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Meitou
06-10-2019, 06:42 PM
Hello friends, In light of the global climate crisis, I'm looking at ways to educate myself about my effect on the environment and adopt a more sustainable lifestyle. I feel this fits well with the concept of the Noble Eightfold Path, specifically Right Intention, Right Livelihood, and Right Mindfulness. I'd like to swap ideas, links and stories with other Treeleafers and perhaps what we can do as a group to support each other. This is quite a new venture for me so I'm still exploring initiatives and websites.

There is so much I am ignorant of; for example I had no idea how much damage to the environment the Fashion Industry is guilty of. To that end, at the end of this month I shall be taking a pledge with Extinction Rebellion's Fashion protest (https://www.xrfashionboycott.com/) not to buy any new clothes or fabrics for a year but if something becomes a genuine need, then to buy from a sustainable source. Instead I'll be looking at taking care of the clothes I have, sewing, mending and repurposing. This is going to be quite a challenge for me - I don't buy a lot of clothes but I realised, because I buy cheap, that I have become used to thinking of them as quite disposable.

Amongst other things I'm going to be looking at products like shampoo and shower gels that contain microplastics, and also trying out some home made cleaning products made from natural ingredients.

The situation we are facing is global and enormous, it can seem overwhelming but any small thing we can do individually can contribute to the greater effort.

I hope some of you (many!all!) will contribute your knowledge and experience to this thread. Please feel free to post anything relevant, and to bring up anything that is Sustainable Living related for discussion.

Gassho
Meitou
sattoday/lah

mateus.baldin
06-10-2019, 07:15 PM
Hi Meitou,
I support this initiative of yours. I'm very concerned about the environment and the health of our planet and its human and nonhuman inhabitants.
I don't know if this qualifies as a contribution, as it is more a question.
There are some things that are bothering me about my town (a lot, actually). The main is the absolute lack of a recycle program. There is no separation of garbage. I tried to separate my garbage, but it was simply mixed again when picked up. The town administration doesn’t respond to the e-mails we make and when talked to people, they said that there was a recycling program, but as nobody used, the town simply shut it down.
What should I do? Should I continue to separate my garbage? Should I give up? How can get rid of the plastic bags that are always given to us in every commercial establishment in my town?
Thank you, Meitou, and sorry if the your first response in this thread was a question rather than a suggestion. But I thought if belonged here.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today

Meitou
06-10-2019, 07:45 PM
Hi Meitou,
I support this initiative of yours. I'm very concerned about the environment and the health of our planet and its human and nonhuman inhabitants.
I don't know if this qualifies as a contribution, as it is more a question.
There are some things that are bothering me about my town (a lot, actually). The main is the absolute lack of a recycle program. There is no separation of garbage. I tried to separate my garbage, but it was simply mixed again when picked up. The town administration doesn’t respond to the e-mails we make and when talked to people, they said that there was a recycling program, but as nobody used, the town simply shut it down.
What should I do? Should I continue to separate my garbage? Should I give up? How can get rid of the plastic bags that are always given to us in every commercial establishment in my town?
Thank you, Meitou, and sorry if the your first response in this thread was a question rather than a suggestion. But I thought if belonged here.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today

Thanks for responding Mateus, questions are fine, and I hope there are other answers than mine, as I know very little! However, I do know a little bit about recycling because my town introduced quite a rigorous recycling programme last year. I really understand your frustration with your town council, what an awful attitude, they should have enforced it - here we get a warning slapped on our bins if we break the rules, and we can also incur extra charges on our bills.
Do you think there's any point in recycling your refuse if it all gets thrown into the same containers at the end of the day? Perhaps if there are enough of you continuing to do it, , it may prove a point. It might be better to see how you can actually reduce what refuse you have and whether you can repurpose it at home. In Italy all supermarkets must by law charge for 'plastic' bags, and the bags must be 100% organic and biodegradable, no single use bags. THey aren't strong, so many of us have gotten used to taking a reusable shopping bag or shopping trolley with us when we go. Perhaps you could do that, and refuse the bags that are offered, reusing the ones you already have. Actually if you have a look on You Tube, you will probably find some videos on how to upcycle plastic bags and find different uses for them. The same goes for tin cans, paper and plastic water bottles, but my feeling is first of all look at what refuse you produce and think of ways to reduce that. And keep up the pressure on your town admin.

I hope this helps a bit, and that others have some suggestions too, particularly folk who live in areas where recycling isn't established.

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Tairin
06-10-2019, 11:51 PM
Great initiative Meitou. Iíve been thinking about this and have taken steps over the years to limit my impact on the environment. I feel there is a lot more I can do so it will be interesting to read what comes up here. Hereís some thoughts based on what we try to do here at home.

- You can do a lot by reducing your meat consumption. You donít have to go completely meatless but even just two or three meatless days can have an impact.
- Use transit, walk, or bike rather than drive when possible
- Compost as much of your food waste as you can.
- Help to maintain healthy green spaces
- Grow your own food
- Reduce use of plastics and packaging
- Limit mindless consumption and consumerism

I am less certain about recycling programs. It seems here in Canada at least a lot of material intended for recycling ends up just going to the dump. Better to not create the waste to begin with.

All of it can sometimes feel like small drops in s massive bucket but I continue to hope that enough drops will eventually fill that bucket.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Shoka
06-11-2019, 12:08 AM
Hi Meitou,
I support this initiative of yours. I'm very concerned about the environment and the health of our planet and its human and nonhuman inhabitants.
I don't know if this qualifies as a contribution, as it is more a question.
There are some things that are bothering me about my town (a lot, actually). The main is the absolute lack of a recycle program. There is no separation of garbage. I tried to separate my garbage, but it was simply mixed again when picked up. The town administration doesnít respond to the e-mails we make and when talked to people, they said that there was a recycling program, but as nobody used, the town simply shut it down.
What should I do? Should I continue to separate my garbage? Should I give up? How can get rid of the plastic bags that are always given to us in every commercial establishment in my town?
Thank you, Meitou, and sorry if the your first response in this thread was a question rather than a suggestion. But I thought if belonged here.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today

Mateus,

Recycling is actually a really interesting topic currently in Los Angeles. The majority of recyclables from the United States have been shipped to China to be recycled. Recently, China has decided that they won't be importing recyclables as much anymore. So where is all the stuff we have gotten so good at recycling going.... straight to the landfill. We as a nation don't actually have the ability to recycle the majority of our recyclables goods.

I would suspect the same problem is tied to why your city doesn't want to have a recycling program. If you can't get enough people to produce enough recyclables to sell and ship somewhere to that will purchase them, then what do you do with the recycles?

Here is an article about the problem:
https://www.ocregister.com/2019/05/17/your-recyclables-are-going-to-the-dump-heres-why/

For years I lived in an apartment complex that didn't have recycling, so we worked to reduce the amount of items we brought into the house that would end up in the trash. Regarding the bags, Los Angeles has actually passed a bill banning stores from giving out plastic bags. You have to actually purchase them if you want a bag which is a good thing as many people have been driven to start carrying reusable bags.

It's often tough depending on where you live and the culture because it might really odd to hand them your own bag. I remember being in Japan and it wasn't a big deal, but going home to Kansas it was very strange for me to decline the plastic bag and use my own. But I know people who have been doing it for decades, long before it was the norm.

In short, perhaps focus on the "reduce" and "reuse" portions of the 3 R's since recycling at the moment isn't an option. I'm sure if you search youtube there are a million different things you can do with the items you are throwing out. (I sear I saw a video of women makes sleeping mats for the homeless our of plastic grocery bags.)

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Jakuden
06-11-2019, 12:25 AM
Awesome Meitou! There is so much more we all can do, thanks for the thread with ideas. My associate is super-environmentally conscious and has helped us all try harder at the hospital to recycle more and waste less. At home, besides recycling, having our own chickens for eggs (and someday hopefully a garden again!) and driving a hybrid vehicle, Iím sure we could become a lot more conscious of many things. Iím glad to learn about what others are doing.
Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


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Shōnin Risa Bear
06-11-2019, 01:10 AM
There's an amazing little book, Hojoki by Chomei, who lived in the Kamakura era, when wars and many disasters were occurring in Kyoto. Having fallen out of favor at court, he moved into smaller and smaller houses and at last, taking Buddhist orders, settled into a ten-by-ten foot hut of his own design, so made that it could be disassembled and moved by two ox-carts to a new location. I think his carbon footprint was very small. http://jinenkanhonbu.blogspot.com/2015/05/chomei-and-hojoki.html

gassho _()_
doyu sat today and lent a hand

Jundo
06-11-2019, 01:11 AM
I just want to say that this is a lovely, vital, important initiative that Meitou has inspired here. Thank you. I hope we all join in.

I also want to say that, just because the names are similar, please know that we also have another "SIMPLE living" group that will be starting very soon based on the book by that name. :) SUSTAINABLE living and SIMPLE living overlap, of course, and yet ... not one not two ... :p


"Simple Living" Practice Circle
A group to Practice weekly tasks from "The Art of Simple Living: 100 Daily Practices from a Japanese Zen Monk for a Lifetime of Calm and Joy" by Soto Zen Priest Shunmyo Masuno

https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?139-Simple-Living-Practice-Circle

I will probably get the "Simple Living" group open in a week or two.

Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Junkyo
06-11-2019, 02:30 PM
Hi Meitou!

I am very excited to see where this conversation goes. It is quite timely as here in Canada our Prime Minister just announced that they are aiming to ban single use plastic products by 2021. They are currently working out what products will be on the ban list. The conversation here in Canada has brought up that a number of industries (such as the medical industry) rely on single use plastic products (such as IV bags). I will be watching these developments closely.

In our house we do our best to recycle and recently we have begun to move toward using reusable containers instead of products like plastic wrap or sandwich bags. We are also watching our electricity usage much more closely and are striving to drive less (Canada is huge and we drive large distances out of necessity) by walking or biking when we just need to get around town. We are trying to only drive when travelling out of town or if the weather is poor.

My wife and I both come from farming families and used to have a meat heavy diet (I grew up raising cattle, my wife grew up raising pigs). We now eat a diet that is mostly plant based, however we still have 2-3 meals a week that contain meat.

I am always excited to hear new ideas on how to live in more sustainable ways! Thank you for starting this discussion!

Gassho,

Junkyo

Doshin
06-11-2019, 05:41 PM
Meitou,

Your post and all those that followed were a good read and a positive way to start my day. Thanks to all of you for what you do. Wonderful.

Meitou as you know from my Face Book posts I focus on nature and conservation. My purpose with Face Book is to share the beauty and wonder of nature to hopefully to build greater apprciation in those who follow me. I have a plan, I am marketing biodiversity sustainability. Occassionally I insert a post that addresses a topic of conservation or biodiversity loss to inform. I even suggest support for legislation or other things to move that sustainablility for biodiversity forward. Now you know my purpose :) I know you commented on the recent posts about my native yard and its benefit to wildlife. I inteneded to set an example for others to possibly consider for their own space. So I see this thread as doing that for our Sangha. Thankyou!!

Several communities here in New Mexico have banned the use of plastic bags. Santa Fe is one of them. You are encouraged to bring your own reusable bag to the store by having to pay a fee for a paper bag if you forget. Another community across the mountain from me has also banned plastic bags. I hope this trend continues.

A fun thing I want to share. My wife takes our song bird seed bags and chicken feed bags (both with pretty pictures) and converts them into tote bags that she gives away as gifts. Not only is she reusing a bag but providing others the opportunity to use fewer bags at the store. And like those above we practice the 3Rs...Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Little goes to waste here on the ranch. We also have a hybrid vehcile that we try to use the most (and I have greatly reduced the use of my Pick Up Truck which is good for this American Country Boy!!!!) and a home that is solared powered with excess energy sold back to the power company.

Many small acts add up. So thanks to all of you. May we work together to further sustainability.

Jundo very much looking forward to the Simple Living group. Anna and I have got a little head start. We occassionaly read a chapter outloud and try to incorporate in our lives. And here is a good thing...Anna (my wonder wife who Jundo has met) has started sitting with me for 10 minutes in the evening. The other night I changed the Insight Timer to 12 minutes to give her extra zazen. When we were done she looked at me and said that was longer. I could not tell a lie.

Doshin
st (with my wife)

Meitou
06-11-2019, 05:57 PM
I just want to say that this is a lovely, vital, important initiative that Meitou has inspired here. Thank you. I hope we all join in.

I also want to say that, just because the names are similar, please know that we also have another "SIMPLE living" group that will be starting very soon based on the book by that name. :) SUSTAINABLE living and SIMPLE living overlap, of course, and yet ... not one not two ... :p



I will probably get the "Simple Living" group open in a week or two.
Gassho, Jundo

SatTodayLAH

Jundo, if you think this might cause a bit of confusion, I can rename this thread to something like Living Sustainably, or similar? Let me know.

Thanks everyone for your comments, what a great response.
The whole business of recycling is has that worrying aspect that some of you have mentioned - what actually happens to our rubbish. Here our regulations are very stringent, our commune ( town administration) has spent a fortune getting this initiative under way, issuing every household with 4 bins, free bio bags and larger bags for plastic, a recycling booklet etc. And despite all that, having lived here nearly 20 years and seen how things work, I'm not entirely convinced about what happens to it all once it gets collected. I've visited the eco centre and it does seem organised, but still.. And then there's the business of where it goes when it leaves the country - as you say China has refuses to take any more, and I think India has just done the same. We've probably all seen the images of entire continents of plastic in our oceans and read about the terrible harm they are doing.
I agree that while it's really important to take advantage of recycling programmes, it's vital that we look to our own use of resources and see how we can cut back on ecologically harmful practices.

A good place to start is plastic - If you don't already, just spend one week separating out your plastic from your other refuse - checking also packaging that seems to be paper but isn't - you might be amazed by how much you accumulate. From that point you can start thinking about how to reduce it.

I've known a couple of people, when starting out on this road, to get all their plastic household items together, throw the lot out and go out and buy all new. In my opinion, this is actually adding to the problem.- by adding to the land and ocean fill, and by perpetuating endless consumerism. The great selling point of plastic in the past - and its most damaging feature - is its durability. If you already have plastic containers, then they should in theory last you several lifetimes! However they do get damaged and worn. If I buy anything that comes in a glass jar, like jams, olives, pickled goods etc, I wash the jars and lids and save them to replace plastic containers that have gone past their best.
Shoka mentioned making sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic bags - here's a video demonstration I found today ( there are lots more on YT). I've made a couple of tote bags using this method - they are washable and still going strong after at least five years.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JNe-hce0sY


Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Meian
06-11-2019, 06:25 PM
Yes, I've been focusing on reducing my waste and repurposing whenever possible. Trying to limit plastic most of all. I prefer vegetarian food already, but even sourcing is difficult.

Also, I would love to learn how to make the mats from bags. I know a local activist I could give them to. My synagogue also makes them as a social outreach project, but at a time i cannot attend. Maybe if i can find it on YouTube or similar i can post it here, since there is an interest.

Great ideas and great topic.

Gassho
Kim
St lh

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Meitou
06-11-2019, 07:29 PM
Yes, I've been focusing on reducing my waste and repurposing whenever possible. Trying to limit plastic most of all. I prefer vegetarian food already, but even sourcing is difficult.

Also, I would love to learn how to make the mats from bags. I know a local activist I could give them to. My synagogue also makes them as a social outreach project, but at a time i cannot attend. Maybe if i can find it on YouTube or similar i can post it here, since there is an interest.
What are the problems regarding sourcing vegetarian food, maybe others here who are in the US can advise?
Gassho
Meitou
satlah

Great ideas and great topic.

Gassho
Kim
St lh

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

KIm, the vid I posted shows you how to cut up the bags and make the 'yarn', then it can be used just like normal yarn, only that for crochet and knitting a bigger hook or needles is required. I saw something earlier about making the mats without crochet, I'll try to find it.

mateus.baldin
06-11-2019, 08:48 PM
Thank you Meitou, Tairin, Shoka and everyone for your suggestions.
I think you are right that the focus I should take is not of waiting for a recycling program that can never came to be and should raise even more questions.
I will try to focus on reducing the amount of plastic I get. Today I refused a plastic bag from the farmer I buy organic vegetables and fruits; but I didn't have the option to refuse in the supermarket or the drug store. Perhaps I should get a box or container to bring with me when I buy things.
I'm very excited to apply this sustainable lifestyle to our home, as I really think it is essential for the Eightfold Path right livelihood in our times.
Thank you very much!
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Jundo
06-11-2019, 09:51 PM
Jundo, if you think this might cause a bit of confusion, I can rename this thread to something like Living Sustainably, or similar? Let me know.



Yes, even confuses me if I look quickly. :) How about "Eco-Living" or something like that?

Gassho, Jundo

Seishin
06-11-2019, 11:09 PM
Call me pessimistic but more and more I am hearing that in our western civilisation recycling means shipping our waste to the mid and far east. Not dealing with it at source. What happens there is often just landfill and nothing gets recycled. As usual its just a snow job covering up the big problem we face and pretending to actually be helping, whilst shifting the problem elsewhere. To me this is no different to folks selling off the unacceptable high carbon footprints to places with lower carbon outputs. Its all just smoke and mirrors and a back slap for politicians who claim to have lowered pollution by passing the buck elsewhere. Have I an answer no but I do what and when I can without the rhetoric and BS.

I often think of the lyrics to this song and realise its now 48 years old and nothing has really changed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efiDnHS3fzk
I could go back another 10 years and cite Dylan.

My life seems to span 6 decades of inaction and a downwards spiral. I humbly apologise to all the non-human species on the planet, for we are killing you now and have killed countless of your species and will continue to kill everything until nothing is left. Unless we learn from this we will eventually kill ourselves and if anything else survives at that time, the world will then be a better place.

Kenny
06-12-2019, 03:04 AM
This has been a big topic on my mind for the past year, so sorry if I get rambly, but at least I come bearing links.

This is a bit anecdotal, but I used a carbon footprint calculator recently and noticed that, the majority of my footprint ended up in "secondary" sources like food, consumer goods, and other things we don't usually think of as polluters. Don't feel so bad about your driving or recycling habits, the biggest bang for your carbon buck lies in things you may have no control over like how your electricity is generated, how your food is produced and transported, or whether your local transit infrastructure allows you to ditch your car but still keep a job.

I strongly support nuclear power and strongly oppose coal power, if people 40 years ago had done the same we'd be in a much better position to rectify other climate issues. Of course, what really matters is what you personally could do to get your elected officials to shut down coal-firing plants. Coal-firing power plants in Canada (though likely elsewhere) are the single biggest greenhouse gas producers, and shutting them down is a straightforward process compared to decarbonizing our entire economy or changing everyone's eating habits. Here in Ontario there's thankfully documentation for how we got rid of our coal power:
https://www.ontario.ca/page/end-coal

Simply put, it's really the responsibility of governments and corporations in polluting industries to fix the problem. They're the ones who could pull the levers and decarbonize our economies if they really wanted to. However, the demand for the products that these polluters supply has to come from somewhere, so thankfully we have a little bit of input.

As mentioned before, reducing meat consumption helps. Specifically, beef causes the most greenhouse gasses and land usage per kilogram of meat (cows also emit methane, a greenhouse gas x20 more potent than CO2). Lamb comes in second place, and all other meats come far behind.
(https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth)

I figure people on this forum are aware that vegetarian food can be delicious, but in case you wanted ideas, here's one:
https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/02/sichuan-braised-eggplant-vegan-experience-food-lab-recipe.html

A very unpopular way to reduce greenhouse gases is to simply have less children or, ideally, no children:
https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/children-carbon-footprint-environment-climate-change-adoption-birth-pregnancy-a8469886.html
Children (well, people) in developed countries of course have a much bigger carbon footprint, so anyone in this forum will have a bigger impact here. Of course this is a decision you only make a few times per lifetime (if it's a decision at all) so it's not very actionable. For the record, my wife and I are taking this route, maybe we'll adopt someday, maybe not.

Outside of the climate crisis, we must also keep in mind that you can't grow a population indefinitely inside of a finite space. However, demographic trends show that this problem will generally handle itself; birth rates trend towards zero the more developed a country becomes. Developed countries only have positive population growth because of immigration, something that Japan is seemingly waking up to right now as I hear stories about its famously difficult immigration standards loosening up (a tiny bit).


You should also consider the other side of the equation: reducing the amount of carbon in the atmosphere via carbon sinks. It's probably not surprising that tree planting is the most practical way we can do it right now. If you buy an airplane ticket, depending on where you are you may be offered to pay a "carbon offset". These are basically donations to tree planting and green energy funds to even out the carbon surplus your air travel is creating. Forests provide incredible ecological benefits beyond being a carbon sink, so in my non-expert opinion I would suggest you donate to tree planting as much as you can. I think the Chernobyl exclusion zone is a thing of beauty because it shows how quickly a forest can grow and how lively it can be if we simply keep humans out of it.

I recently read a pretty cool proposal for artificial carbon sinking, but I don't think it's very practical, though the technology exists, this particular application is theoretical and probably /at best/ decades away... and we only have 11 years to make a big impact:
http://toughsf.blogspot.com/2019/06/thermal-decomposition-of-co2-with.html

Finally, if all of our efforts come to nothing, on a certain scale we can have hope that life will survive, even if most humans won't. The Earth has experienced many mass extinctions, and the Permian Extinction resembles our current crisis the most. The Earth recovered from that, so it will likely recover from us:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/07/science/climate-change-mass-extinction.html

Gassho,
Kenny
Sat Today

Meitou
06-12-2019, 11:04 AM
Yes, even confuses me if I look quickly. :) How about "Eco-Living" or something like that?

Gassho, Jundo

That's fine, let's drop living and say Eco Life. The only problem is that I can't work out how to actually change it. If you could do it for me I'd be grateful, or someone point me in the right direction? Thanks Jundo
Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah
Thank You!!

Doshin
06-12-2019, 02:17 PM
Kenny you did a good job of summarizing the Big Picture!

Being a student/outcome of Ehrlich's Population Bomb of the 60s and trained in population biology/ecology I am in complete agreement about fewer of us in itself addresses the issue at a fundamental level.

BTW I believe the average recovery time following a mass Extinction is 10 million years. I (my species) just didn't want the cause to be credited to us. However it has begun.

Doshin
St I

Meitou
06-13-2019, 04:54 PM
Call me pessimistic but more and more I am hearing that in our western civilisation recycling means shipping our waste to the mid and far east. Not dealing with it at source. What happens there is often just landfill and nothing gets recycled. As usual its just a snow job covering up the big problem we face and pretending to actually be helping, whilst shifting the problem elsewhere. To me this is no different to folks selling off the unacceptable high carbon footprints to places with lower carbon outputs. Its all just smoke and mirrors and a back slap for politicians who claim to have lowered pollution by passing the buck elsewhere. Have I an answer no but I do what and when I can without the rhetoric and BS.

I often think of the lyrics to this song and realise its now 48 years old and nothing has really changed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efiDnHS3fzk
I could go back another 10 years and cite Dylan.

My life seems to span 6 decades of inaction and a downwards spiral. I humbly apologise to all the non-human species on the planet, for we are killing you now and have killed countless of your species and will continue to kill everything until nothing is left. Unless we learn from this we will eventually kill ourselves and if anything else survives at that time, the world will then be a better place.

Seishin, I suspect what you say is right. But the reality of right now is all we have to work with. As Kenny and others have pointed out, the problem is global, and the solution would be global if politicians and global business chose to go that route. But we know, looking at the most powerful leaders and CEO's of today that they are mostly self-serving and interested only in accumulating more power and wealth; they are a huge part of the problem. But because this is a global emergency, it transcends the feelings of You and Me. If we can each make a small effort we can at least know that we are contributing toward a greater good, not just for us but for the world. Yes, adopting a sustainable lifestyle may seem to be a drop in the ocean, sometimes a bit folksy, even a bit 'western white privilege' but it has to be done, even by a few, to keep pushing the message, to make others around us more aware of what they could also do.

I agree with Kenny and Doshin that population numbers should somehow be capped, but then I don't have children so it's easy for me to say. Unlike Kenny this wasn't my choice and caused a lot of grief initially, but I'm at peace with all of that - I do have stepchildren and step grandchildren however, and it makes me incredibly sad to think of all that I enjoyed and took absolutely for granted for a child won't be available to them, despite growing up in post war Britain. I also agree that we are headed for extinction anyway, but there's no need to rush up to meet it with open arms!

I know Seishin that you plant a lot of trees - this is hugely important, one of the most important initiatives there is, so deep bows. There's a real sadness coming through your words, I imagine many of us can identify with this. This manifestation of suffering is born out of compassion for something almost impossibly greater than us, it's almost a koan or an echo of the Four Vows - are we trying to save a world that is unsaveable? In the face of this impossible task, I think we can only adopt the same stance as we do when we vow to save all sentient beings, though beings numberless; we sit with the suffering and try to see how to convert the pain into energy to do something positive.
Gassho
Meitou
satttodaylah
PS Thank you for the Marvin Gaye, one of my all time favourites :)

Meitou
06-13-2019, 05:09 PM
OK folks, here are some interesting links.

First of all, please keep up with Doshin's Living Earth thread here, I see it as a natural partner to this one :
https://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showthread.php?16570-Living-Earth

From a link to the National Geographic that Doshin posted in the above thread, I found a real wealth of great articles, including this one, about how city dwellers can live a more sustainable life :
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/06/cities-climate-impact-consume-less/

And here are two companies, one in the US, one in the UK, that sell a range of household eco products. I've seen it suggested that folk try to convert one area of living at a time, perhaps starting with the bathroom or the kitchen. These small companies would be a great place to find ideas.
https://zerowastestore.com/ US
https://www.peacewiththewild.co.uk/ UK

Finally Kenny mentioned using a carbon footprint calculator, I found one here;
https://www.treedom.net/en/

Please keep posting any interesting or relevant links.
Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Seibu
06-13-2019, 07:16 PM
Wow, amazing to see such a level of engagement on such an important topic today...or as David Letterman would say: "know your current events." There are many things we can do to contribute to a better environment each day :). I'll start with the bigger things that haven't been mentioned yet. Do you really need that big house? How much living space does a family really need? This website might be of interest to those considering a higher level of sustainable living: https://www.madihome.com/.

Aside from hybrid and fully electric cars, do you really need that Mercedes GLC or Cadillac Escalade? Besides heavy cars being heavier polluters they also require bigger parts. For example, compare the average tire of a Toyota Auris to that of a BMW X7. On top of that, bigger cars are heavier which means they are a bigger burden to roads than smaller cars. So why not consider to size down a bit.


Do you have solar panels on your roof? Is it possible to get them through a state or county-funded program? It's always worth looking into it. How about the insulation of your home? There are small things you can do to reduce draught such as placing cheap draught excluders on your doors or windows.

If your home is powered by a fossil fuel power plant you can still reduce electricity consumption by making minor changes to your home. For example, you could replace all traditional light bulbs with CFLs or LED bulbs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compact_fluorescent_lamp and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED_lamp.

When you go to the supermarket do you bring your own bag and do you reuse it? Speaking of plastic, here's a website with advice on how to recycle plastic bottles: https://www.budgetdumpster.com/blog/diy-plastic-bottles-recycling/

As others have already mentioned I wholeheartedly agree with the idea of voluntary population control. Ideally the birthrates should be capped at 2.1 because that is the replacement rate to sustain the current global population, anything above that will only add to the population. Because of this, my wife and I decided to have one child only seventeen years ago. We both agreed that two would be the maximum. No offense at all to those having more than two children but this was just what felt ethically right for the both of us.

Thanks all for the great advice, I'm definitely going to check out the links that have been provided so far.

Gassho,
Jack
Sattoday/lah

mateus.baldin
06-13-2019, 07:32 PM
I think you are right, Meitou, in that we have to incorporate a sustainable lifestyle little by little. My main concern with my wife and me adopting a more environmentally correct way of life is if we can make such a huge change and how it will affect our lives, relationships and humor. It is hard to form and mantain a new habit. As with all changes, perhaps a complete change is better when moving or changing houses. In my case, a better approach perhaps should be little changes every week or month until it became second nature to us.
Thank you all for the suggestions.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today

Heiso
06-14-2019, 09:55 AM
Hi Meitou - I'm glad you've started this as it's something that concerns me too. I think we've spoken briefly in the past about Extinction Rebellion but I'm always looking for ways to reduce my and my family's impact so it will be great to swap some ideas.

Here are a few things we already do: try to buy second hand clothing where possible, grow as much of our own food as we can, recycle as much as we can, replace plastic with other options where possible, and minimise air and car travel.

Although we recycle all we can, as others have commented, I'm not sure how effective that is so I'm keen to hear ways we can reduce or reuse packaging and plastics in general.

I find it can be overwhelming when I think about the environmental crisis but I do have hope that we are beginning to see some real change, people are beginning to demand change from companies and their governments we just need to keep the pressure up and keep voting with our wallets!

Speaking of which, a friend of mine is in the process of setting up a platform to try and drive change from the bottom up: https://www.ourpledge.co.uk/

Gassho,

Neil

StLah.

Ryudo
06-14-2019, 12:12 PM
gassho2
Thank you Meitou for this thread.
Thank you all for your contributions.

Gassho/SatToday

Kendrick
06-14-2019, 03:58 PM
I used to work in the recycling/reselling industry. It was unbelievable how many pounds of clothing was donated in such a small area/population. It gets sorted, then about 90% of it gets baled in a vertical press then resold to another larger facility that sorts it again and either resells it once more overseas by the pound or shreds it to be reused for things like jeans and blankets. Main point being: we overconsume immensely - I'm guilty of it too. Especially when clothing is relatively cheap for western society when compared to our wages/salaries. Those resold clothes also end up back in other economies as super cheap used clothes - while a good price for the people buying them it ends up hurting the economy in those places because it discourages new industry. So it's good they are reused or recycled (much still ends up in a landfill, however) but if we didn't use so much of it to begin with it would be even better.

There are so many ways one can reduce their carbon footprint, use fewer resources up, etc. that it can be greatly overwhelming if you try to take on every possible new habit at once. It can become obsessive like any other activity or interest for certain so that is something to be careful of. Some things may even seem like a great idea at first glance or in popular practice but upon further analysis can be found to be nothing more than trading one bad for another bad and just action for action's sake (busy-ness). I try to take a gentle approach with myself with this and do small things when I can.

Some things I try to do others can try if it works for them:

1. Use old wash cloths/rags to clean with at home instead of paper when I can (some stuff you don't want in your washer/dryer because it can dangerous like spilled oils, grease, other chemicals, etc). I just fill up a basket until I have enough for a load to wash.

2. Combine trips. I don't live in an area where I can walk to anything (illegal to walk or ride a bike along the interstate/side of the highway here) so I get my grocery trips and other shopping/errands done while already downtown for work.

3. I use very low wattage LED lighting at home (and with dimmers). 4 watts or so for most bulbs vs 13-15 watts for CFLs, or 40-60 watts for incandescent bulbs.

4. I adjust the thermostat a bit when I'm away each day - not enough to put a lot of load on it when I set it back - just a few degrees difference. Turn the temp up when I'm gone for the day during the summer, and down in the winter (and at night in the winter).

5. I sew/repair my own clothes. I actually really like the feel and look of worn-in clothing. I buy better quality clothing to begin with as well since it is less prone to shrinking oddly or falling apart. I mostly buy factory reject clothes from good brands - stuff with irregular sizing, sewing mistakes (that I fix like the pants I'm wearing right now that had one functional pocket before I cut and fixed it), damage, etc. These clothes are less likely to be purchased by someone else.

6. Along the same lines as the clothing less desired I buy groceries in the same way - great deals in the process. I buy a lot of clearance /last chance/defect food items. Most of my meat purchases fall into this category - it's stuff that is going to be thrown away in a few hours when the store closes that evening. Saves it from being wasted, and saves me money (generally about 25% off).

7. I eat less meat - only at dinner on most days.

8. I use glass storage containers. Less plastic waste and it's more sanitary (plastic absorbs things that don't get clean, and also leak chemicals into food).

9. I pack my aluminum water bottle and ceramic bowl and metal chopsticks/utensils for my lunch foods. I'm fine with tap water over buying plastic bottles or using water filters that end up in the trash.

10. Let my hands dry naturally, or wipe them on my pants when I was my hands at places instead of using paper towels. It's slightly less sanitary but it cuts way back on the amount of paper waste.


Some things I wish I could do here but don't have the resources to do:

1. Recycling Program (aside from taking metal on your own to a scrap yard there isn't a public program here).

2. Walk/Bicycle places. Not legal from where I live to do this to get into town sadly. There is public transportation but only directly in town, not in the suburbs).

3. Solar panels. Far out of my price range or capability to implement here, and I plan on moving in the not-too-distant future.

4. Have a large garden. Don't really have space for it and it isn't allowed where I live (community restrictions). I can do food plants in pots though - I've grown some herbs that way for us before but the weather and insects here give us issues. I have a peach tree that I get 1-2 peaches from every few years - all the other peaches vanish from other things eating them or get eaten by insects before they ripen.

Gassho

SatToday

Cooperix
06-14-2019, 04:02 PM
Great conversation. Thanks for starting it Meitou.

My 2 cents:
Plastic straws, we've all seen the images of the sea turtle with a plastic straw stuck up her nose, or heard horror stories of dying sea life because of our addiction to plastic straws. I realize for health reasons some folks need straws to drink, but for the rest of us they are definitely not essential. I understand that California has outlawed them. If straws are offered there they are paper. Restaurants should be made aware and not offer straws, unless explicitly asked. Politely mention this issue to management. It's a little thing with a huge sad impact.
https://squareup.com/townsquare/why-plastic-straws-are-being-banned

Water, I live in the desert SW in the US. Water is a precious commodity here and we try to conserve. When I am waiting for the hot water to kick in I collect the water in pitchers to use on my garden. Many houses have rain collection gear. Will there eventually be water wars? I keep hearing that's a danger as many places on the planet have issues with potable water. Water wise landscaping, the 'don't rush to flush' advisement. Many ways to be careful with this resource.

After my mother passed away a few years back we used some of the money from my inheritance to install a solar system in our house and on my studio. Which is a win win situation as we were offered large tax breaks through the federal government and our state. Not sure how works now, with big changes in the government. But We often get money back from the utility company as we use less electricity than we generated that month.

Gassho,

Anne

~st~

Meitou
06-14-2019, 06:29 PM
Again thank you everyone for such great contributions! As Anne says water is a precious commodity, we should all see it that way wherever we are out of respect for people who have a struggle to find fresh water every day, something too easy to take for granted. I live on a very dry island, and generally during the summers, the authorities turn our water off from late evening to early morning. Most of us have reserve tanks which we can draw from, but it still gives pause for thought and encourages people to be careful.

This just arrived in my inbox from the Vegan Society - and although I'm not a vegan now, I try to limit the use of animal products as much as possible.Here's their link for PLate up for the Planet, a pledge to eat vegan for a week, I'll be joining in at the beginning of July. There's also a calculator for measuring the carbon impact of what we eat, which looks interesting.

https://www.vegansociety.com/take-action/campaigns/plate-planet

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Shoka
06-18-2019, 12:09 AM
Hey everyone,

One thing that I do which I think relates to Eco Living is having a garden. We are lucky and have a community garden, so we have about 300 sq. ft. to grow whatever we want. This is our 5th growing season, but we learn something new every year.

The first year, we had a horrible time and produced almost nothing. Which was eye opening to how much work goes into getting those veggies that we pick-up so easily at the grocery store. But it also meant we really cherished the little bit we were able to produce and enjoy. Because we are in a community garden, we have garden neighbors who often shared produce with us and knowledge for the next year.

The second year, we did much better. I was able to get a lot of basil to grow, arugula and a strange type of kale did really well. I made pesto out of the basil and gave it away to friends and family. Kale and arugula became a standard side salad. And we started to be good with eating leaves that had a small insect hole here and there. It also changed how I looked at picking fruits and vegetables at the store, I wasn't so worried about getting the "perfect" ones. And I was much more willing to eat them after they started to wilt a little or had a small bad spot that might need to be cut off.

Our third year was all about tomatoes because my guy loves tomatoes. That year I learned how to can tomato sauce as we had so many tomatoes that we couldn't keep up with using them or giving them away. We also got eggplants to grow, and some Japanese cucumbers. We learned to eat the veggies that would grow well in the garden... like eggplants which I never buy at the grocery store.

Last year that garden did amazingly! We had more produce than we knew what to do with. I had zucchini coming out of our ears, tomatoes for days, and lettuce for as many salads as we wanted. Every few days I would go and harvest; give away whatever was too much for us. And tried to use as much of the rest as we could. Last year was all about sharing with others and using everything we could.

After several seasons I definitely have a different respect for being able to buy some vegetables year round, like bell peppers. (Still haven't gotten those to grow well in the garden). I also really appreciate the amount of time and work that goes into the food that is on my table (especially if I haven't grown it).

Lastly, I've learned a lot about food waste. I was shocked with how much produce from our garden would go bad, or how much lettuce would be picked and tossed aside. To that end I started researching which leaves are editable and often make odd things like radish and beet leaf salads to minimize waste as much as possible.

Even if you don't have access to a big garden, it is surprising how much I have seen people grow in small places and even pots. Even just one herb pot that you love to cook with or use in the house.

I am often surprised by how wonderful a teacher the gardening can be.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Kotei
06-18-2019, 07:17 AM
Thank you Shoka, that sounds very rewarding (and work intensive).

Gardening over here is more on the ornamental side, but I am growing some tomatoes, peppers, zucchini in large pots on the terrace.
A friend round the corner grows potatoes on a slightly larger scale and if you commit to picking potato beetles and help here and there, you can dig some up instead of buying them in the store.

Regarding the veggie food waste, I am using a worm composter, consisting of large, stacked sieves (and compost worms, of course).
The resulting earth and 'worm-tea' are the best fertiliser, I know (containing only few nitrogen and lots of Mg/K/Ca/microorganisms etc.)
With your larger scale, that would probably be more on the traditional compost heap side, but the resulting fertiliser is of course the same.

Gassho,
Kotei sat/lah today.

Heiso
06-18-2019, 12:15 PM
If you only have a small space you can grow vertically and potatoes will do well in any old container like a bucket.

We are big on composting too and while I hate food waste I feel a bit better knowing it will be going back into producing the next season's vegetables. It's also pretty Buddhist!

On a separate note, with a toddler we go through a lot of milk and the containers have been making up a significant amount of our plastic consumption. Inspired by this thread we've switched over to delivery from a milkman using glass bottles. Not much but a little less plastic.

Gassho,

Neil

ST/LaH.

Jundo
06-18-2019, 03:17 PM
This was in the news today, and might cause some rethinking ...


The Plastic We 'Recycle' Is Actually Horrible for the Environment

That plastic bottle that you drop into a recycling bin on the streets of New York isn't always broken down and crafted into a brand-new product. Sometimes, it ends up across the world in someone's backyard, taking its place among scores of supermarket bags and snack pouches. [In Photos: The World's 10 Most Polluted Places]

The U.S. ships about 1 million tons of plastic waste overseas every year. Much of that plastic used to end up in China, where it was recycled — that is, until the country abruptly stopped most of the plastic waste imports in 2017. Now, a good part of U.S. plastic waste is shipped to the world's poorest countries for recycling, including Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia and Senegal, the Guardian reported.

Last year, about 68,000 shipping containers' worth of plastic recycling waste from the U.S. were shipped to developing countries, which mismanage over 70% of their own plastic waste, they wrote. For example, Malaysia dumps or improperly disposes 55% of its own plastic waste, yet it receives more U.S. recyclables than any other country, they wrote. What's more, an estimated 20% to 70% of plastic waste that goes to recycling facilities worldwide is unusable and discarded as trash, according to the report.

https://www.livescience.com/65730-where-us-plastic-recycling-lands.html

Gassho, J

STLah

Shokai
06-20-2019, 02:16 AM
The best re-use of plastic bottles I've seen was to spin it like cotton candy to make insulation filling for Nylon Winter Jackets.

Gassho, Shokai
stlah

Geika
06-20-2019, 10:18 PM
Thank you for starting this, Meitou. You must have read my mind: I was going to ask Jundo if we could start some kind of zero-waste-hopefuls club! It is something that has become really important to me and I am often watching YouTube videos about how to cut down on the plastics and waste in general.

Gassho

Sat today, lah

Junkyo
06-21-2019, 02:35 PM
Hi everyone!

Has anyone used wood/bamboo cutlery? I was thinking of getting a few sets for camping/bbq's etc. where we would prefer not to use plastic but I am not sure of the quality or durability of the wood sets. Perhaps it is better to get a second set of metal?

Gassho,

Junkyo
SAT

Tairin
06-21-2019, 08:18 PM
Hi everyone!

Has anyone used wood/bamboo cutlery? I was thinking of getting a few sets for camping/bbq's etc. where we would prefer not to use plastic but I am not sure of the quality or durability of the wood sets. Perhaps it is better to get a second set of metal?

Gassho,

Junkyo
SAT

My wife just bought a few bamboo teaspoons. We are using them in place of stir sticks or other such uses. They aren’t replacing our metal spoons. So far they are holding up fine after a few weeks of use. These are not finished in any way so I am expecting them to eventually stain.

We also have some bamboo utensils for cooking. They are also holding up well.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Geika
06-21-2019, 08:37 PM
I have a travel set of bamboo cutlery and a straw. They come in handy. For camping we like to go backpacking so we have the metal all-in-one spork knife.

Gassho

Sat today, lah

Doshin
06-21-2019, 11:47 PM
I am with Geika for backpacking and camping. Simple and durable. Heck I would use it at home if my wife did not try to civilize me some Only need to replace if you loose it!

Gassho
Doshin
St

Meitou
06-23-2019, 06:43 PM
This was in the news today, and might cause some rethinking ...The Plastic We 'Recycle' Is Actually Horrible for the Environment

That plastic bottle that you drop into a recycling bin on the streets of New York isn't always broken down and crafted into a brand-new product. Sometimes, it ends up across the world in someone's backyard, taking its place among scores of supermarket bags and snack pouches. [In Photos: The World's 10 Most Polluted Places]

The U.S. ships about 1 million tons of plastic waste overseas every year. Much of that plastic used to end up in China, where it was recycled — that is, until the country abruptly stopped most of the plastic waste imports in 2017. Now, a good part of U.S. plastic waste is shipped to the world's poorest countries for recycling, including Bangladesh, Laos, Ethiopia and Senegal, the Guardian reported.

Last year, about 68,000 shipping containers' worth of plastic recycling waste from the U.S. were shipped to developing countries, which mismanage over 70% of their own plastic waste, they wrote. For example, Malaysia dumps or improperly disposes 55% of its own plastic waste, yet it receives more U.S. recyclables than any other country, they wrote. What's more, an estimated 20% to 70% of plastic waste that goes to recycling facilities worldwide is unusable and discarded as trash, according to the report.

https://www.livescience.com/65730-wh...ing-lands.html



Gassho, J

STLah

Thanks everyone for your ideas and practices. I'm all for growing what you can at home, even if you only have window boxes or a couple of windowsills. A few years ago I managed to buy tomato seeds suitable for growing in 5" pots - I actually planted them in windowboxes on my balcony and they gave an amazing crop. We don't have space for much but still manage to grow lots of basil, parsley, sage, rocket and small leaf lettuce. Something that isn't available here is fresh coriander ( cilantro) and I've had no success growing it from seed -any tips on that gratefully received!

I've also just bought some bamboo cutlery, to use with my oryoki kit, so I'll let you know how they last.

Now my pet peeve, highlighted by Jundo's post above. Plastic bottles, specifically plastic bottled water. Apart from the unethical way water is taken from poorer countries to be sold to rich water-plenty countries, I'm really dumbfounded as to why people buy water in bottles at all when they have what is for some, the unimagined luxury of potable water coming straight out of their taps in their own homes.Even in the UK now people buy water in bottles because they 'don't like the taste' of tap water. What privilege to have that choice!
Here in Sardinia where I live, it's almost unheard of to drink water out of the tap even though it is drinkable. Bottled water is ridiculously cheap, between 20 and 25 centesimi for a litre - the water itself is often from local underground springs - and is hardly a deterrent to adding to the huge mountain of bottles that are used every year - Italy is the number one consumer of bottled water in Europe. I know that our water is drinkable, I drink it, but my husband wouldn't dream of it, so we are as much part of this problem as everyone else. Our plastic is collected separately once a week and we all put out huge sacks of it, but as pointed out above, then what happens to it?
There are some great intiatives - as well as that jacket filling Shokai mentions, I've seen ocean plastic recycled into all sorts of stuff - here are some companies who are doing that https://www.businessinsider.com/companies-that-use-recycled-ocean-plastic-in-products?IR=T#bureo-2
This is great, as long as they aren't producing more stuff that will again end up being thrown away after a few uses. This is why I believe it's important to honour the plastic you already have, make as much use of it as you can, then dispose of it as responsibly as possible when it reaches the end of its life. Otherwise, we are just perpetuating the problem.
I don't have an answer to the bottled water problem, I think in the end it's like so many other issues of consumerism - it comes down to each of us taking responsibility and asking ourselves 'Do I really need this?' and 'How will I dispose of it?'. Understanding the difference between 'want' and 'need' is always a good ( and sometimes uncomfortable) place to start.

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

mateus.baldin
06-24-2019, 02:18 AM
Bottled water is really a problem, Meitou. I think is a cultural problem. Nowadays no establishment gives a free glass of water, only sell a bottle. Here in Brazil bottled water isnít very cheap (4 or 5 reais, even more) but when we are out of home and thirsty, itís the only water we usually get. I buy them but keep the bottles for replenishing with water at home (I usually bring a bottle or two of water when I go out).
And at home we usually buy water. In part because the tap water not only tastes bad but can be a little dangerous. Thatís why we are saving money to buy a ceramic filter. My mother-in-law has one and the filtered water taste is great and there is no danger in drinking it even if is tap water.
Still looking for a good solution.
Thank you all for the suggestions.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Kyonin
06-24-2019, 05:47 PM
Hi Meitou,

I'm a simple man and I need so very little to live. All I do is to go for things as local and natural as I can and I only consume what I need to live. I restrain myself from excess.

That means I have very few clothes like only have 5 t-shirts, 1 pair of pants and my priest robes. I buy food at the local farmer's market and cook at home. I don't have a car, but I walk and use public transport. I take cold "showers" using a small bucket of water (about 10 liters) and some generic soap.

Not sure if what I do is eco, but it sure it's liberating.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Doshin
06-25-2019, 02:38 AM
Kyonin,
If we all lived like you there would be no reason for this thread

Gassho
Doshin
St

Meian
06-25-2019, 01:02 PM
Kyonin, thank you for your description. I now have a revised goal to consider. The car is difficult with my kids, but the rest of it, I'm partway there.

It goes directly against American culture but individually it is possible.

Learning what works for others can help.

Gassho
Kim
St lh

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

Meian
06-25-2019, 01:12 PM
We use filtered water due to the chemicals in tap water, but we use steel water bottles. If we have gallon plastic bottles, we reuse them around the house for other purposes. Due to city living, it can be difficult to find ways around all waste. My city seems to invite trash and pollution.

Gassho
Kim
St lh

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

Junkyo
06-25-2019, 01:44 PM
Hi Meitou,

I'm a simple man and I need so very little to live. All I do is to go for things as local and natural as I can and I only consume what I need to live. I restrain myself from excess.

That means I have very few clothes like only have 5 t-shirts, 1 pair of pants and my priest robes. I buy food at the local farmer's market and cook at home. I don't have a car, but I walk and use public transport. I take cold "showers" using a small bucket of water (about 10 liters) and some generic soap.

Not sure if what I do is eco, but it sure it's liberating.

Gassho,

Kyonin
Sat/LAH

Last night it really hit me as to how much "stuff" my wife and I have, our house is literally full of items that we never use, or nearly never use. I think it may be time to get rid of a few things! We often talk together about simplifying and downsizing what we own, and yet we never seem to get around to doing it. You post may be the motivation I need to finally get rid of a few things!

Thanks!

Gassho,

Junkyo
SAT

Cooperix
06-25-2019, 04:48 PM
There is a living with 100 item challenge going around (even a book, but that seems extravagant if you have to include that in your 100 items!)
https://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/6-easy-tips-for-living-with-100-items-or-less.html

Gassho,
Anne
~st~

mateus.baldin
06-25-2019, 04:53 PM
Last night it really hit me as to how much "stuff" my wife and I have, our house is literally full of items that we never use, or nearly never use. I think it may be time to get rid of a few things! We often talk together about simplifying and downsizing what we own, and yet we never seem to get around to doing it. You post may be the motivation I need to finally get rid of a few things!

Thanks!

Gassho,

Junkyo
SAT

Junkyo, the same is true to me and my wife. We are trying to simplify our lifestyle but we accumulated so many things (some we did buy, others we received as gift) that we have a ďnessa roomĒ full of boxes with things we have yet not opened since moving to our current town in 2016. Some of this stuff are books that we have to catalog and put in our home library. Others are certainly things that we forgot we had. Unfortunately when we have time to open this boxes (weekends and vacations), we are so tired that we use this days to rest or travel.
Thank you, Kyonin, for your post.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Nanrin
06-26-2019, 01:34 PM
Beautiful example Kyonin. I agree with Doshin - if everyone lived like that we'd not need to talk about eco-life.

Thank you everyone for all the good ideas! It's concerning how ineffective commercial recycling is in many places - didn't realize how bad it was. I try to focus on reducing consumption and re-using things myself as much as possible. It's pretty easy to pick up a steel water bottle or fabric shopping bags to cut down waste. It's fun to take old clothes and turn them into cleaning cloths, mops, or rugs.

It has taken me years to figure out what I need and clear out most of the extra stuff. Its a continual process to carefully choose what to bring in and how to fully use what I have. I barely have anything that doesn't provide significant value to my life. I have more than 100 things, but I am inspired by seeing how little we really need to live. Everyone has different life circumstances, eco-life will look different depending on regional climate, local laws, family and work situation, health, wealth, and many other factors. Every bit we can do counts.

I only have a few needs. Some clothing, some food, some shelter, some medicine. Add in things necessary to to make a living (computer, phone, office supplies, tools), transportation (a used bicycle and used motorcycle, no public transportation here), household supplies (kitchenware, wash basin, soap), some books, and odds and ends and that's it.

Most of my clothing is patched and mended. I try to choose simple durable items that will wear well and look ok if patched or re-dyed to hide stains. I wash my clothes by hand with a little dish soap and hang them out to dry in the sun. I have enough to wear for a couple weeks as during the monsoon season it can be a while in-between sunny days. I have more than I need as people keep giving me clothing. :) I recently went through a couple of boxes of old stuff and found a couple old pairs of pants and some t-shirts - I'm set for another couple years before I'll need anything more. Old clothing gets recycled into wash cloths, rugs, etc. My zafu is made from a pair of pants.

I cook using firewood I collect off the side of the road. This wood would be burned to clear the brush along the road, so there is no additional pollution caused by my actions. By removing the wood I reduce the risk of forest fires during the dry season. Sure is hard work though.

My house is very small (2.5x3 m). I built it myself out of local bamboo. We only have well water and solar power. I'm working on a rain gutter to collect rainwater. Our waste water (along with food scraps and other waste) go back to the soil for our trees and plants. It's all simple but my wife and I love it. I'm very glad to have a partner who is willing to live a simple contented life with me. I'm spoiled to live like this. It's usually not convenient, but it is very liberating. I hope to continue this life until I die.

Thank you all for your efforts to preserve our earth!

Gassho,

Nanrin

Sat

Sat

Heiso
06-27-2019, 10:22 AM
By way of an update - inspired by this thread we've conducted a bit of an audit on our plastic usage. As I've said we've switched from plastic to glass milk bottles. Having a toddler who drinks a lot of milks means this is a big reduction in the amount of plastic we've been recycling. Next up is food packaging and I think buying our vegetables from local markets rather than supermarkets will make a big difference, as well as helping keep the money we spend local.

Another area is clothing. Fast fashion is rightfully making the news here in the UK so we're trying buy far fewer new clothes and more second hand clothing or at least better quality, longer lasting clothing when needed.

And Meitou - Sardinia is such a beautiful island. I was there for 10 days last summer and had my honeymoon there a few years back so it will always have a special place for me.

Thank you all for your contributions, this is really inspiring.

Gassho,

Neil

StLaH

Doshin
06-27-2019, 02:58 PM
Thanks to all for making a difference.

gassho2

Doshin
St

Meitou
07-07-2019, 08:04 PM
Thank you everyone for keeping this going while I've been away and with such inspiring posts.
Kyonin, you are an inspiration. This is exactly the kind of lifestyle that I aspire to and I hope to get nearer to fulfilling that in time.
Today I took the Extinction Rebellion pledge not to buy any new clothes for a year - this is not just about ugly and unnecessary consumerism, but about how land that could be used to grow food to feed people is instead being used to grow cotton to satisfy our endless and overwhelming demand for fashionable new clothes. I was very proud of myself on my visit to the UK not to fall prey to the temptation of Primark - Neil and other Brits will know what I mean!

Please keep the ideas and good practices coming, I'm finding a lot of inspiration in this thread and I hope others are too.

Oh and Neil I'm so glad you loved this beautiful island - in fact as we are fairly isolated and imported goods are very expensive, this is an ideal place to try to live a simpler life.

Gassho
Meitou
sattoday

Neil thank you for your lovely comments about Sardinia, this is a good place to live a more simple life. I'm in Alghero, did you visit this area?

Meitou
07-14-2019, 06:05 PM
Although not of our tradition, I really enjoyed this article in Tricycle about a Theravada Forest Tradition monastery which has been established in BC Canada by Ajahn Sona, a monk somewhat ahead of his time in his dedication to nature and eco dharma. I particularly liked his stories about his early 'pioneering days', but doubt he misses them!

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/ajahn-sona-forest-monastery/?utm_source=Tricycle&utm_campaign=781957c066-Newsletter_19_7_14_Subs&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1641abe55e-781957c066-307791069

Gassho
Meitou
satwithyoualltodaylah

Jakuden
07-14-2019, 11:54 PM
Although not of our tradition, I really enjoyed this article in Tricycle about a Theravada Forest Tradition monastery which has been established in BC Canada by Ajahn Sona, a monk somewhat ahead of his time in his dedication to nature and eco dharma. I particularly liked his stories about his early 'pioneering days', but doubt he misses them!

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/ajahn-sona-forest-monastery/?utm_source=Tricycle&utm_campaign=781957c066-Newsletter_19_7_14_Subs&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1641abe55e-781957c066-307791069

Gassho
Meitou
satwithyoualltodaylah

Very cool! I was hoping for more details about how they live, it's really amazing and beautiful.

Gassho,
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH

Tairin
07-15-2019, 12:35 AM
Although not of our tradition, I really enjoyed this article in Tricycle about a Theravada Forest Tradition monastery which has been established in BC Canada by Ajahn Sona, a monk somewhat ahead of his time in his dedication to nature and eco dharma. I particularly liked his stories about his early 'pioneering days', but doubt he misses them!

https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/ajahn-sona-forest-monastery/?utm_source=Tricycle&utm_campaign=781957c066-Newsletter_19_7_14_Subs&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_1641abe55e-781957c066-307791069

Gassho
Meitou
satwithyoualltodaylah

Thank you. That was interesting.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Heiso
07-15-2019, 10:07 AM
Thank you everyone for keeping this going while I've been away and with such inspiring posts.
Kyonin, you are an inspiration. This is exactly the kind of lifestyle that I aspire to and I hope to get nearer to fulfilling that in time.
Today I took the Extinction Rebellion pledge not to buy any new clothes for a year - this is not just about ugly and unnecessary consumerism, but about how land that could be used to grow food to feed people is instead being used to grow cotton to satisfy our endless and overwhelming demand for fashionable new clothes. I was very proud of myself on my visit to the UK not to fall prey to the temptation of Primark - Neil and other Brits will know what I mean!

Please keep the ideas and good practices coming, I'm finding a lot of inspiration in this thread and I hope others are too.

Oh and Neil I'm so glad you loved this beautiful island - in fact as we are fairly isolated and imported goods are very expensive, this is an ideal place to try to live a simpler life.

Gassho
Meitou
sattoday

Neil thank you for your lovely comments about Sardinia, this is a good place to live a more simple life. I'm in Alghero, did you visit this area?

Yes, the temptation to pick up some cheap clothes in Primark is, well, tempting!

We nearly visited Alghero but the first time opted for a few days in Cagliari then 10 days or so down the coast in Pula. The second time we were at a wedding on the east Coast near Siniscola but did make it up in the mountains to Nuoro, I think. If we visit again it will definitely include Alghero!

On the Eco front we're now looking at how we can remove plastic from the bathroom - bamboo toothbrushes, shampoo bars rather than bottles are a few easy wins, I think.

Gassho,

Neil.

Shoka
07-31-2019, 06:19 PM
I have a neighbor who has turned about half of their front yard into the most lovely garden. I love walking by in the evening and seeing all her veggies coming up. It is truly amazing, because I tried for a couple years to grow herbs in my front yard and they kept getting destroyed by stray cats. If I see her out working the garden I always comment on how nice it is, because I know it's an odd type of front yard to have.

Seeing it the other night it reminded me of this family, who turned their house into an urban homestead. They live on a normal size lot in southern California and are able to produce all the vegetables they eat, and have enough extra to sell to people. While I don't think I'm going to quit my day job to do urban homesteading, it is interesting to see what can be accomplished in small places.

5869

http://urbanhomestead.org/

Remember "one raindrop raises the sea"; any small step makes a difference.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

krissydear
07-31-2019, 07:07 PM
I have a neighbor who has turned about half of their front yard into the most lovely garden. I love walking by in the evening and seeing all her veggies coming up. It is truly amazing, because I tried for a couple years to grow herbs in my front yard and they kept getting destroyed by stray cats. If I see her out working the garden I always comment on how nice it is, because I know it's an odd type of front yard to have.

Seeing it the other night it reminded me of this family, who turned their house into an urban homestead. They live on a normal size lot in southern California and are able to produce all the vegetables they eat, and have enough extra to sell to people. While I don't think I'm going to quit my day job to do urban homesteading, it is interesting to see what can be accomplished in small places.

5869

http://urbanhomestead.org/

Remember "one raindrop raises the sea"; any small step makes a difference.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Wow! That is an inspirational photo. I struggle with gardening for some reason but my mother and aunts do it- here (California) in our backyards and in the Philippines. Fortunately, I donít have a front yard full of thirsty grass, but I do have a smaller backyard.

I am starting small with herbs, but I am trying again! We have also started to be more eco-conscious in our home- less meat, re-assessing what we use and donít use, recycling with more consistancy, etc.

Thank you for renewing my commitment.

Gassho
Krissy
Sat/lah today


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Kyotai
07-31-2019, 08:15 PM
That is impressive

Gassho Kyotai

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

Meitou
08-02-2019, 06:44 PM
Shoka, that is amazing, it's so beautiful as well, truly inspiring. I'm definitely going to try harder next year with growing veg in pots and containers.

Talking of vegetables, I've just finished a plant based week of eating as part of a Vegan Society initiative, and today I've just seen another project for three weeks vegan eating in September. I'm being made increasingly and uncomfortably aware of the negative impact on the environment I'm having by eating animal products, and also today an article about vegetarianism and Buddhism ( yes that old chestnut) also pricked my conscience. My problem is that whenever I try plant based eating, it doesn't seem to agree with me, carbs seem to have a bad effect on me. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding this - I keep seeing people saying how healthy they feel on a plant based diet, yet there's my experience, not feeling healthy and putting on weight too. Ugh, what am I doing wrong?!

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Shinshi
08-02-2019, 07:45 PM
I have a neighbor who has turned about half of their front yard into the most lovely garden. I love walking by in the evening and seeing all her veggies coming up. It is truly amazing, because I tried for a couple years to grow herbs in my front yard and they kept getting destroyed by stray cats. If I see her out working the garden I always comment on how nice it is, because I know it's an odd type of front yard to have.

Seeing it the other night it reminded me of this family, who turned their house into an urban homestead. They live on a normal size lot in southern California and are able to produce all the vegetables they eat, and have enough extra to sell to people. While I don't think I'm going to quit my day job to do urban homesteading, it is interesting to see what can be accomplished in small places.

5869

http://urbanhomestead.org/

Remember "one raindrop raises the sea"; any small step makes a difference.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

That is a great story Shoka, and I love the picture.

Just to be a little tangential - the picture reminded me of a TV show from the 70s/80s (yes I am old) that ran on PBS here in the US. It was called Good Neighbors here and The Good Life in the UK where is was shot and filmed. The premise was that a person who had a successful career as a plastics designer (toys) decided to give it all up and become self sustaining on his home in a wealthy suburb in the UK. His neighbors weren't happy. :) My recollection was that his yard looked much like your picture.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Good_Life_(1975_TV_series)

I guess the show was a bit ahead of its time. :)

Gassho, Shinshi

SaT-LaH

Tairin
08-03-2019, 11:07 AM
Hi Meitou

Maybe you could describe the “negative effects” eating plant based has on you. Maybe they aren’t as uncommon or negative as you think.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Jakuden
08-03-2019, 03:18 PM
Shoka, that is amazing, it's so beautiful as well, truly inspiring. I'm definitely going to try harder next year with growing veg in pots and containers.

Talking of vegetables, I've just finished a plant based week of eating as part of a Vegan Society initiative, and today I've just seen another project for three weeks vegan eating in September. I'm being made increasingly and uncomfortably aware of the negative impact on the environment I'm having by eating animal products, and also today an article about vegetarianism and Buddhism ( yes that old chestnut) also pricked my conscience. My problem is that whenever I try plant based eating, it doesn't seem to agree with me, carbs seem to have a bad effect on me. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding this - I keep seeing people saying how healthy they feel on a plant based diet, yet there's my experience, not feeling healthy and putting on weight too. Ugh, what am I doing wrong?!

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

I have the same problem, I get digestive discomfort, gain weight from the carbs and generally feel hypoglycemic and yucky if I donít have at least a small amount of animal protein.

Gassho
Jakuden
SatToday/LAH


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Doshin
08-03-2019, 07:06 PM
I have a neighbor who has turned about half of their front yard into the most lovely garden. I love walking by in the evening and seeing all her veggies coming up. It is truly amazing, because I tried for a couple years to grow herbs in my front yard and they kept getting destroyed by stray cats. If I see her out working the garden I always comment on how nice it is, because I know it's an odd type of front yard to have.

Seeing it the other night it reminded me of this family, who turned their house into an urban homestead. They live on a normal size lot in southern California and are able to produce all the vegetables they eat, and have enough extra to sell to people. While I don't think I'm going to quit my day job to do urban homesteading, it is interesting to see what can be accomplished in small places.

5869

http://urbanhomestead.org/

Remember "one raindrop raises the sea"; any small step makes a difference.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Amazing

Doshin
St

newby_x86
08-04-2019, 06:21 AM
Shoka, that is amazing, it's so beautiful as well, truly inspiring. I'm definitely going to try harder next year with growing veg in pots and containers.

Talking of vegetables, I've just finished a plant based week of eating as part of a Vegan Society initiative, and today I've just seen another project for three weeks vegan eating in September. I'm being made increasingly and uncomfortably aware of the negative impact on the environment I'm having by eating animal products, and also today an article about vegetarianism and Buddhism ( yes that old chestnut) also pricked my conscience. My problem is that whenever I try plant based eating, it doesn't seem to agree with me, carbs seem to have a bad effect on me. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding this - I keep seeing people saying how healthy they feel on a plant based diet, yet there's my experience, not feeling healthy and putting on weight too. Ugh, what am I doing wrong?!

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Hi Meitou,

If you're cooking beans and lentils, I'd definitely experiment with adding stuff like Asafoetida, Coriander leaves, Cloves, Cumin, Cinnamon etc. With vegetables especially, a little bit of garlic and ginger works great. Post meals, we pop a bit of jaggery around here to help it go down. All great digestive aids (assuming no food allergies of course :) )

Gassho
Anant
SaT

Shoka
08-05-2019, 07:53 PM
Talking of vegetables, I've just finished a plant based week of eating as part of a Vegan Society initiative, and today I've just seen another project for three weeks vegan eating in September. I'm being made increasingly and uncomfortably aware of the negative impact on the environment I'm having by eating animal products, and also today an article about vegetarianism and Buddhism ( yes that old chestnut) also pricked my conscience. My problem is that whenever I try plant based eating, it doesn't seem to agree with me, carbs seem to have a bad effect on me. I'm just wondering if anyone here has any advice regarding this - I keep seeing people saying how healthy they feel on a plant based diet, yet there's my experience, not feeling healthy and putting on weight too. Ugh, what am I doing wrong?!



Meitou,

So I'll tell my story on my GI track and why I can't be vegan or vegetarian. (I'll try to keep it short without all the gross stuff.)

A few years ago, I was sick for months. There was at least a 6 month period, when I was always hungry even after eating a big meal I never felt satisfied. My body wasn't gaining weight but I looked two sizes bigger. And I was deficient in several vitamins. I spent a few months doing tests, tracking what I was eating, and doing some procedures to check my insides. Something was clearly wrong, but we weren't having much luck figuring out what. So on a whim my doctor said to cut gluten and dairy and eat as bland as possible for a week. I had chicken and white rice soup mainly. And I felt amazing! Yippee!

Then we started adding foods back in, fruits and veggies cause they are good for you, right? Suddenly things started to not feel as good anymore. My system was having a hard time again, and I wasn't processing the food correctly.

The end of the story is that I'm gluten intolerant, and allergic to dairy. I also can't handle veggies which are too fibrous like kale and cabbage (even through I love them so). Really any sturdy veggie is hard on my system. Also fruits alone as a bad plan, something with the sugar levels and my body over reacting to it.

For me, I can eat vegan or vegetarian for a day or two; but after that the fiber levels get too high, sugars get out of whack and my body stops processing things correctly. So it's not a sustainable diet for me.

The reason I'm sharing this is because it took months of trail and error to figure out what was wrong. Everything you read or see, says an apple should be good, kale is great for this, eat a banana for for potassium... etc, etc. But I believe that every body is different; a diet that works wonderfully for someone won't necessarily work for everyone.

If switching to veganism is something you really want to do, then talk with your doctor about the side affects and see what they say. You never know there could be something else or they might suggest a better way to transition so your body is happier.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Shoka
08-10-2019, 04:42 PM
I work in construction (as I think most everyone knows by now), so I wear jeans almost all the time and ruin them pretty fast. Earlier this week I had a relatively new pair that got snagged on something at work and split a seam.

I was really close to tossing them out, when I decided to take just a few minutes to stitch them back together. I grabbed my small sewing kit that I have from sewing rakusu and use the exact same stitch to gently close the seam.

They are good as new. Many the three Rs should become four Repair.

Gassho,

Shoka
sat/lah

Meian
08-10-2019, 06:30 PM
Meitou,

So I'll tell my story on my GI track and why I can't be vegan or vegetarian. (I'll try to keep it short without all the gross stuff.)

A few years ago, I was sick for months. There was at least a 6 month period, when I was always hungry even after eating a big meal I never felt satisfied. My body wasn't gaining weight but I looked two sizes bigger. And I was deficient in several vitamins. I spent a few months doing tests, tracking what I was eating, and doing some procedures to check my insides. Something was clearly wrong, but we weren't having much luck figuring out what. So on a whim my doctor said to cut gluten and dairy and eat as bland as possible for a week. I had chicken and white rice soup mainly. And I felt amazing! Yippee!

Then we started adding foods back in, fruits and veggies cause they are good for you, right? Suddenly things started to not feel as good anymore. My system was having a hard time again, and I wasn't processing the food correctly.

The end of the story is that I'm gluten intolerant, and allergic to dairy. I also can't handle veggies which are too fibrous like kale and cabbage (even through I love them so). Really any sturdy veggie is hard on my system. Also fruits alone as a bad plan, something with the sugar levels and my body over reacting to it.

For me, I can eat vegan or vegetarian for a day or two; but after that the fiber levels get too high, sugars get out of whack and my body stops processing things correctly. So it's not a sustainable diet for me.

The reason I'm sharing this is because it took months of trail and error to figure out what was wrong. Everything you read or see, says an apple should be good, kale is great for this, eat a banana for for potassium... etc, etc. But I believe that every body is different; a diet that works wonderfully for someone won't necessarily work for everyone.

If switching to veganism is something you really want to do, then talk with your doctor about the side affects and see what they say. You never know there could be something else or they might suggest a better way to transition so your body is happier.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday
Thank you, Shoka. Although my diet is mostly vegetarian (I can't handle much meat), I'm glad I'm not alone in food sensitivities. Foods like broccoli, legumes, onions, cabbage, and dairy put me in severe pain. I avoid most gluten by default.

I drink almond or soymilk, and stick with a small range of foods I know are safe, with yogurt and nuts.

Gassho
Kim
St lh

Sent from my SM-G930U using Tapatalk

Meitou
08-10-2019, 06:53 PM
Meitou,

So I'll tell my story on my GI track and why I can't be vegan or vegetarian. (I'll try to keep it short without all the gross stuff.)

A few years ago, I was sick for months. There was at least a 6 month period, when I was always hungry even after eating a big meal I never felt satisfied. My body wasn't gaining weight but I looked two sizes bigger. And I was deficient in several vitamins. I spent a few months doing tests, tracking what I was eating, and doing some procedures to check my insides. Something was clearly wrong, but we weren't having much luck figuring out what. So on a whim my doctor said to cut gluten and dairy and eat as bland as possible for a week. I had chicken and white rice soup mainly. And I felt amazing! Yippee!

Then we started adding foods back in, fruits and veggies cause they are good for you, right? Suddenly things started to not feel as good anymore. My system was having a hard time again, and I wasn't processing the food correctly.

The end of the story is that I'm gluten intolerant, and allergic to dairy. I also can't handle veggies which are too fibrous like kale and cabbage (even through I love them so). Really any sturdy veggie is hard on my system. Also fruits alone as a bad plan, something with the sugar levels and my body over reacting to it.

For me, I can eat vegan or vegetarian for a day or two; but after that the fiber levels get too high, sugars get out of whack and my body stops processing things correctly. So it's not a sustainable diet for me.

The reason I'm sharing this is because it took months of trail and error to figure out what was wrong. Everything you read or see, says an apple should be good, kale is great for this, eat a banana for for potassium... etc, etc. But I believe that every body is different; a diet that works wonderfully for someone won't necessarily work for everyone.

If switching to veganism is something you really want to do, then talk with your doctor about the side affects and see what they say. You never know there could be something else or they might suggest a better way to transition so your body is happier.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Thank you Shoka and everyone who has replied to this. I've been doing some reading and find that I'm really ignorant about recent developments - still living in the 70's I think! I've learned that there's now a perceived difference between vegan and plant based, and I've come around to thinking that in the past my vegan eating wasn't very healthy - I was kind of aware of that anyway, but buried my head in the sand with the thought that I wasn't eating meat or dairy - ergo I was eating better. Wrong. I agree Shoka, it takes a lot of time, trial and flexibility to find what suits, one size doesn't fit all. I'm currently reading Forks Over Knives which is all about whole food and plant based eating which I think may suit me better. Has anyone else read this?

And yes to repairing clothes - the Japanese have made an art form out of it of course!

Gassho
Meitou
satwithyoualltodaylah

Tairin
08-19-2019, 02:02 PM
Some thought for you from our friend Susan Moon

https://tricycle.org/magazine/stop-shopping/

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

newby_x86
08-19-2019, 05:43 PM
Some thought for you from our friend Susan Moon

https://tricycle.org/magazine/stop-shopping/

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

This was a delightful read, thank you for sharing Tairin :)

Gassho
Anant
SaT

mateus.baldin
08-23-2019, 10:12 PM
My friends,
The fires on Siberia and Amazon are constantly on my thoughts these last days. I'm very sad with what is happening and angry (difficult to overcome) with my government's responses to it. The fires in Brazil were probably men made and are a result of many inadequacies in our economy and politics. It is a little common to have fires here where I live, in the cerrado (which is a savannah kind of vegetation) and the caatinga (a semi-arid vegetation), in the Center and Northeast of Brazil, as these are very dry areas. But the Amazon is a rain forest, full of humidity and regular (in some places even daily) rain. It is most unusual that a rain forest burns with fires. A clear sign that something is really wrong with the environment.
I kept thinking “what can I do?”, and the only answer that came is this: stop to by agricultural products from non-sustainable sources. The fires are made in order to create new land, mainly for cattle, soy and cotton. The only thing I can do is to stop financing the agrobusiness, specially the plantation owners that keep these unsustainable practices. It’s even worse when I remember the amount of pesticides that are being used.
So my wife and I have decided to stop buying non organic or non-agroecological vegetables, stop buying meat (I already don’t eat meat, but she does) and find alternatives from trustworthy sources. For us here, in a small town, it will be a lot harder (I still couldn’t find a supplier of onion that met the organic/agroecological criterion). This is easier for you, my American, European and Asian friends, to do, as I simply urge you to stop buying Brazilian agricultural goods. It is a little thing we can do in order to press the Brazilian agrobusiness to stop.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Shoka
09-03-2019, 10:56 PM
Yesterday my washing machine decided it would be fun to dump gallons of water all over the laundry room and kitchen floor, I'm guessing a washer inside failed. But it was broken. And I had work today, without any clean socks or pants. So I got to experience hand-washing in the bathtub.

It's funny because as I was doing it I thought, "wow, this would be a real pain to do with all the clothes I wear every week." Then I remembered something my grandma had told me about their house (which was an old farmer house). They had built closets in the bedrooms sometime in the 80's. I laughed at that and said, "What did people do with their clothes before that?" She said, "Well we didn't used to have as many clothes as we have today. They just had pegs on the wall, because a woman might only have 2 or 3 dresses, and one nice Sunday dress."

It's seems an oddity in today's society to have so few clothes. But it makes sense since it has become so convenient to wash and dry them, why not have a bunch? This experience might have impressed me to try an experiment.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Nanrin
09-04-2019, 10:06 AM
Yesterday my washing machine decided it would be fun to dump gallons of water all over the laundry room and kitchen floor, I'm guessing a washer inside failed. But it was broken. And I had work today, without any clean socks or pants. So I got to experience hand-washing in the bathtub.

It's funny because as I was doing it I thought, "wow, this would be a real pain to do with all the clothes I wear every week." Then I remembered something my grandma had told me about their house (which was an old farmer house). They had built closets in the bedrooms sometime in the 80's. I laughed at that and said, "What did people do with their clothes before that?" She said, "Well we didn't used to have as many clothes as we have today. They just had pegs on the wall, because a woman might only have 2 or 3 dresses, and one nice Sunday dress."

It's seems an oddity in today's society to have so few clothes. But it makes sense since it has become so convenient to wash and dry them, why not have a bunch? This experience might have impressed me to try an experiment.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Hello Shoka,

My wife didn't have a washer when I moved in with her. I'd washed things by hand before, but never as my main method of cleaning clothing. At first my hands ached, and I found I could only wash a couple pairs of clothing at a time before it was too painful to continue. We hoped to buy a washer, but money was tight and eventually my hands stopped aching and hand washing everything became normal. I've washed everything by hand in room temperature water since.

I've found I don't need much clothing - although those old farmers had much less than I do. I need three of anything I wear daily in a given season - one to wear while the other two are washed and hung up to dry. Having a couple additional pieces is nice during the rainy months when it's hard to dry clothing. More than five of the same thing is unnecessary surplus for how I live (how many you need really depends on how you live). Since I don't have many items, I wear a few plain colours that all match. Now I never spend more than a moment to decide what to wear.

Everyone will has to find their own balance.

I'm curious to hear more about your experiment.

Gassho,

Nanrin

Sat today

P.S. For anyone considering regularly washing clothes by hand, I'd highly recommend getting a basin for the task. Sinks tend to be too small, bathtubs too big, buckets are too small and too narrow. If you use a non-toxic soap/detergent, the waste water can be used to water plants too. :)

Doshin
09-04-2019, 01:44 PM
My friends,
The fires on Siberia and Amazon are constantly on my thoughts these last days. I'm very sad with what is happening and angry (difficult to overcome) with my government's responses to it. The fires in Brazil were probably men made and are a result of many inadequacies in our economy and politics. It is a little common to have fires here where I live, in the cerrado (which is a savannah kind of vegetation) and the caatinga (a semi-arid vegetation), in the Center and Northeast of Brazil, as these are very dry areas. But the Amazon is a rain forest, full of humidity and regular (in some places even daily) rain. It is most unusual that a rain forest burns with fires. A clear sign that something is really wrong with the environment.
I kept thinking “what can I do?”, and the only answer that came is this: stop to by agricultural products from non-sustainable sources. The fires are made in order to create new land, mainly for cattle, soy and cotton. The only thing I can do is to stop financing the agrobusiness, specially the plantation owners that keep these unsustainable practices. It’s even worse when I remember the amount of pesticides that are being used.
So my wife and I have decided to stop buying non organic or non-agroecological vegetables, stop buying meat (I already don’t eat meat, but she does) and find alternatives from trustworthy sources. For us here, in a small town, it will be a lot harder (I still couldn’t find a supplier of onion that met the organic/agroecological criterion). This is easier for you, my American, European and Asian friends, to do, as I simply urge you to stop buying Brazilian agricultural goods. It is a little thing we can do in order to press the Brazilian agrobusiness to stop.
Gassho,
Mateus
Sat today/LAH


Thank you for your concern and practice for change.

Gassho
Doshin
St

Nengei
09-05-2019, 01:08 AM
I am currently in the process of drastically reducing my wardrobe, and am attempting to follow a single, default look. I found information about something called Project333 that got me started. The idea is to wear only 33 articles of clothing for the next 3 months. Your wedding ring, underwear, sleep wear, lounge wear, and workout gear don't count (as long as you actually wear them for those things). But any outerwear, shoes, and accessories do count. Everything else gets put away.

My default look at this point is a plain, dark evergreen T-shirt (I have 4 of them) and a pair of brown cargo pants (I have 2 of them). I have selected one button-up shirt to wear if I need it. It's easy at this point because I am currently job-hunting, so I am not required to wear a particular thing. Once I land a job, I will have to be more selective to keep my wardrobe down to 33 items. The "rules" of the project are that if you truly can't keep to 33, it is okay to choose a number that is realistic for your circumstances. I may add work clothes in as "no-count" items.

Anyway, I have been doing this for two weeks and I like it much, much better than I thought. I thought I would have a hard time letting go of a lot of my differently coloured, logo T shirts, etc., but I don't miss them at all. I like the default look just fine.

Gassho,
然芸 Nengei
Sat today. LAH.

You deserve to be happy.
You deserve to be loved.


Yesterday my washing machine decided it would be fun to dump gallons of water all over the laundry room and kitchen floor, I'm guessing a washer inside failed. But it was broken. And I had work today, without any clean socks or pants. So I got to experience hand-washing in the bathtub.

It's funny because as I was doing it I thought, "wow, this would be a real pain to do with all the clothes I wear every week." Then I remembered something my grandma had told me about their house (which was an old farmer house). They had built closets in the bedrooms sometime in the 80's. I laughed at that and said, "What did people do with their clothes before that?" She said, "Well we didn't used to have as many clothes as we have today. They just had pegs on the wall, because a woman might only have 2 or 3 dresses, and one nice Sunday dress."

It's seems an oddity in today's society to have so few clothes. But it makes sense since it has become so convenient to wash and dry them, why not have a bunch? This experience might have impressed me to try an experiment.

Gassho,

Shoka
sattoday

Meitou
09-06-2019, 07:29 AM
When we first moved here we had to wait a couple of weeks before we could get a washing machine. I hand washed everything, either in the double sink or over the bath for bigger items. I found it really hard and decided back then that the one item essential to living was a washing machine.
Then I thought about my mum; she never had a washing machine, she raised two of us in the time of towelling nappies, which she boiled everyday in a 'copper' on the stove top, she then put everything through a hand turned mangel/wringer, and I have not very fond memories of helping her put dripping sheets through the wringer (outside!) in weather so cold that they dried on the washing line as stiff as boards.
And I couldn't deal with a couple of weeks of hand washing! I'm more mindful these days of how often I use the washer (conserving power, water etc) and have never owned a drier - thank heavens for our fresh air and mild winters.
Now that I'm not buying new clothes for at least a year, I'm taking more care of the clothes I have, sometimes handwashing them, repairing when I can and repurposing stuff which is too far gone - salvaging what I can to crochet rugs , rags for cleaning etc.
I like the idea of a what we might call a capsule wardrobe, as I look closer at the whole issue of fashion and consumerism, I too feel some ideas germinating. Once I start to think about these things, it becomes very hard to unthink them!
Thank you everyone for continuing to contribute to thus thread.
Gassho
Meitou
Satwithyoualltoday lah

mateus.baldin
09-07-2019, 09:12 PM
Thank you everyone for continuing to contribute to thus thread.

Thank you, Meitou and everybody, for this thread. I donít contribute very much here with ideas or stories, but your comments and suggestions have been giving me so much and made me change a lot of things in my life.
gassho1
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Heiso
09-10-2019, 02:52 PM
I managed to buy my winter coat last week on eBay for £11 including shipping!

We also had to say goodbye to our car in July and since then have had to borrow my wife's mother's a couple of times which has worked well. I know it won't work for many but I do wonder if car pooling/sharing could be a good option for people if done properly.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

Meitou
09-10-2019, 07:40 PM
Thank you, Meitou and everybody, for this thread. I don’t contribute very much here with ideas or stories, but your comments and suggestions have been giving me so much and made me change a lot of things in my life.
gassho1
Mateus
Sat today/LAH

Mateus, I always regard you as one of our most sincere and dedicated practitioners and contributors - that you are often a presence here is a contribution in itself, Thank you.
Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Meitou
09-10-2019, 07:48 PM
I managed to buy my winter coat last week on eBay for £11 including shipping!

We also had to say goodbye to our car in July and since then have had to borrow my wife's mother's a couple of times which has worked well. I know it won't work for many but I do wonder if car pooling/sharing could be a good option for people if done properly.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

Excellent! As I'm not buying new and we don't have charity or thrift shops here, I'm hoping I haven't 'outgrown' my old winter coat[morehappy]
I never learnt to drive, yes incredible I know, and although my husband has a car, I walk everywhere if I can. I'm lucky that I live in a small town and can walk to supermarkets etc.
I think car sharing is a great idea, I'd bet there are other people in your community who would be up for that - as well as investigating public transport, often so underused and inexpensive. I've always felt that the more people use public transport, the better it would become in response.
Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Onka
09-15-2019, 06:32 AM
Not so sure my partner and I make that much of a positive difference in terms of ecological impact but certain elements of what many have said in this thread resonate especially Kyonin and Ninrin.

We almost live completely off grid in an illegal dwelling that can't be secured and has few windows but do get electricity from a neighbour who has solar panels. Our drinking water supply is from a rainwater tank but we do have access to 'rural water' which is essentially water from the river. We don't have hot water and wash ourselves using a bucket, around 10 litres. We don't have an oven so all cooking and heating of water is done via a small camping style gas ring. I don't remember the last time we bought clothes, but we make and repair many of them. We have a grey water system than waters our plants and have a septic tank for black waste. We have a twin tub washing machine which means we can use one lot of water to do more than one load of washing. It also allows us to use the left over grey water to water our bamboo. We grow whatever we can and we have the approach of accepting whatever we can grow in a particular season as what we'll be eating a lot of. Sometimes for example we have more pumpkins than we can eat while other times we have more zucchinis than we know what to do with. We don't have too many gardens as such, more that we throw out seeds and scraps and whatever comes up comes up. We don't have a phone line and mobile reception is patchy. When we go into town we try to avoid plastics as there is no recycling program where we are. All sounds pretty idillic and eco friendly but our closest town is around 30km away, there's very little in terms of public transport, a twice daily bus service that is about 7km from where we live, and we drive a diesel ute which we need to carry round bales and stock feed plus I need to get us to many regular medical appointments so that possibly undermines everything else. Anyway...
Gassho
Anna
ST

Tairin
09-15-2019, 01:00 PM
For those that don’t know what I am talking about https://swiffer.com/en-us/shop-products/mopping/swiffer-wetjet-mop-starter-kit

I grew up close to both sets of grandparents. My grandparents were survivors of the Great Depression and like many survivors it led them towards humble, frugal lives. Both my grandfather and my dad are quite handy. My grandfather in particular was quite adept at repairing items. He also kept random bits and pieces of stuff around just in case he needed them. That rubbed off on me. If something breaks down my first instinct is to try to repair or salvage it. What I am finding is that it is getting increasingly harder. The Swiffer mop is a good example. My wife bought it years ago. It is primarily made of plastic with a hollow metal rod. It has started to wear out where it no longer squirts cleaning fluid consistently. Yesterday i took it apart to see if there was anything that could be done to fix it. Sadly no. The plastic is just wearing out. It isn’t a serviceable item. No one would even think of repairing these things. Just buy a new one. Sadly we are in that position too. I’ll keep the metal rod. I may be able to find something I can use it for. The plastic will end up in landfill. It isn’t recyclable material.

It struck me that when we think of a ecologically friendly life we need to consider our purchases and the the life cycle of those possessions particularly in a economic climate that expects us to buy, use and discard/replace.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Eva
09-15-2019, 01:53 PM
Hello Tairin,

your name means Peaceful Woods, so I was thinking why not use the cuban mop
https://www.amazon.com/IMUSA-I522-28-Cuban-Wood-Stick/dp/B0018E6OKC?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_1

Just an idea, nothing more.
Gassho, eva

sattoday and also LAH

Ishin
09-15-2019, 03:04 PM
Iím grateful for this thread and for everyone working around the world and here trying to make a difference. I have been interested and concerned about environmental issues ever since I was a child. Seeing the rest of the planet as ourselves is very much part of this practice. Given deforestation, pollution, decimation of species etc. it can seem very daunting indeed to even know where or how to make a difference. As otherís have stated any small thing is a step in the right direction. However, our passion for these kind of efforts can sometimes get us worked up to the point where we can act without wisdom, and given the capitalistic nature of the business world, thereís no shortage of charlatans trying to take advantage of those passions, marketing products that arenít necessarily as environmentally sound as they claim. We must balance compassion with wisdom. For example, electric cars sound like a good idea on paper, but the exotic metals mined to create them might be having more of a negative impact than normal cars. You can have your milk delivered in bottles rather than plastic, but if everything you buy has to be delivered separately then how much of an impact is that having? My point is we must really try to be objective, thoughtful and wise about all this and not get caught up in some emotional movement that only makes us THINK we are doing something.

I have a yard and keep a good 20% of it completely wild. When I was working in my small garden this week, pulling ďweedsĒ away from my tomatoes; I noticed a butterfly landing and continually coming back to certain types of the weeds. So I even kept a small part of my garden for the weeds,which are part of the butterfly flapping itís wings everywhere.

Gassho
Ishin
Sat today/ lah

Tairin
09-15-2019, 05:05 PM
Hello Tairin,

your name means Peaceful Woods, so I was thinking why not use the cuban mop
https://www.amazon.com/IMUSA-I522-28-Cuban-Wood-Stick/dp/B0018E6OKC?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_1

Just an idea, nothing more.
Gassho, eva

sattoday and also LAH

Neat idea. Thank you. I am sure I could make on of these.

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Nanrin
09-17-2019, 09:47 AM
Not so sure my partner and I make that much of a positive difference in terms of ecological impact but certain elements of what many have said in this thread resonate especially Kyonin and Ninrin.

We almost live completely off grid in an illegal dwelling that can't be secured and has few windows but do get electricity from a neighbour who has solar panels. Our drinking water supply is from a rainwater tank but we do have access to 'rural water' which is essentially water from the river. We don't have hot water and wash ourselves using a bucket, around 10 litres. We don't have an oven so all cooking and heating of water is done via a small camping style gas ring. I don't remember the last time we bought clothes, but we make and repair many of them. We have a grey water system than waters our plants and have a septic tank for black waste. We have a twin tub washing machine which means we can use one lot of water to do more than one load of washing. It also allows us to use the left over grey water to water our bamboo. We grow whatever we can and we have the approach of accepting whatever we can grow in a particular season as what we'll be eating a lot of. Sometimes for example we have more pumpkins than we can eat while other times we have more zucchinis than we know what to do with. We don't have too many gardens as such, more that we throw out seeds and scraps and whatever comes up comes up. We don't have a phone line and mobile reception is patchy. When we go into town we try to avoid plastics as there is no recycling program where we are. All sounds pretty idillic and eco friendly but our closest town is around 30km away, there's very little in terms of public transport, a twice daily bus service that is about 7km from where we live, and we drive a diesel ute which we need to carry round bales and stock feed plus I need to get us to many regular medical appointments so that possibly undermines everything else. Anyway...
Gassho
Anna
ST


Sounds like we have a lot in common. Thanks for your practice comrade.

Nanrin

Sat today

Meitou
09-17-2019, 11:36 AM
Not so sure my partner and I make that much of a positive difference in terms of ecological impact but certain elements of what many have said in this thread resonate especially Kyonin and Ninrin.

We almost live completely off grid in an illegal dwelling that can't be secured and has few windows but do get electricity from a neighbour who has solar panels. Our drinking water supply is from a rainwater tank but we do have access to 'rural water' which is essentially water from the river. We don't have hot water and wash ourselves using a bucket, around 10 litres. We don't have an oven so all cooking and heating of water is done via a small camping style gas ring. I don't remember the last time we bought clothes, but we make and repair many of them. We have a grey water system than waters our plants and have a septic tank for black waste. We have a twin tub washing machine which means we can use one lot of water to do more than one load of washing. It also allows us to use the left over grey water to water our bamboo. We grow whatever we can and we have the approach of accepting whatever we can grow in a particular season as what we'll be eating a lot of. Sometimes for example we have more pumpkins than we can eat while other times we have more zucchinis than we know what to do with. We don't have too many gardens as such, more that we throw out seeds and scraps and whatever comes up comes up. We don't have a phone line and mobile reception is patchy. When we go into town we try to avoid plastics as there is no recycling program where we are. All sounds pretty idillic and eco friendly but our closest town is around 30km away, there's very little in terms of public transport, a twice daily bus service that is about 7km from where we live, and we drive a diesel ute which we need to carry round bales and stock feed plus I need to get us to many regular medical appointments so that possibly undermines everything else. Anyway...
Gassho
Anna
ST

Wow Anna, I am impressed by your off grid life, it's my dream to live in a very small dwelling, preferably a caravan and be as self sufficient as possible. However I can imagine how difficult your life must get sometimes, and I wonder if the temptation sometimes arises to go an easier route, it would for me, so well done for sticking with it and having such a great attitude . I really liked your comments about eating food in season - we do mostly that here in Sardinia and in fact when we came here in 2002 it was rare to find anything imported, even from mainland Italy, although that has changed somewhat - at a price. My Sardinian husband was born in the very small town that we now live in, but when he was around 5 years old, his family were given land under a scheme created by Mussolini , in which people living in absolute poverty were able to move out of the towns into small holdings. I remember Stef talking about how sick he used to get of having to eat peppers, zucchini and melanzane all summer! It's still much the same really but he no longer complains, we are aware of how good the quality of our food is and I try only to buy local produce. My one extravagance is the occasional avocado - imported, so therefore expensive. Stef's sister still lives on the small holding which today is part of a thriving cantina co-operative - we get eggs from her free ranging chickens and grapes from her vines. Again all sounds idyllic, but I know it's a lot of very hard work, and lliterally full time - plants don't care about holidays!

I follow Dr Michael Mann (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_E._Mann) on Twitter and he has some great stuff to say about climate change and is a real mover and shaker, but he also stresses that while it's great that as individuals we all take these steps to change our lives, the real change has to come from a huge shift in corporate thinking and behaviour.While keeping that in mind, perspective is needed. Yes it would be really easy to just say to hell with it then, I'll continue living as I always have and wait for big business to change, but I think it's really important that individuals start to take responsibility for how they live, rather than measure what they're doing against an impossible yardstick. In a way that fits in well with our vows to save all sentient beings though beings numberless etc - an impossible task but we commit to it anyway.

Tairin - built in obsolescence is seriously one of my pet peeves and has been for about 30 years, long before we knew anything about climate change, and thought that giving up hair spray ( a big sacrifice in the 80's!) was going to save the ozone layer :D TV's, fridges, washing machines were all built to last a lifetime. I bought a washing machine about 30 years ago and was told it would last 10 years max. Now if I have to buy white goods, I'm told the life expectancy is 5 years max - but my experience has been that things last about one month after the guarantee has run out, so 2 to 3 years. It's not always that we perpetuate consumerism, sometimes it's thrust upon us.
I like the cuban mop, I'd never heard of that before.

Gassho
Meitou
sattoday

Heiso
09-23-2019, 09:36 AM
Not so sure my partner and I make that much of a positive difference in terms of ecological impact but certain elements of what many have said in this thread resonate especially Kyonin and Ninrin.

We almost live completely off grid in an illegal dwelling that can't be secured and has few windows but do get electricity from a neighbour who has solar panels. Our drinking water supply is from a rainwater tank but we do have access to 'rural water' which is essentially water from the river. We don't have hot water and wash ourselves using a bucket, around 10 litres. We don't have an oven so all cooking and heating of water is done via a small camping style gas ring. I don't remember the last time we bought clothes, but we make and repair many of them. We have a grey water system than waters our plants and have a septic tank for black waste. We have a twin tub washing machine which means we can use one lot of water to do more than one load of washing. It also allows us to use the left over grey water to water our bamboo. We grow whatever we can and we have the approach of accepting whatever we can grow in a particular season as what we'll be eating a lot of. Sometimes for example we have more pumpkins than we can eat while other times we have more zucchinis than we know what to do with. We don't have too many gardens as such, more that we throw out seeds and scraps and whatever comes up comes up. We don't have a phone line and mobile reception is patchy. When we go into town we try to avoid plastics as there is no recycling program where we are. All sounds pretty idillic and eco friendly but our closest town is around 30km away, there's very little in terms of public transport, a twice daily bus service that is about 7km from where we live, and we drive a diesel ute which we need to carry round bales and stock feed plus I need to get us to many regular medical appointments so that possibly undermines everything else. Anyway...
Gassho
Anna
ST

Oh wow, Anna, you really do live your anarchism!

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

Kendrick
09-23-2019, 02:50 PM
I have been contemplating the issue of clothing (in America at least). I know many of us patch and repair clothing to make our clothes last longer. However, in every workplace I've ever worked in (even industrial ones) there are very strict dress codes in place against "worn" clothing. A couple places I've worked have been as strict to not even allow clothing to be worn that is slightly faded in appearance. Tear a small tip in a pair of work pants? You have to buy new pants in those places since patching and sewn marks arne't allowed. Any frayed clothing, any holes, stains, tears, scuffs, or other wear marks render that article unwearable at work in those places. The only repair that can really be made while keeping to the dress code is resewing loose seams. Many of those places with those dress codes are low-wage jobs like fast food places, retail, factories, etc. meaning when the employee now has to replace something it's very likely they then also go for the cheapest option (since replacement is required so frequently). This drives fast fashion, encourages waste and overconsumption, and also has a very unhealthy dose of attaching value to people based on what they are wearing. Does a small patch on a pair of pants or a stitched tip on a shirt REALLY mean an employee is somehow less capable or less professional? I would definitely say NO, however that is the general mindset of many employers who worry customers look at their employees that way - critiquing their attire as if that person is somehow "dirty", or "lazy", or "underpaid" (which would make the company look bad). The school system dress codes are also VERY similiar for our students. No rips, holes, tears, patches, etc are allowed to be worn at school which also presents a serious problem for low income families.

This is a difficult barrier, socially, we need to overcome.

While my current employer is a small business and doesn't have a written dress code I'm sure I couldn't get away with wearing visibly worn clothing in my position without it at least being mentioned or looked down on. The vast majority of my clothing would be totally unacceptable in most work places, and something as simple as a drop of ketchup landing on a pair of pants can render an article totally unwearable again at those jobs.

The same issue goes with shoes as well, and even extends to moral issues somewhat. No scuffs, no worn soles, no messed up strings, and my previous employer required their retail workers all wear REAL leather shoes - no synthetic leather, no canvas. This wasn't even based on safety, it was in place for comformity and standardizing appearance - they thought shoes that weren't real leather were "cheap" and "unprofessional". Keep in mind those employees made $8/hour hanging clothes and running cash registers. While I am not a vegan, I posed the question to them anyway about requiring vegans at our company to use animal products and was met with "these are the rules they will follow". Same applied to religious headwear (not allowed), and jewlry (only a wedding ring was allowed).

All in all, with such unyielding and strict dress codes, it might be a large part of our mindset when it comes to consumption of clothing.

Gassho
Kendrick
Sat/LAH

Onka
09-23-2019, 07:39 PM
I have been contemplating the issue of clothing (in America at least). I know many of us patch and repair clothing to make our clothes last longer. However, in every workplace I've ever worked in (even industrial ones) there are very strict dress codes in place against "worn" clothing. A couple places I've worked have been as strict to not even allow clothing to be worn that is slightly faded in appearance. Tear a small tip in a pair of work pants? You have to buy new pants in those places since patching and sewn marks arne't allowed. Any frayed clothing, any holes, stains, tears, scuffs, or other wear marks render that article unwearable at work in those places. The only repair that can really be made while keeping to the dress code is resewing loose seams. Many of those places with those dress codes are low-wage jobs like fast food places, retail, factories, etc. meaning when the employee now has to replace something it's very likely they then also go for the cheapest option (since replacement is required so frequently). This drives fast fashion, encourages waste and overconsumption, and also has a very unhealthy dose of attaching value to people based on what they are wearing. Does a small patch on a pair of pants or a stitched tip on a shirt REALLY mean an employee is somehow less capable or less professional? I would definitely say NO, however that is the general mindset of many employers who worry customers look at their employees that way - critiquing their attire as if that person is somehow "dirty", or "lazy", or "underpaid" (which would make the company look bad). The school system dress codes are also VERY similiar for our students. No rips, holes, tears, patches, etc are allowed to be worn at school which also presents a serious problem for low income families.

This is a difficult barrier, socially, we need to overcome.

While my current employer is a small business and doesn't have a written dress code I'm sure I couldn't get away with wearing visibly worn clothing in my position without it at least being mentioned or looked down on. The vast majority of my clothing would be totally unacceptable in most work places, and something as simple as a drop of ketchup landing on a pair of pants can render an article totally unwearable again at those jobs.

The same issue goes with shoes as well, and even extends to moral issues somewhat. No scuffs, no worn soles, no messed up strings, and my previous employer required their retail workers all wear REAL leather shoes - no synthetic leather, no canvas. This wasn't even based on safety, it was in place for comformity and standardizing appearance - they thought shoes that weren't real leather were "cheap" and "unprofessional". Keep in mind those employees made $8/hour hanging clothes and running cash registers. While I am not a vegan, I posed the question to them anyway about requiring vegans at our company to use animal products and was met with "these are the rules they will follow". Same applied to religious headwear (not allowed), and jewlry (only a wedding ring was allowed).

All in all, with such unyielding and strict dress codes, it might be a large part of our mindset when it comes to consumption of clothing.

Gassho
Kendrick
Sat/LAH

Nice observations Kendrick and well said.
Gassho
Anna

ST

Meitou
09-24-2019, 06:25 PM
I have been contemplating the issue of clothing (in America at least). I know many of us patch and repair clothing to make our clothes last longer. However, in every workplace I've ever worked in (even industrial ones) there are very strict dress codes in place against "worn" clothing. A couple places I've worked have been as strict to not even allow clothing to be worn that is slightly faded in appearance. Tear a small tip in a pair of work pants? You have to buy new pants in those places since patching and sewn marks arne't allowed. Any frayed clothing, any holes, stains, tears, scuffs, or other wear marks render that article unwearable at work in those places. The only repair that can really be made while keeping to the dress code is resewing loose seams. Many of those places with those dress codes are low-wage jobs like fast food places, retail, factories, etc. meaning when the employee now has to replace something it's very likely they then also go for the cheapest option (since replacement is required so frequently). This drives fast fashion, encourages waste and overconsumption, and also has a very unhealthy dose of attaching value to people based on what they are wearing. Does a small patch on a pair of pants or a stitched tip on a shirt REALLY mean an employee is somehow less capable or less professional? I would definitely say NO, however that is the general mindset of many employers who worry customers look at their employees that way - critiquing their attire as if that person is somehow "dirty", or "lazy", or "underpaid" (which would make the company look bad). The school system dress codes are also VERY similiar for our students. No rips, holes, tears, patches, etc are allowed to be worn at school which also presents a serious problem for low income families.

This is a difficult barrier, socially, we need to overcome.

While my current employer is a small business and doesn't have a written dress code I'm sure I couldn't get away with wearing visibly worn clothing in my position without it at least being mentioned or looked down on. The vast majority of my clothing would be totally unacceptable in most work places, and something as simple as a drop of ketchup landing on a pair of pants can render an article totally unwearable again at those jobs.

The same issue goes with shoes as well, and even extends to moral issues somewhat. No scuffs, no worn soles, no messed up strings, and my previous employer required their retail workers all wear REAL leather shoes - no synthetic leather, no canvas. This wasn't even based on safety, it was in place for comformity and standardizing appearance - they thought shoes that weren't real leather were "cheap" and "unprofessional". Keep in mind those employees made $8/hour hanging clothes and running cash registers. While I am not a vegan, I posed the question to them anyway about requiring vegans at our company to use animal products and was met with "these are the rules they will follow". Same applied to religious headwear (not allowed), and jewlry (only a wedding ring was allowed).

All in all, with such unyielding and strict dress codes, it might be a large part of our mindset when it comes to consumption of clothing.

Gassho
Kendrick
Sat/LAH

Kendrick, I have to admit that I'm shocked by the demands of these employers, especially regarding leather shoes. That's actually appalling. I've always felt that if a certain look or type of clothing is required in the workplace, then the company must provide uniforms or financial help. If employees are not in a customer facing job, then a dress code shouldn't be necessary. I'm sorry you have had to go through this stuff, and admire your equanimity in the face of it.

I'm just leaving a couple of links here to articles in Tricycle Magazine regarding Buddhism and the Climate Change movement. No doubt many of you will have seen eco warrior Greta Thunberg speaking in her own inimitable way in the last few days and might want to know a bit more about how we as Buddhists could frame our practice to include action for change.

First, how Buddhists are contributing to Extinction Rebellion
The Buddhists of Extinction Rebellion
https://tricycle.org/trikedaily/extinction-rebellion-buddhists/ via @tricyclemag

And then a very interesting and thought provoking article by David Loy, author of Ecodharma:Buddhist Teachings for the Ecological Crisis.
https://tricycle.org/magazine/awakening-age-climate-change/

Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

Heiso
10-07-2019, 09:43 AM
The next phase of the Extinction Rebellion started this morning in London and Rebels have already blocked Lambeth Bridge, the Mall, Horse Guards, Westminster Bridge, Victoria St & Millbank. There are ways to help remotely if anyone wants to get involved.

It seems fitting that in our Jukai studies this week we read the second chapter of Mind of Clover where Robert Aitken writes about the vigorous religious practice of not killing our environment and speaking truth to power.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

Doshin
10-07-2019, 11:47 AM
The next phase of the Extinction Rebellion started this morning in London and Rebels have already blocked Lambeth Bridge, the Mall, Horse Guards, Westminster Bridge, Victoria St & Millbank. There are ways to help remotely if anyone wants to get involved.

It seems fitting to read that in our Jukai studies this week we read the second chapter of Mind of Clover where Robert Aitken writes about vigorous religious practice of not killing our environment and speaking truth to power.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

gassho2

Doshin
St

Meitou
10-08-2019, 07:42 PM
The next phase of the Extinction Rebellion started this morning in London and Rebels have already blocked Lambeth Bridge, the Mall, Horse Guards, Westminster Bridge, Victoria St & Millbank. There are ways to help remotely if anyone wants to get involved.

It seems fitting that in our Jukai studies this week we read the second chapter of Mind of Clover where Robert Aitken writes about the vigorous religious practice of not killing our environment and speaking truth to power.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah

Big deep bows to all activists, who this time around are on the receiving end of some rougher than usual treatment. But they don't mind! They seem to meet all challenges with equanimity, great good humour and are completely unbowed.
Gassho
Meitou
sattodaylah

brucef
10-09-2019, 07:54 AM
This is a great thread.

A vegan plant based diet definitely helps...just Google "vegan climate change". So much info. It's also healthy.

Even if people don't have much space at home, I think it's a good idea to at least grow as many herbs as possible, especially the staples like parsley, rosemary, basil, dill etc. Home grown herbs are fresher, more nutritious and cheaper than the supermarket stuff.

A lot of the things that are healthy for the environment are also healthy for us personally.

There are so many vegan plant based recipes on the web these days, plus I get a lot of my kitchen ideas from Facebook groups. Personally, I love "Buddha Bowl" meals. Rice, beans and veggies - who needs more?

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/may/31/avoiding-meat-and-dairy-is-single-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth

Gassho
Bruce
st/lah

Heiso
10-09-2019, 10:59 AM
By way of an update - at least 600 arrests made in London so far, 1200 globally.

I was particularly moved by the 'Faith Bridge' group. An ecumenical group of various religions who blocked and held Lambeth Bridge for 12 hours before regrouping in Trafalgar Sq. At least 13 of that group have been arrested including 3 'rebel reverends'.

At least 6 large sites are still being blocked with further action planned.

Gassho,

Neil

StLah