Monday, August 14, 2006

Finding Your Way to Simplicity

Check out this incredible post on voluntary simplicity over at Worsted Witch.

We can all make a change in our own lives that will ripple out into the world around us. Things like using a handmade tote for your shopping or recycling your yogurt containers in creative ways or buying local make big differences in our lives. And along the way, they change the world, too. Fewer grocery bags clog our landfills, creativity goes out into the universe and local farmers are able to prosper as part of the food chain.

Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? But it can also feel like a lot of work or like giving something up. Even as I try to move towards simplicity in my life, I struggle. There are times that I have to have a certain book or CD or pair of shoes. Sometimes I want sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese in January. I'm not perfect and I'm never going to be. So, I eat my insalata caprese and I do what I can.

And so can you. You don't have to stop eating seafood because it isn't local and cancel your electricity and stop wearing cute shoes. Pick a few little things and incorporate them into your life. It can be as simple as taking something you already own and repurposing it in a new and creative way. There is great enjoyment to be found in using what you have. And I am getting better at it all the time.

So, I encourage you to give it a try. And let me know how it goes. I'd love to hear about your repurposing adventures as you find your way to simplicity.


Leslie said...

I like this idea of taking things one step at a time. It's easy to get overwhelmed by not being able to make huge changes in a jiffy. . .but as you mention, it's the little things that make a big difference! :)

Jennifer said...

I just heard a story on MPR about "localarianism", the movement to eat more locally. And one of the main points was that it's not something we can do 100%, but at least trying is an important step.

I like that idea very much. I think I may head to the farmer's market yet this week.

African Kelli said...

Love this! Want to hear what I do?
I try to run all my weekend errands on my legs or bike, rather than in my car. This isn't easy in Phoenix, but I do what I can.
I use tote bags at the grocery. Always.
I recycle my yogurt and cottage cheese containers for my lunches. They work well and wash up!
I use a Nalgene bottle and when I go into an informal restaurant where you can refill a drink, I ask to use my bottle instead of a plastic cup they would provide.
I donate all my used clothing when I travel -- give it to the poor.
I follow the "use what you have" rather than "go shop like crazy" policy when it comes to crafting.
I use digital photos instead of print photos.
I started a magazine swap in my office so we can read lots, but only buy a couple.
I recycle nearly everything I can.
That's enough for now! Great post. You've got me thinking!!

blair said...

A very inspiring post. I could not agree more. As my family tries to move toward less consumption, we find it all makes sense and is easiest for us in small, calculated steps. Its giving the kids time to learn the difference it all makes too.