For the last couple of years I have been on the path of simplifying my life, slowly and gradually, one step at a time. It hasn’t been always easy or straightforward but definitely worth every single effort or pitfall. The core idea behind the philosophy of simple living is to live a more authentic and meaningful life with your bare essentials. In other words, having a fuller life with less stuff. Less stuff means a whole range of things – from knick knacks to valuables, gadgets you will dispose off after a few months, extra activities and commitments on your agenda, down to mental stuff as in thoughts and beliefs you shouldn’t carry around anymore. Simpler living is about letting go of stuff that doesn’t belong to your life purpose.
Following this philosophy directly or indirectly implies that you start living a more conscious and eco-friendly life. The reason is that you are less driven by unconscious habits or impulses and no longer following the mass consciousness lifestyle of over-consumerism and ego-based life choices. You turn the switch from ego to eco – the most remarkable shift you can ever do in your life.
When I take decisions, I now evaluate and put into consideration the eco-cost of it but from a more practical and simple way that is eco-friendly nonetheless. For example, the questions I ask myself are: “How can I adopt an eco-friendlier lifestyle without going through a lot of hassle and complications?” ; “What simple things can I change that make an impact and a difference to the environment and myself?”; “What can I do right now with the least money and the least work to make a change?”.
It turns out that these are quite a few simple things that one can do right now and which do not require a lot of time, effort or money. So what I am about to suggest is a simple lazy guide to do small but significant changes today – hassle free. You know when it gets really simple and easy then we do not have any excuses left to procrastinate with taking action.
Here are some ideas:
1. Simple Solar Power Solutions:
Having solar energy feeding your home’s electrical demand is one of the cleverest ways to have clean, cheap and environment friendly energy. Although the capital costs of solar energy systems can be of a key factor when deciding to go solar or not, when putting all the numbers on paper it turns out that the amount of cost-saving accrued over a certain period of time outbalances the initial costs of purchasing the system.
Moreover depending on your country and area, there are several companies nowadays selling solar energy systems and that can offer different pricing plans and financing options to suit your needs and budgets. Whichever the option, if you are a property owner, going solar will always return on your investment. It might take from a couple of years up to perhaps five years to get even on your initial costs – depending on your consumption and the power of the system you purchase. I know a lot of people who have installed enough photovoltaic panels to generate more than the power demands of their household and hence end up selling the surplus energy back to the grid leaving them with a credit rather than a debit on their utility bills.
Besides cost-saving and eco-friendliness, other benefits of going solar include becoming more independent and ultimately a step further in simplifying life overall.
2. Selling your Used Smartphone or Tablet:
I think that one of the greatest wastes and burden to the environment are consumer electronics because they have a limited lifespan after which we dispose of, creating white goods waste. People who want to always be on top of the current IT trend will change smartphone or tablet within two to three years on average. Collectively this creates a big need for recycling. A smart way of ‘recycling’ consumer electronics is selling it to others who perhaps are not that keen on having the latest model but can happily live with a device that hasn’t the latest specs.
Technollo offers an easy and comprehensive system to sell your smartphone and tablet. You just signup, list your device and price, receive the shipping kit and just sell! All orders have USPS option for shipping kit that are sent to you with prepaid label attached. You then simple get paid for your sale through Paypal after 24-48 hours or if you prefer via cheque.
3. Fast Composting in your Kitchen:
Composting is the perfect example of recycling in action. The beauty of it is that the whole cycle is happening right in your home from the kitchen to the garden or pots. Creating compost is not a particularly difficult process – basically turning food scraps into something you can grow your plants into. Yet such a process can be simplified even further by using certain helpful tools. For instance I found this product – Green Recycler – an award winning appliance the size of a coffee machine that sits right on top of your kitchen top. It is designed to easily turn food scraps into compost ten times faster and in an eco-friendly way. It has easy clean-up components and can hold one gallon of shredded scraps. Find out more here
4. Renting Book Titles & Saving on Paper & Clutter:
If you’re someone who reads a lot of fiction titles or have kids at home who love to read, you can end up with piles of books which are essentially piles of paper. The thing with fiction titles and children books is that they have less value on the shelf then say non-fiction titles or reference books since one rarely returns to the same book after reading it once. A convenient new approach, especially if it’s a hassle for you getting to the local library, is to rent them out. There are services such as Booksfree which essentially cater for this. Booksfree is like the Netflix for books. Subscribers can have access to more than 250,000 titles including children’s books and audiobooks and can daily rent them online.
5. Eco-Conscious Gifts:
Gifts are something that we constantly give or receive throughout the year. There’s always an occasion that requires a gift – Birthdays, weddings, graduations, etc. Yet we can get smarter and eco-conscious when it comes down to choosing and buying gifts. To be honest I am not someone who is keen on choosing gifts – it’s not my forte – but when I do I try to choose something consciously. I hate the idea that gifts become an unconscious automated routine like just getting something from a shelf just for the sake of custom and social etiquette. If you have to buy a gift, choose it from the heart and if possible make sure it has little eco footprint. There are many places on the internet to but eco-friendly gifts. One suggestion is Gifts with humanity which sells fair trade and Eco-friendly stuff like accessories, clothing, jewelry, handbags and home decode among other things.