Monday, November 15, 2010

1 per day

There's a simplicity movement afoot. Inundated with information and the ceaseless drumbeat of consumerism, a contingent is choosing to live with less and to reject the premise that our status as consumers defines us. For example, there is the 100 thing challenge, which I've seen on various blogs. Here's one example.

There's also this Transition movement, which started in the UK and has spread. From my shallow knowledge, it seems to start from the premise that we are headed for leaner times. It's like a progressive alternative to the survival shelter mindset. Like some more conservative folks, they think the current system of food and energy delivery will collapse and posit that, if we scale back our consumption now and begin to increase "resiliency" in our communities, we may be able to transition more smoothly into the post-oil guzzling world. Local sustainability is the goal. So instead of each person with the resources available building a bunker, members of the community come together to create/encourage initiatives like sustainable agriculture, basic repair and mechanical skill classes, and awareness projects.

In the spirit of living with less, I've determined to do with less myself. I'm going to give/throw away one item per day for an entire year. It will be really easy to start, but I imagine, at 100 or 200, it's going to start to get really tough. Now, I'm going to count things like individual articles of clothing, but I'll have to figure out how to handle books: maybe 5 or 10 books will equal one "thing." Hopefully, by doing this, I will be able to live with a bit less clutter, but also think about my relationship to all the things around me that I think are part of my identity.