8.21.2012

Worldly Possessions

I bumped into this article last night.  I was instantly fascinated by it.  I am constantly thinking about this kind of stuff lately.  I think about all the stuff we own and how it really owns us instead. 
These people are in their 20's, from Sweden and this is literally everything they own.  How did you compare at that age?  I remember living in student housing and moving around a lot.  I had a rule I tried to live by, with each move I would attempt to get rid of half my possessions.  I didn't always succeed but I was able to downsize my life pretty well.  There was a period of time where my entire life's possessions (including high school souvenirs and baby books) could all fit into my vehicle.  That was glorious. 

At some point in time I decided to adopt a "less is more" philosophy and its been with me ever since.  I think my idea of perfection would be to live in a self sustaining beach hut.  I would own a couple comfy shirts, couple swimsuits, camera, laptop and maybe a small catamaran. 
And lately I think it's even gone beyond just the idea that less stuff in your life is simple and happier.  I have begun to think about our garbage output.  Honestly I am inwardly consumed by the idea of how much trash we produce on a daily basis.  I once read about a family who decided they wanted to live off the grid.  They built their home from recycled stuff they scavenged and found.  Their water came from rain collected on the roof.  I think they might have had wind and solar for power.  Water was a big deal to them.  Think about how much water you use every day.  Shower, washing hands, dishes, clothes, gardening, drinking, food preparation?  They didnt have much water so they had to cut a lot of corners.  But the thing that left the biggest impression on me was they managed to live in such a way that they produced zero waste.  NO GARBAGE of any kind.  That is marvel to me.  They took their own bags to grocery stores.  They didnt buy anything that would end up in the trash.  Think about that!  It is on my mind every day.  Now I have begun to feel sick every time I have to throw something away.  Our entire culture needs to change.  I used to think that the earth could handle any disaster we humans could conjure.  But I don't believe that any more.  I believe we are destroying ourselves with our bad habits, and in the process we are destroying the earth.  And that only makes our own situation worse. 

4 comments:

  1. I have been giving this a lot of thought lately as well. It was only a few short months ago (okay... a little longer) that everything I had could be put in one car. That didn't include the memorabilia and pictures from my "growing up house" though. I am sick over how much I have recently accumulated. I feel like a hoarder. And the trash issue ... I must work on it. Time for changes. Good reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was talking to my Relief Society President about this a couple of months ago because she travels almost constantly and to everywhere in the world for her job. She mentioned that in some places they only produce a grocery bag worth of garbage in a month and that is that gets collected, as opposed to our giant can that gets collected on a weekly basis. Also on the topic of so much stuff, could you image explaining to a citizen of a third world country, the idea of Storage Units and that so many people in the US have one of more and then pay for it on a monthly basis? "You know its a place that we put stuff we own that we use rarely if at all but don't want to get rid of. Also it doesn't fit in our huge house with all the rest of our stuff. oh and we pay for this extra room every month too!"

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comments.