近期渐渐开始流行起来极简的生活方式主张物质层面的极简，也就是说尽可能的减少不必要的东西。它的本意是想移除人们生活中的干扰，以便于归于本心，认识到什么才是值得我们珍惜的。虽然极简主义和环保乍一听有些八杆子打不着边，但是近些年来人们也渐渐发现它们两个中间有着千丝万缕的联系，所以我打算取二者之精华 ，来把他们放在一起说说。Continue reading “我怎么看待极简主义？”
“The Story of Stuff” Book Review
Author: Annie Leonard
Available in: hardcopy, ebook, audiobook
Also available at: https://www.storyofstuff.org
When talking about environmental protection, we are most likely to think about recycling and maybe save water in the shower. These things are good to do but I have to admit that they are not the most important in environmental protection. They are less significant only because the impact they create is too small. For instance, I saw online one time that the household water usage is only 5% of the overall water consumption, this information might not be the most up to date or accurate, but it does lay an overall picture on the issue.
The issue is that some drastic changes are required to not even restore earth to its original, primitive conditions, but just to keep the pollution and damage within the safety boundary.
The environment is shaped this way due to various factors, and the government and the companies (who are involved financially) are a bigger factor. To use some of the book contents to back me up: the book talked about planned obsolescence, where the products are made to be not durable or the fads that make people constantly despise their old stuff, is a great way to boost up economy but creates tons of waste; also government and the companies do not want to be responsible for the messes they made (aka pollution), so that results in the unethical dumping of pollution or waste onto less developed lands.
Also as we all know by this time, buying natural and zero-waste products are probably less convenient than regular consumer products. They are less accessible, maybe more expensive. So that implies to the faulty ideas in the process of production where companies would rather earn more profit by using less natural ingredients than to be same and environmental-friendly.
And it’s not just the earth which takes the damage from humans activities, humans ourselves are actually more susceptible to those damages. As we make the products, the poisonous ingredients are harming the health of the workers; the chemicals added in those products are applied and put in contact with human skins, so we essentially takes in all the toxins; also as we dispose the waste, we either create toxic air by incinerating trashes or let the toxins flow freely underground when we bury them.
Basically, there is a flaw in every segment of production consumption and disposal, but this is not the end of the world, and it is not too late to act. The author proposed many ways/alternatives to the current situation, but the most effective in my opinion are the following two: EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) and a change in lifestyle.
EPR is mentioned over and over in the book, it basically says that it is the companies responsibility to recycle the waste of their products. EPR will help the companies to prioritize products’ sustainability and durability, and also find better ways to recycle specific items.
And about the change in life-style, the author devoted a whole chapter to depict an “utopian” community. I used the word “utopian” with a positive connotation, when people are not slaves to the desire to consume unnecessary stuff, also where people are in a reciprocatory relationship that you are not simply exchanging favors but contributing to the overall well-being in the society, as well as believing in human kindness. This way products/stuff are not the only way to fulfill one’s life, and at the same time, community provides the opportunity for easy corporations like carpooling (reduce emission) or borrowing tools (so that unnecessary purchases are not made). And in a way, this can be an extended form of minimalist, where people just own what is essential to their lives. In addition to that, community and friends can make up for what you might be lacking.
Overall, this book is full of information and realization, it definitely provides a broader perspective for environmental protection. Also, it highlights the real struggle that this industry is facing. It covers a lot more than what I talked about in this article, so it’s worth reading, multiple times. If you have not read this book, it might be a good idea to try it out. One thing to keep in mind when reading is that, this book was published almost 10 years ago, so some of the policies are not applicable anymore. But it is a great guide if you are just beginning to be concerned about the environment, it provides so much insight that we can dig deeper into.
Picture from: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/9GorqroigqM/maxresdefault.jpg
Minimalism Project: Week 2
The focus of week 2 is: personal care products
- Plastic bottled shampoo to shampoo bars
- Plastic Bottled conditioner to bars/glass bottled hair treatment oil
- Empty plastic bottle for DIY products
- Making unnecessary purchases
- Eg. buying new makeup before the old ones run out
Personal care is a huge and indispensable part of people’s lives; however, its part in damaging the environment is only going to be larger.
Not surprisingly, plastic remains the main issue. It is ubiquitous in our personal care routine, yet, we may not realize how prevalent it is. Think about the products in your bathroom, small things such as toothbrushes to big things as shampoo bottles, they all contain some plastic.Continue reading “Minimalism Project: Week 2”
Minimalism Project: Week 1
This week, I worked on: paper products
- Old Notecards
- Old Notebooks
- Old books that I know won’t sell for sure
For future sales/donation:
- Old textbooks
- Old leisure reading books.
I just read about the price that humans have to pay for making paper this morning in the book “The Story of Stuff” by Annie Leonard and the price is ridiculous.
I’ve always had the misconception that paper are made from mostly plants, it should be fine in terms of decomposing and environmental effects. Sadly, it is a whole different story.Continue reading “Minimalism Project: Week 1”