Self Improvement · Sharing Economy

5 Benefits of Choosing Sustainibility

What is the argument for a sustainable life? Are you learning to make your world and your choices more sustainable? Practicing sustainability has at least 5 personal and collective benefits.

sustainable
1. Save money – yes living a more viable life will save you money, potentially a lot of money. If you consider all of your purchases with a lens of supportability, you will likely make fewer purchases, wiser purchases and hold onto what you purchase longer. How many ‘anything’ do we really need?
If you decide to forgo a wee bit of convenience for a different and beneficial transportation alternative you can save $thousands. I have used Car2Go almost 400 times since 2012 at a total cost of less than $1500. The C2G choice allowed us to not purchase a second vehicle ($50 -$30,000), not insure a second vehicle ($7500 to $10,000) not maintain a second vehicle ($2000 to $3000), not pay to park a second vehicle (because of our lifestyle and work this is a big savings but might not be as much for others $10,000) not pay to fuel a second vehicle ($4000) and I don’t need to worry about tires, ammortization, depreciation and am not stressed about a car. Over 4 years I trade convenience ( there is some inconvenience and planning needed) for more than $60,000. Carshare stats indicate that for every shared vehicle on the road 8-11 aren’t need which reduces CO2 output, congestion, and improves health.

2. Improved health – my physical well being has been improved through the creation of higher order habits. By opting to buy more real food, more local food, more organic food I have improved the nutrition of my weekly diet and in turn my body mass has become healthier. With a better diet I am more able and interested in more physical activity which lead me to running ( now clocking about 1500k a year) for recreation and hiking, biking for leisure. Supporting local goods means less transportation and less chemicals needed to hold food like veggies in an unnatural state. I also get the placebo effect of feeling better because I feel better about myself.

3. More time – Even though I confessed that my C2G choice has reduced convenience, I have chosen to make healthier, saner uses of the time getting to shared transportation (public/private). I also plan my outings better and am much more efficient with the travel than the haphazard way I used a personal vehicle. Convenience breeds complacency and if I don’t need to think about my destination and my goals I can turn a single round trip into 5 or 6 excursions.
This has helped me think about how I use time generally and my limited consciousness that I am developing has helped me ask ” do I really need to do that/go there/buy that?” and when the answer is no I get minutes in my relationship, recreation bank to use in a healthier less stressful way.

4. More space – Recognizing that we have too much, too many material possessions that clutter our lives and space was a revelation. I can borrow books from the library and not spend money and space on new additions (this is a difficult one because as I am reading a borrowed book I am thinking about wanting it for future reference). We are fortunate to have a tool library near us and my membership allows me to not purchase and store tools and gadgets that I might only us once. This has lead to some purging, thus creating space, of books, clothes, gadgets, tools, technology that I don’t use or need. Some was donated, some shared, some sold. We live in a apartment condo (built on brownscape) and so the additional few square feet that was created is appreciated.

5. Independence, interdependence and self sufficiency – we haven’t reaped all the benefits in these categories yet but we are working on it. I get to celebrate every opportunity that I don’t need to surrender to the mediocrity of materialism ( I don’t beat myself up when I play into the game). I like the idea and practice of being in a shred relationship with people I know and people I will never meet. The understanding that we are in this together, even when we don’t acknowledge it is inspiring. Everything that we do to live more sustainably is like that rock which, when thrown into a pond, creates ripples that disperse in all directions.

Some self sufficiency goals are a ways off but every day that we make better choices, we get closer to a garden plot, a beehive, and a solar system.

Make Today Remarkable by becoming more sustainable,
B

Uncategorized

We are all in the Boat

Whether I can smile, or you can sing,or she can lift, or he will row -we are all in the same boat. Any success we have is a result of smiling when I can, pulling where we are able, resting when we must, sharing the load and our gifts with those going in the same direction.

Rather than dog-eat-dog, fend for yourself that some are promoting, I propose that we use our strengths to strengthen others when we can and be assured that others will be there to have our backs and boost us up when we are weak and need assistance. Rather than everything being a competition, what if everything was a cooperation, not without expectation but rather an accountability that we are all contributing members of the crew, each acting to the best of our abilities.

boat

That is the  kind of world I would appreciate and one that I believe we would all flourish in. If you agree, it is up to you (and Me) to make the first move to creating our own local boat.

Make Today Remarkable, by being a shipbuilder,

B

 

Uncategorized

Calculated Frenzy

One of the definitions of madness includes the idea state of frenzied or chaotic activity. I have some routines that serve me on the micro level. My mornings from 5am to 8am are all very similar. My dietary state , my physical and mental health are all better when  I stay close to a routine. I end most days with a consistent practice that, for the most part, ensures a restful sleep. In between I have moments of accidental madness and periods of calculated frenzy.

I try to shake things up where I have some measure of control. My travels are opportunistic rather than planned. I don’t take the same route two days in a row. If walking, I meander and try to be observant (even though I have a destination in mind). If biking, I take a different loop. If driving, my options are limited but still varied. This practice seems to step me out of the rut of sameness and leaves open the possibility for some madness.

As a procrastinator, I usually have a looming deadline that creates some calculated frenzy that I find  exhilarating. I do worry that my best work might not arise from the pressure but not enough to take a different approach.

The impact of working with others, especially those who have a different agenda or those who answer to a different authority means that unexpected accidental chaos can occur. I do get frustrated and can feel anxious by delayed responses and too much paralyzing collaboration. Strange that where someone sees collaboration as an organizing practice, I find it can be fruitless and mediocre.

I know my frenzy isn’t anything like yours. I understand that where I see beauty in change you may see chaos. It is likely that some of you live a heart pounding frenzy that I somehow have avoided. I would be interested in hearing how you handle or create madness in your life.

Make Today Remarkable, for someone you love,|

B

 

 

 

Uncategorized

Does Collaboration Work?

collaboration

Sometimes.

I have watched individuals, organizations, businesses, corporations, governments come together to tackle issues, improve services, build a better mousetrap, and defeat injustice. In a few cases the partnering of resources and expertise has worked but more often than not impact wasn’t magnified.

Tension, distrust, bureaucracy, memorandums, policies, processes, egos, lethargy, all work against success in collaborative efforts.

Last year I volunteered with a group of five social agencies purportedly trying to solve a critical issue. After four meetings establishing terms of reference, roles and responsibilities, budget and meeting schedules one of the participants said ” This is going to be great. None of us are going to have to work as hard with all of us working together.” I was surprised by the nods around the room and dismayed that they didn’t realize that with all of them pulling on the rope together they could move the ship faster and further if they didn’t reduce their efforts.

Governments come together to reduce CO2, battle terrorism, fight poverty, solve economic problems and it seems way more effort goes into getting along than finding and implementing action. (I know my action bias is showing) National agendas clash, credit is misrepresented, commitments lapse and it appears that the joint effort is more about photo ops and lip service than solutions.

Individuals seem to fair better at working together, formally or informally. Agreement on goals and action needed comes faster and shorter timelines are established. My experience in cocreation with others has been mostly positive because in a group of 2,3, or 4 there isn’t much hiding or dodging. We can get down to business.

I am not saying that businesses, governments and charities shouldn’t work together, I am suggesting that there must be a better way of wrangling the horses and getting them to pull as a team.

Thoughts, suggestions, comments?