Consumeless for a year

A journal of a year of consuming less and consuming sustainably

The Story about Stuff – film 10/01/2010

Did you know that the food at the top of the food chain containing the highest level of toxic contaminants is human breast milk? That only 1 % of materials involved in product manufacturing and consumption is still in use after 6 months? That people today see more advertisements in one year than people 50 years ago did in a lifetime?

I didn’t.

In the book No Impact Man I read about a project called ‘The Story of Stuff‘. The Story of Stuff is a short film made by Annie Leonard. The film shows the real costs of “our consumer driven culture—from resource extraction to iPod incineration”. Although clearly aimed at a US public (referring to the happy presentation style here), this film quite closely explains our motives to consume less and to consume sustainably. We definitely like her way of thinking about consumerism and sustainability! See for yourself, some astounding facts make it worthwhile anyway:

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According to Annie Leopard, most people’s main leisure activities are watching tv and shopping. So in that respect we are definitely going to change our lives this year!

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Laundry 31/12/2009

Clothes lines on the attic

So, after a final shopping spree in Den Bosch (ashamed to admit I bought two pairs of shoes!), we are gradually making our rules effective. Yesterday, Eise made enough clothes lines on the attic to hang the two washing machines full of clothes we wash every week. No tumble drying anymore!

Last week we also brought my hiking shoes (which were a tad too narrow) to the shoemaker who streched them (in stead of buying new ones). I still have to test them (usually my toes start hurting after about 4 kilometers). Eise fixed our kitchen geyser (which also provides hot water for our shower) himself. He dismantled the geyser, discovered a broken part (a membrane of some kind), ordered a new membrane online (for € 5) and fixed it! And, thanks to Ellen’s suggestion, we opened three bank accounts at Triodos Bank, a sustainable bank (they even won the award for the most sustainable bank of the world this year!). I still have to order a Visa Greencard (waiting for our new bank accounts to be fully up and running) and then we are completely banking sustainably.

Today is the last day we could do some thoughtless consuming, but we probably won’t have time for it.

Have a great New Year’s Eve everybody!

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Intro 19/12/2009

Filed under: General — Karin @ 14:16
Tags: , ,

We have decided to do an experiment in 2010. The aim of this experiment is to consume less. And for all essential consumption, to consume as sustainably as possible. We will start this experiment from January 1st 2010 onwards. This blog will be a journal of this experiment. We will share our experiences with consuming less and consuming sustainably. We expect to encounter many decision points and many dilemmas and we would like to discuss these via this blog.

Today is the first day of both of our Christmas holidays. We will use the remaining days of 2009 to think up the rules for our experiment. We do not want to live our lives rigidly next year, but we also want to prevent ourselves of falling down the slippery slope of making exceptions all the time. So in the coming days we will think of as many elements of our lives that involve consumption (think food & drinks, travel, clothes, entertainment, …) and decide how we want to deal with consuming less and consuming sustainably for each of these elements. We would like to end up with a set of ‘rules’ we should be following next year, and also some idea of how to deal with exceptional situations.

The first few posts on this blog will be about the rules, but before that, we will try to put into words why we are doing this experiment in a post about our motivations.

Cheers!

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