Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Links

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Sunday links

video via Unconsumption

For the past six months, I have been collecting links to share on this blog. It is a very long list. Here are some of the more recent reads:

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Life in a Mini

Bunker Bay, WA

The last time I blogged here was six months ago, which coincides with me moving from Perth to Bunbury (175km south) for six months. I can't explain the lack of blogging during that time - it might have been distraction by work, hanging out with new friends (including housemates!), making the most of my time "down South" by travelling, or general despondency about political events during that period. While I was away, I was staying in furnished accommodation provided by my employer, while a friend house-sat for me in Perth.

What struck me on arriving home yesterday, with six months worth of life (clothes, toiletries, bedding, towels, exercise equipment, books, cleaning equipment, kitchen essentials, computer, lamp, radio, wooden coathangers) easily stacked in the back of my small car (a baby blue, 2-door Mini Cooper) is that I was returning home to an apartment empty of people but overflowing with my stuff.

My wardrobe was overflowing, even though all of the clothes I'd worn for the previous six months (in my own version of Project 333) were still sitting in bags on the living room floor. The bathroom counter was similarly overflowing with half-used make-up bottles, brushes and toiletries (but not hair elastics - I can never find them when I want them) despite the fact that I had a full complement in my suitcase waiting to be unpacked. Most of the items waiting to be unpacked had travelled from Perth to Bunbury and back again. In fact, only a few of the items I brought back from Bunbury were new - bathers (Aussie made), some pottery I made in a beginners' class (ah -that's what I was doing instead of blogging), a pair of warm boots, a warm blanket, some warm slippers (do you see a theme?), pillows (Aussie made of course), some gifts from workmates, two new artworks, and some food and wine I picked up on my travels.

The upside is that most of the clothing, shoes, accessories, toiletries, bedding, etc that I abandoned for the last six months will be leaving the house to allow for a much more minimal wardrobe. I have no desire to shop for anything new (besides books...although I am getting better at giving away ones that I've read) and am already dreaming about the extra space in my apartment...remaining empty.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Easy, ethical resolutions for 2013 - revisited

As with most New Year resolutions, I did not stick to all of my easy, ethical resolutions in 2013. Now seems a good time to reflect on them, as I am starting a new job, in a new city, on Monday.

1. I've donated >5% of my income to humanitarian charities, although I am yet to do my taxes (apologies to my accountant) so I can't give an exact percentage. I donate to five charities on a monthly basis and make one-off donations to other charities throughout the year. For more on why I do this, see my post on The Life You Can Save.

2. I have been following Michael Pollan's food rules pretty well but want to do better. I lent his book to someone so I can' t check them one by one but I've followed the main rules and also read his new book, Cooked. My main food aim for this year is to cook more! I will be sharing accommodation this year, which may encourage this habit.

3. I have continued to purchase and eat free-range or organic meat when available, and gone meat-free when those options are not available. I was limiting meat consumption to one or two days per week for most of the year. I haven't frequented the local farmers' market often because it is too darn busy. However, I buy my groceries from my local independent grocer.

4. I continue to use the Shop Ethical app. They have included new categories including clothing (and underwear, swimwear and footwear). I remember my reusable grocery bags (I have finally developed the habit) and carry a spare tote bag in my handbag most of the time in case I pick up some groceries on the way home.

5. I have had some clothes mended and continue to have shoes resoled. I have not purchased any new shoes this year. I recently lost about ten per cent of my body weight and a lot of my old clothes now fit a lot better. When I have purchased new clothing or accessories, they have been from small local businesses or ethically made in Australia. I haven't bought many used items. Overall, I have purchased far fewer clothes and accessories this year than in the past. I still haven't managed to host a Clothes Swap party.

6. I participated in a few "Buy Nothing New" months, including the official October BNNM. I have kept myself accountable all year by recording all purchases of non-food items. I have been a far more thoughtful and discerning consumer when it comes to buying "stuff", especially non-consumables.

7. I haven't purchased bottled water, except once when I was stranded in an airport for 5 hours.

8. I have increased my exercise levels! This has included a lot more incidental walking (easy when you live walking distance from work, which I have for the past six months) plus intentional exercise doing group sessions with my personal trainer. Doing group sessions rather than one-on-one has allowed me to attend far more often and I've enjoyed the group environment. I'm feeling much fitter and stronger. I'm moving to a new job in a new city for six months, so I have to make sure I keep up the exercise.

9. I didn't get a bicycle. I did walk and use public transport often.

10. I have piles of things to give away but they have stayed sitting in my living room/spare room/wardrobe/store room for almost a year now. Whoops.

11. I think I have used less water and electricity, although I haven't made any drastic lifestyle changes to achieve this.

12. I did not grow any plants. I think more of my cacti and succulents died through neglect.

13. I did not blog here often at all. I know, you're devastated.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Not resolving, just doing

I am working on a review of my 2013 resolutions.

I don't have resolutions for 2014 but am trying a bit of this, a bit of that, and this too. You may also wish to try these.

I will also do this and this, which I already do anyway but should do more publicly now that it has a higher profile. I'll write more about these in future.

It's seems particularly pertinent due to the news today that striking garment workers in Cambodia were shot dead by police.