December is a busy month with all those Christmas parties to attend so I thought I would do this blog early on. Today we are talking about decluttering.
I’m very much into the out with the old and in with the new at this time of the year. What better way to start a new year more refreshed and bright-eyed to start a new year than to get cleaning.
THE book that has been getting plenty of mentions this year is Marie Kondo’s ” The Life Changing Magic of Tidying”. In this book, Marie talks about only keeping things that ‘bring you joy’. This includes books, clothes and furniture. The secret to this tidying up method is to hold the object in your hands. Since reading this book months ago, I have been slowly chipping away in my wardrobe which is the main area where I tend to hoard and keep pieces of clothing despite not wearing them for years “just incase”. It also reminded me to try and live clutter-free, which is something I have my sights on. I have also been going through my shelves and have thrown out (recycled) some old school reports (that was time from another universe!), am planning on donating some old books that don’t bring me joy and never really have and getting rid of paper.
If this sounds like you, MAYBE this is the time to set aside 1 day or 1/2 a day and to go through your things and either donate, sell, recycle or throw out some of things that don’t bring you joy.
Check out my tag ‘consumerism’ if you would to read abit more about this topic from my blog.
A few nights ago, I went to the local premiere screening of the True Cost documentary. This documentary takes us on a journey back to the roots of how our fast fashion clothing is made and the conditions that they’re made under. It highlights the disparity between the amount we pay for the clothing and the true cost of what it takes to make the garment. Much of which is not priced. The documentary asks questions such as what price do we put on polluting the environment, what price do we put on workers who go into work everyday in unsafe working conditions and what price do we put on our personal involvement in all this? A $10 t-shirt does not put a price on any of this. Neither could a $100 t-shirt. This is why this documentary is so powerful, it addresses a hole in our consuming society.
Producer Andrew Morgan also shows the other side, the arguments for sweatshops and how developing countries and people working in these sweatshops need these jobs. And they do. I think it’s a well rounded film that doesn’t just say you should stop buying this and buy that because X is bad. It takes you through why X is bad and what effect it’s having. From the cotton farmers, the role of big seed and fertiliser corporations, the factory workers and their families/communities, their bosses, their Government, major designers and brands, celebrities, popular culture, store customers and finally fashion waste disposal are all featured in this documentary and are all nicely linked. It’s a huge industry and one that is currently having an enormous impact on your lives as you read this, my life as I write this and the lives of everyone mentioned above. It’s an industry that needs to be changed and it needs to change now.
If you get the chance to see this, I would encourage you to as it’s highly informative and there are many points that this documentary brings up that we should be thinking about, as an individual, a society, a country and as part of a global community.
Consumerism and values
I recently went to a public lecture given by Professor Tim Kasser from Knox College on Confronting Our Consumerism. At this talk, Tim presented (more like threw) information at us about our current global consumption patterns and what he found through investigating values, ecological footprint and materialistic values.
I’ve just got a few points to share that Tim told us about that I did not even know about and I hope you find not only startling but interesting.
– Materialistic people are less likely to engage in environmentally friendly behaviour.
– Higher CO2 emissions can be significantly correlated to increases in mastery values (this is related to do with competition amongst one another and innovation to create something better than one another).
– People who score high on materialistic values are: score lower on empathy, higher in Machiavellianism, higher in racial/ethnic prejudices, lower in pro-social behaviour and higher on anti-social behaviours.
– Lastly, children exposed to higher amounts of advertising/marketing score higher on materialism.
If you want to find out more, Tim is in collaboration with other researchers in this field and have written numerous published scholar articles so just give him a google.
I’m also going to be looking at the WWF Living Planet 2014 report in the coming blog posts and will also be looking at how we can change this and in particular how you can change this for yourself (if you wish).
Keep breathing guys,
Josh & Ryan are the pair behind the Minimalists. Both were part of the corporate world, earning 6 figures, owned comfortable houses and cars heading into their 30s when they realised that they were still unsatisfied with their lives.
They have since, both became full-time authors and speakers about minimalism. Less is more when it comes to material and life possessions.
One of the links on their page points to the Minimalism Game which I have to say is pretty cool! If you’re ready for a clean-up of your material belongings or are finding that your hoarding ways are starting to clutter your life then maybe this game is right up your alley.
Briefly, you start this game with someone else (or a group of people) and on the 1st day of the month- get rid of 1 thing. On the 2nd day, get rid of 2 and so on. The one who lasts longest throughout the month wins.
Protip: remember that charities, libraries and the recycling centre would also like some of your things!
The Minimalists are also due to be releasing a documentary soon filmed by Matt d’Avella and you can watch the trailer here.
Happy de-cluttering guys,
During the last month, I hopped onto the Plastic Free July cause to see how much single use plastic I could refuse.
So how did it go?
It went well. I did forget my cloth bag a handful of times (I think 2 or 3 times) and I was unsuccessful at finding a reusable coffee mug. But I started bringing my mug to the coffee stall instead (also helps when they’re located in the building) and have my steel tin can as a water bottle again. I declined a plastic bag (because I knew they wouldn’t have a paper one & I can only remember this because it happend last week) and carried my item in my bag instead.
What did I learn?
That EVERYTHING comes in plastic. Plastic takeaway containers, things I want to eat and use come in plastic packaging, earbud things, toothpaste is packaged in it and I came across a business that charges you more to dine in (take-away came with plastic everything and a plastic bag!).
Where do I go from here?
Ridding plastic from the world won’t be happening anytime soon because it’s so engrained (argh!)! But it made me more aware of its presence and my usage. Reducing plastic bags has been on my NYresolutions but I think now it should also include other single use plastics. This is only a small change but business owners out there (cough) have a whole lot of power. Now I need to go write my letter of complaint to this business….
Everything starts with 1 small change right?
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Arc de Triomphe- Waste from civilization Artist Markus Jeschaunig builds an Arc de Triomphe made of stale bread sourced from bakeries, supermarkets and waste bins.This art installation is a little stale itself (get it?) as it happend in 2012 in Graz, Austria. The inspiration for this work was part global consumption, food waste and figures […]
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7 Days of Garbage Photography Gregg Segal is working on this 7 Days of Garbage (click here for more pics) photo series by asking people to pose with their rubbish accumulated within a week much like an archeological record of everyones’ way of living. After having a look through the pictures, I first noticed how […]
Challenge: Attempt to refuse single use plastic during July (includes straws, plastic cups, plastic bags and coffee cup lids)
By Who?: Western Metropolitan Regional Council (WMRC) in Perth
– Because every single piece of plastic ever created in still somewhere on this earth (much like carbon but that’s an argument for another time).
– Because approximately 10 billion plastic bags are used world wise on a weekly basis.
– Because 50 million straws are used daily worldwide.
– Because the impact that plastic has on the environment and wildlife is not yet completely known.
– Because Australians send 1 millions tonnes of plastic waste to the landfill every year.
What about you?:
I am jumping aboard this ship (have jumped aboard a while ago but this is no place to toot my horn). I will be having a go myself. Plastic bags are easy and I’ve been trying to change my grocery shopping ways this year by bringing reusable bags (which I’ve recently found are riddled with problems but another blog post). As an avid coffee drinker, I’ll be looking into purchasing a reusable coffee mug (and may have already purchased it by the time this blog post gets published). And I need to dig out my steel tin can (aka reusable water bottle).
Click here for more information. Happy plastic free-ing!
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Everything you buy is rubbish This does not need much introduction. We all know that the not so humble man-made plastic is not easily broken down by nature (if at all), The more we consume, the more plastic waste there is. So much so, that Charles Duffy, Willian Gubbins and Billy Turvey have made a […]
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Brandalism Taking over advertising space one at a time, Brandalism is a revolt against corporate advertising with the understanding that community areas should be a site of communication for the community only. Recently, over 2 days, 365 advertising spaces were taken over to show the work of 40 international artists in 10 cities across the […]