Stuff

I’ve read a post today from Mindful Digressions which triggered a million thoughts in me. This is what I commented on the post:

Very well said and a lot of material to think about… As we rent we have to move more or less every 2-3 years. And it is always shocking how much stuff accumulates over this time as we always tend to get rid of a lot when we move… Those are the moments when you realize how much stuff you actually buy which you will never ever want to keep…

As for Christmas: When we moved to Australia we swapped from buying a real tree to a having a fake one. Everything inside of me was against it, as it was just not the way I was used to. But today I am glad we did. Although it is plastic and therefor something which will be difficult for the environment to deal with at one point (or already was when produced), it stands here every year at Christmas. No more chopping down trees. And the ornaments are the same we used back in Switzerland, minus a few that broke and plus a couple that we bought while traveling. It is kind of a recycling Christmas thingy… I also learned from my mom to unwrap presents in a nice way, so that you can actually re-use the wrapping paper. And it is something I try to teach my kids now, without telling them, that I will re-use the paper next year. But it is a tiny little bit done in the right direction… at least a tiny little bit…

I agree with this blogger. We live in a society who consumes and consume is what stands above a lot of other things. Things that actually should be more important than just stuff. But it is a world in which we need to buy, need to show off in a way to kind of find our place in the society we choose to live in. Or not? Why do we feel that we need to give into this kind of group pressure. Why is it, that a wedding ring can no longer be a simple golden ring but has to feature the biggest diamond? Does it make the promise of spending a life together more valuable or unbreakable? Not at all…

What about all the plastic toys? All the rubbish accumulating around the cashier at a supermarket. Little pieces of shit (excuse my language, but that is what it actually is) which is of course tempting for the kids. But it won’t last and it won’t be fun for a long time. All it is is just stuff and a gadget for the supermarket to make more money…

What about the pressure of giving a gift. Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, this day, that day, Birthday, Christmas and what ever else. I remember that Mother’s day used to be breakfast in bed for the mom, made by the rest of the family or then breakfast out somewhere and flowers. Nowadays I hear moms brag about the jewelery they got, the purses they got, the whatever they got. It gets more and more and the poor guys in this case don’t know better than to give in and buy… At least jewelery is not something that wastes away but still…

As I mentioned in my comment we get rid of a lot of stuff when we move. And it is always so shocking to see what has actually accumulated over only a short time. Stuff. That is what it is. Nothing more. Nothing you really want to keep, nothing you can not live without. Still, we bought it for one or another reason… And I am sure next time we move it will be the same thing. We only just got rid of a few boxes we actually moved from Switzerland. They were sitting in our car park and moved with us over the last years and we never opened them up until a few weeks ago. Only to realize that they were full of “rubbish”… Crazy right?

What actually really concerns me, is not only the amount of money spent on stuff but also what happens with it afterwards. In the end it will all end up on a dump somewhere… Right? And that is pretty shocking. We consume. We buy, we even sell. Some of the things we consume, buy, sell are things that are important to us, that have a meaning, things that are necessary. And then there is the mountain of other stuff. And it will eventually end up in the rubbish bin.

Not only do we go nuts re our budget but the impact on the environment our behavior has is massive. And we tend to ignore that point. If you don’t open your eyes to the mountains of garbage out there then watch Wall.E . That movie has a point! A message about consumption, rubbish and environment. The impact it has on all of us.

Just look at the things we buy and how it is wrapped. The packaging is just crazy! It would do with so much less! Of course someone makes heaps of money by producing the material to wrap up stuff, with producing the packaging. Look how much ends up in the bin after unpacking the smallest items! There is more material around a toy than in or on it! And it all goes right into the bin… onto a dump… into our oceans…

Do I have a solution? Of course not. Otherwise I would probably not sit here and write this. I would maybe be threatened by the big companies or maybe even be paid off to keep quiet… probably threatened…

It all comes down to one thing: We all can make a difference. It might not be huge, but it will definitely make a tiny difference. And if we all do it, then it makes a big difference. As I said in another post or comment (I honestly don’t remember): If you put one gram after the other in a bowl you will eventually end up with a kilogram. As simple as that.

So if we do unwrap our Christmas or Birthday gifts in a nice way we can recycle the paper. We can use it again next time. And you know what: Nobody will realize in one year time. The paper will look like new if you take care of it and you can use it again until it does not any more. But you already saved.

Little things like re-using a sandwich bag. Why not? You can wash them out. You save money and it does not land on the dump just yet. There are so many little things we can do to make a difference. And just because we are told that we need to fill the lid of the laundry powder or liquid to a certain point does not mean that we have to and that our laundry will not end up clean just because we use only half… No! It only means that we do not run out so early and have to buy a new one. It means it will last longer.

There are so many more thoughts in my mind here. But I kind of think I am drifting off. I hope you know what I mean. I am guilty of being a part of the consumer world too. But I want to do as much as I can at this point to make a difference. To change my way slightly, to teach my kids some easy tricks to make a difference without suddenly being the weird ones in their group. Once they are old and confident enough they will have to tools and the knowledge to totally go of the grid if they want to. But it is up to them to choose which way they want to go. For now it is all about reducing.

Appreciate what you have but also realize that life is great without it too.

 

14 thoughts on “Stuff

  1. Oh my, you and I think alike. My husband and I try to reuse everything we can. What you said about plastic bags? I will wash out and reused ziploc bags at least once unless it had meat in it. I reuse every plastic container. I cook a lot and often give things away to my neighbors. This way they don’t have to give it back. I prefer to make presents. This year I gave away things I canned, and herb combinations from what I grew. I gave as gifts things I have enjoyed and want to pass it on. As for wrapping, the comics section of the paper works really well. Yes, we accumulate a lot of garbage and keep things just in case we might need it. We rarely even go out to eat because I know I can make one just as good if not better. How we treat our belongings is often indicative of how we treat ourselves.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You are so right. Tea bags can be steeped a couple of times. Use your own grocery bags. Cut scrap paper down for notepads. Use it up. Wear it out. Make it last. Shop Goodwill and thrift shops!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love this post! You take what at first seems like an insurmountable feat (single-handedly saving the environment) and make us realize that if we each take just one or two simple steps then together we can make a world of difference! My goal for 2015 is to have far less “stuff” by the end of the year then I did at the beginning…thanks for the inspiration!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are very welcome. It seems huge, doesn’t it? And I guess this is what keeps us from doing our part. We think that it will not make a difference. But it will. One little bit from everyone changes a lot. Thanks for reading and for thinking about it and for doing your little part 🙂

      Like

  4. Postings like this one are the exact reason I follow your blog. I spent a good 12 years working and researching organic waste reduction and I can tell you I was appalled by what I discovered. I know a lot of people laugh at all these articles that I’ve published regarding earthworms eating our garbage, but 72% of all the waste that goes into our landfills can be fed to earthworms and turned into usable soil. Here in Canada our waste situation has reached a point where we are actually exporting our garbage, or portions of it, south of the border for burial because we can’t even come to an agreement on where to open anymore landfills. A great portion of the waste I am speaking of is that exact packaging that you mentioned earlier, so maybe now you can see why I’m so excited about your post. Keep up the great writing, have a good NEW YEAR, and I’ll read you later.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Switzerland sends its rubbish to Italy… There aremany solutions already out there unfortunately certain people can not make enough money with them as they are pretty simple or they would loose their business… I hope that people will finally open their eyes to the options we have and we can choose and make that difference… Thanks for reading and commenting! Happy New Year to you too and keep feeding those earthworms 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Collecting items for the church jumble before Christmas, my eyes were really opened to the absolute excess of stuff I have around me. Although it takes up lots of space, I never throw anything into the garbage but always keep it in case someone can use it. But my eyes were opened this year when I collected one extra large dustbin bag of shoes and slippers that were not reusable.
    I got a big twinge of conscience when I thought of that bag making it to the rubbish dump and sitting there for years. My footprint destroying mother earth.
    I realised then its not even about re-cycling. Its about reducing our consumption. A closet full of clothes when I need only a handful. Two sets dinner plates, crockery etc etc.
    I wanted to write a post on this… you have already set the ball rolling. Thank you.
    My resolution for the New Year is a MINIMALIST LIFESTYLE

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Change Your World to Change the World | Fill Your Own Glass

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