Minimalist Habits in the New Eco-friendly World

Finally we have made the big step toward an Eco-friendly world right here in New York by banning plastic disposable shopping bags. This is long overdue. Hopefully this is just the first in many changes toward a better earth, to come.

This wonderful culture change goes hand in hand with a minimal existence. Less waste, less clutter, re-using, retaining only that which adds value. In the end “minimal” and “environmentally friendly” are the same thing.

But with that being said, I see as I go shopping that there are many people that still have a difficult time adjusting to this bag-less change.

I am at the self checkout at the local market and I see most people PAYING for a paper bag to load their groceries in. When I see this I just lower my head swinging it back and forth. This is just replacing one waste for another, and unfortunately stores are forced to supply these paper bags to make up for negligence and ignorance.

C’mon people, it’s time to build the habit of bringing your own reusable bags. Most grocery stores sell ones right there at the registers; pretty ones. These ones are fine and dandy, and very sturdy. Buuuuuut they are a bit bulky for my taste. I prefer something that I can store in an easy to “grab and go” place; something minimal (of course). It is for this reason that I use Timomo reusable grocery bags, or “pocket bags” as I like to call them. When not in use they fold up into a pouch the size of your palm and can be stored literally in your back pocket. These bags, and others like them can be found online, and at most variety retail stores (Target, Wal-Mart n such).

But whatever we prefer, go with it. This is hardly the difficult part of this whole change. The difficult part is building the habit of USING the bag.

For this reason, I wish to bestow some tips/tricks that will make establishing these habits smoother:

  1. Keep the shopping bag/s stored in the vehicle. It makes no sense to keep them in the home, as likelihood is we’ll only forget to grab them when it’s time to go out an shop. This brings me to tip number ….
  2. After we return home with our shopping goods (bagged of course), and have unloaded the bag/s, make a point to fold up the bag/s and put them with our “away supplies”. Ya know, the pile of stuff we keep close to the front door for when we leave the home. Stuff like our keys, coat, and hat. This way, the next time we leave the home we will have the bag/s to stash back in the vehicle. Either that, or just bring the bag/s back to the vehicle right away.
  3. In the event we DO forget to bring our bag/s in the market, and we find ourselves at the register when we realize this, please resist the temptation to buy a bag there (paper or otherwise) for the sake of time and saving a little bit of embarrassment. This actually hinders the process of building the good habit of remembering to bring the bag/s in next time…… and actually begins a NEW habit of just buying one every time. It takes two minutes to push our merch to the side, go to our vehicle, and get the shopping bag/s. PLUS, the time delay and embarrassment serve as an excellent reminder to get the bag/s next time; nothing sticks to the memory like a time lagging embarrassing moment. If we gotta get back on line and wait again at the checkout, so be it. The more of a hassle it is, the less likely we will make that mistake again.

No one said establishing good habits was easy, but as long as we establish a pattern, stick to it, and never let ourselves take the easy path,  we will get into the rhythm in no time.

 

 

Journal Entry 2/2/2020: Remember what Matters

This Friday I got so caught up in my pattern, my personal obligations, that I missed an opportunity to engage in some needed and deserved quality connection time with my daughter. It took some smart words from my daughter to snap me back to reality, to my true values to realize what I was missing.
 
We all slip up and make mistakes. That’s being human. But we should always have our core purpose and values close by, so it’s easy to get back on track. Having a life mantra, or a Mission Statement memorized and repeated out loud often, will make sure it’s never far from us.
 
In the case mentioned above, the mantra is:
 

“It is our relationships that make us great. Not our money or even image.”

Or as my daughter put it:

“I thought you were a Minimalist daddy. If you were, your know that time with me is more important than anything else you got going on your phone.” ……. she’s 7 …….. but also 100% correct.

The things I think we can do without as a Society.

Often times, as I go about my daily life, I run into things that are just too much. I run into things that are just completely unnecessary in our culture. Things that are in place only for business to turn big profits, but don’t serve the society as a whole at all. Things that are in so much excess, it’s really obscene. As a matter of our own personal content, I suggest we minimize these things as a society.

 

Cosmetics

 I was walking through a local mall and walked by an entire store dedicated to cosmetics (Sephora). Makeup seems to me to be too small a part of the human fashion to have an entire store dedicated to it. But after giving it some thought, I realized the general obsession the female populous has with this in general. I see all the magazine adds pushing makeup as the solution for beauty; sorta “upping” the standard on what we call beautiful. All the TV actresses (and actors) all made up to unrealistic standards. Upon further research I learned than in the US alone, the cosmetic industry is a 50 billion dollar a year industry. A 50 billion dollar industry of telling women (and men) that women are ugly, then offering them the cure for ugliness. Now don’t get me wrong, I can see wanting to highlight your attractive features, and perhaps shade your not-so-attractive features for …. a wedding, job interview, formal dinner-dance. But I happen to there are many women our there that won’t leave the home unless they are made-up. ……… This is a problem. And this is all the influence of big business. I happen to believe that if we get rid of cosmetics altogether, in time people will learn to appreciate their natural beauty again, and accept their physical imperfections. Then they will look at those Revlon adds in magazines and see what I see …… clown faces.

 

Self Storage

This not only permits a lifestyle of excess hoarding, it supports, enables, and exploits it. The number of storage units in the US is enough to fill the island of Manhattan. All I see is a landfill, or a junkyard. If it is being stored, its because there is no intention to USE. If there is no intention to use, then why own in the first place. It makes no rational sense.

 

Fashion

I DO see the value in fashion. It is a way to express taste and individuality. My gripe is with the pointless lavishness of the fashion industry. The runway models walking up and down the runway wearing costumes that literally nobody will wear …… ever. I don’t care where you live. If you are cruising Rodeo Blvd, you will never see anyone wearing that huge Peacock dress into a Gucci. Not gonna happen. When fashion serves as an addition to the function of clothes, it has value. But when you have fashion just for fashion sake at the expense of function, ……. that is just stupid. Profit is the only intention there. Making the public into fools for profit. No one is going to wear the peacock dress, its too big, and you can’t comfortably sit down. It’s probably not comfortable anyway.

 

The business OF business

I fail to see how the buying and selling of shares in a company contribute to the production of said company. Don’t the profits from selling their product/service do that. Should that not be the ONLY source of income dictating a companies growth. It should be that simple. Instead we have the business WITHIN the business world of investments. A huge amount of traffic of buying and selling of ownership. This has blossomed SO big, that even the “option” to own is a form of currency itself. Meanwhile …… what is being produced? ……NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. It’s just a game of “Lets Get Richer.”

 

Sport worship

Sports are great. They are excellent for health and instilling the spirit of competition. They are the very heart of gaming, which I personally get much value out of. My gripe is with “Sports Culture.” The fact that merely watching sports is a culture in itself. And this is no quiet culture either; It’s LOUD. And the fandom is just ridiculous. The fact that people get some sort of validation out of their loyalty to a specific team I find mind numbing …… because they themselves are not involved in any way with the team (or the sport for that matter) itself. They can create the illusion of involvement with concepts like “fantasy gaming” (I guess), but that’s very weak. This super fandom character weakness is of course exploited by big business as well. It is this subculture that permits these players to make obscene amounts of money, and gain “hero” status in the first place, for just tossing around a ball. Look at the influence Colin Kaepernick has. …… He’s just a ball player people. Not a hero, or a public servant of any kind.

 

Graveyards/Cemeteries

The very existence of these I chalk up to the ego of the dead, and perhaps the selfishness of their loved ones. The fact that such an excessive amount of real estate is reserved for carcasses is pointless. I mean …… they’re dead. A dead body is just carbon matter; it’s is not the same being as it was when it was alive. But human ego dictates that instead of giving it back to the earth from which it came, we spend ridiculous amounts of money to preserve the body in a box that guarantees it will not return to the earth for a long time, all while being adorned with precious stone and accessories  (I’m not going to even touch on mausoleums). All of this stems from the fact that the person before they died wanted something of theirs to remain in tact (EGO).

Maybe their loved ones want something to visit to remember them. While that seems like a just reason ……. don’t photos serve that purpose better? Aren’t photos a better representation of the person you once knew, than a tombstone to stare at.

Cemeteries would best be used as farm land. Put the bodies back into the earth un-preserved and let the nutrients of the body make the earth rich again.

The funeral industry is just another industry preying on peoples ego.

 

What all of these things have in common is that they’re all illusions. Illusions that business gives the people to take their money.

  • Makeup is making you look that way, that is not your beauty.
  • You don’t have any better access to those things in storage owning them, then you would have if you decided to purchase them when you need them. Ownership is a false security.
  • Beauty on the screen doesn’t translate to beauty in real life.
  • Stock trading is a gamble ….. not a means for business growth overall.
  • Your favorite baseball team is just a name. Since they are trading players and management constantly, your loyalty is to the name and  …… maybe the city the team represents. But that’s pretty shallow.
  • There is no physical part of our loved ones that remain once they are dead, and it was the never the physical that mattered anyway. It was always their character, the emotions; and now after their death ….. the memories.