimalism

bitsy letters button

It is not a financial solve-all, especially for the incredible number of people who are working full-time and still living in debt and poverty because they can’t afford necessities. It is ignorant to assume that all of these people are spending frivolously. It is hard to save when rent and heat and healthcare and food costs go up and your income does not.

~simply fully

minimalism is here for some years now. it became a trend. and, as every trend, it has its lovers and its haters.

i started as a lover. “less is more” i claimed with all my lungs.

but the beauty of hearing the other side is: you ask different questions.

at first, i started to realize that the general approach to minimalism is as another luxury style. well designed places, with a lot of white space, and really expensive stuff.

{note: from now on, every time i refer to minimalism i’ll be addressing that kind of approach and not the general idea of minimalism. i am aware that there are many ways to address this lifestyle and that it is as personal as the individual living it.}

as i read blog post after blog post about capsule wardrobes, and how to declutter, and the marie kondo way, i started my journey for less.

because having less meant to not use as many resources to reach the same goal. or even to reach bigger goals with less stuff.

but it also meant that we have too many stuff already. and, instead of using or re-purposing that stuff: we’re putting out of our homes.

putting out of sight doesn’t mean that we are no longer responsible for the stuff we no longer have. putting out of our homes, is actually kind of the same of putting them out of our sight and out of our minds.

that stuff we had will still have an impact on this world, and in us.

when i was put in a position of “every dollar counts”, i realized the importance of using what you have. rather than just having less.

i couldn’t afford to ask the question:

this brings me joy right now? // does this have a purpose on my life right now? // what is its value?

instead, the questions i needed to make are:

how this will bring me joy? // how i can find a purpose for this in my life right now? // how can i use this in a way that will give me value?

i need to store today, so i can survive tomorrow.

that’s why minimalism is aimed to white rich people. no matter how preconceived this may sound.

also, i realized that minimalism doesn’t go along with my values of:

} zero waste: which includes the maximization of resources // doing more with what we have;

} focus on spiritual growth: rather than the amount of material things we have;

} diversity: minimalism shares an homogeneous way of living, like a lot of white space, no much use of color, with very straight lines.

you know what? minimalism reminds me of an oppressive and controlling way of ruling our lives.

minimalism is fascist.

everything is neat and organized and blended. and homogeneous.

every minimalist house // coffee shop // hotel room looks more or less the same. there’s no creativity.  read more about gentrification on the verge: welcome to airspace.

and, com’on. a house is to be lived. a home will never look like this:

minimalist office
does anyone live here? {via thecozyspace}

this negative approach to minimalism made us count how many stuff we have, to compare ourselves, to enter in unhealthy competitions.

minimalism at its core is to maximize our resources. it is to have a mentality of abundance: we have more than enough.

but the approach we’re taking is heading us in another direction, the scarcity mentality: the less i own, the superior better i am.

the guardian has an excellent article on this, much more elaborated and with many points worth to consider. it’s called minimalism: another boring product wealthy people can buy.

minimalism is a a way to reach perfection, through asceticism {a false one}. when we really didn’t have a choice because we no longer have the money to buy the american dream.

so the dream had to change.

this is incredibly genius, isn’t it? the capitalist society, or let’s say brands and the government, created a magnificent cell where you think you’re free, and that you made a choice. while it continues to be prosperous, and it continues to control our actions and desires.

you buy less, but some of you buy more expensive stuff {and that doesn’t mean it has more quality or that is cruelty free}.

you buy less, but some of you still want to live by the status quo. you won’t deprive yourself to look chic, in fashion, or wealthy.

when we consider minimalism, we take it in a selfish way: do this add value to MY life? will this bring ME joy?

but there are other aspects to consider:

is this product cruelty free?

did it hurt any animals? was the environment protected or abused of? were the people involved living in good conditions, well payed and treated fairly?

was it sustainable built?

were the resources maximized? does it have a long life cycle? can we give it other purposes than the original one? can it be re-used? will it damage the environment once it goes to waste?

what will be its impact on the community?

does it help the community to grow, to be more educated and self-sustainable? did it give fair jobs? will it help the children to have more opportunities? will it give more time to people to be with their families and enjoy their life?

do you know that advice that tells you: if you buy one thing, discard one you already have?

pause for a second and think about that.

is that sustainable? don’t think so.

and do you know that other advice that tells you to take all of your clothes and put them into piles and be only with a selected few?

sustainable? hmm… no…

it’s not that i hate minimalism. hate isn’t on my vocabulary.

i just don’t agree with the perspective most people are taking on it.

they seem to forget there are poor people that can’t afford their way. i’m in dismal when i hear: instead of buying x clothes in one month, buy just one. then you can spend three times more in only one clothe.

hello-o-o! do you really think i can afford to buy one piece of cloth every month? maybe once a year, if i’m lucky.

and if we look at our wardrobes, probably we don’t need to buy anything for a couple of years. just like cait flanders did. much better than decluttering, don’t you think?

that’s why i prefer to connect myself to the simple living movement. as its connotation is more positive.

a simple life means to stop worrying about the superficial stuff and to go deep in activities that brings our souls to life. it’s about being mindful. to love yourself and everything around you. to listen to your inner-voice and be guided by it. it is to live accordingly to your values.

people who lived in great depression and other economical crises, or that were poor all their lives: they are the perfect folks to get advice from. because they know how to make the best of what they have: they were obliged to be creative and to use things in new ways.

rich, privileged people chose to live with less, but they don’t have to. they don’t need to choose where to spend their last dollars: do i pay the water bill or the electricity one? no, they buy fewer things but more expensive ones. their minimalism is a luxury statement.

i’ll also change the kind of blogs i follow. and restructure the list i was making about simple living // minimalism experts. {that’s where this post originally came from} i’ll search for people who really use their stuff in more than one way, and make their best to reduce their waste and their negative impact on the world.

so: creative, frugal, kind people. i will stalk you!

«-,- { keep writing, } -‘-»

vector of a venetian mask

#themaskwriter

<<<333

if you are a simple living fan, share your favorite resources + tips on the comments!

~~~~

p. s. did you know that i love manifestos? eyes open because i’ll create my own. (;