Friday, June 19, 2009

More is not always Better

I have been reflecting of late on the economy and the position of so many of us lacking a conventional job or steady income. I found an interesting article that discusses why More and Better do not always walk hand in hand. I have looked at my personal values and "wants" and taken stock of which things REALLY matter, and what it is that really makes me happy and satisfied.

Money in its raw form was not the answer staring back at me. While we do need enough to cover our basic needs such as emergencies, healthcare, food, shelter, clothing and transportation, we do not NEED much else. We do not need trinkets from the dollar section of Target. We do not need a new set of acrylic outdoor picnicware each season. We do not need a lot of dodads that are heavy on the packaging and light on usefulness.

We can live greener by simply choosing to consume less. Make our own picnic instead of purchasing pre-packaged, individually wrapped snack foods. Use cloth food wrap and snack bags instead of plastic. We can repurpose old t-shirts and pillow cases into grocery totes, handbags, or even just dust cloths. Hand towels that have small holes or wear can be cut down and turned into cleaning washcloths. Lighter weight winter clothes can be turned into summer wear by cutting off the legs and arms and sewing simple seams to make shorts and tees. We don't need More (money) if we learn to consume less.

What is more enjoyable? Having a Mercedes in the garage, or spending quality time with family? Riding bicycles on a balmy summer evening? I find that my most enjoyable moments are those that are shared with family in the outdoors. My most satisfying moments are those spent weeding or watering my garden. Or creating a new embroidery or knit project. Or helping somebody. Or sharing something I have with someone in need. Toting home full shopping bags of items I hardly need did not even register on the list when I really sat down to think.

So, think about what makes you most satisfied. What you find most enjoyable. How you feel when you help another. And engage in one of the easiest ways to live green: consume less. Share, do, and create more. And savor the moments in life that really matter.



Small Footprints said...

I think that one of the advantages to our current economic situation is that it has forced a lot of us to really look at what we need versus what we want. And an interesting thing has happened along the way ... many of us are learning that less stuff means more time and resources for the stuff that matters and makes us happy ... like spending time with friends and family ... walking in nature ... just being.

Wonderful post ... thanks for the reminder!

Small Footprints

Lenox Knits said...

What a great post. I've been thinking about these issues a lot lately also. It is so easy to compare yourself to others but honestly my husband and I have a quite content life. Sure I'd love a bigger house and a newer car but it's nice to know we can afford what we have and not stress about payments.

Terri Tiffany said...

Oh wow--we have so learned that these past two years! What we thought we needed--was a big want. ANd I think we have always been careful but finding there are more ways to be better. Good post!