Earth Day came and went this year rather quietly. Sadly.

I have to wonder was it because more people are aware and focusing on environmentally friendly practices these days?

Or did those of us who consider the concepts promoted on Earth Day to be more of a value system and a lifestyle (rather than a ‘Day’) not promote it enough this year?

Maybe it was quieter for me because my friends who would normally volunteer at Earth Day events have moved onto other events this year.

There were a few Facebook posts here and there. Locally there were a few events. Parade magazine (found in Sunday newspapers) ran a nice, but too short, article about clutter. (We’ll talk more about that in another post.)

But it seems, at least in my corner of the world, that it was a quiet day.

Too quiet.

Time to change that.

Now, before some of you groan and mutter, or stop reading altogether, I’d ask you to just stick with me a minute;

I’ll ask a favor – take a few seconds to consider your own purchases this past week or month.

How many of them:

Were environmentally friendly or neutral and how many were harmful?

Were necessary purchases for your home, family, or friends? (not many of mine were necessary)

Came long distances and carry a heavy carbon footprint? (some examples might be fruit from Florida or California)

Were items you already had in your home, but couldn’t find? (I didn’t do this lately, but have in the past)

Were to replace something that had broken and could have, should have been repaired rather than replaced? (I’ve been too lazy at times)

Beyond your purchases, think about your behavior and habits.

Did you drive around needlessly wasting gas, energy, time, and money? (I did)

Did you leave lights, the TV, the stereo, appliances, etc. on in your home wasting electricity? (I did)

Did you leave computers, cell phones, toys, etc. plugged into their chargers after they were fully charged or leave the cords plugged in after removing the item? (I did).

Even if the item is unhooked, if the cord is still plugged in, it still draws electricity. (It’s okay if you didn’t know that, most people don’t).

*random comment: my new Droid phone tells me to unplug my charger from the wall when I unhook the phone. LOVE that!

I’m not happy with my own answers to the above questions.

As such, I’m imposing upon myself a challenge for the remainder of the year to make the shift to a more simplistic lifestyle.

You are invited to come with me.

Some of the posts will be more direct, but many will be subtle. I’ll be putting together a few short series. I promise to (try not to) beat you over the head with the concepts.

Those of you aware of my very large, extremely expensive, up-coming purchase being considered may find these concepts in conflict with my physical direction.

Yes, I agree.

But I’d ask that you consider this: My purchase will allow me adequate space to implement and share many of these principles; initially, land for gardens to grow food (to eat and to barter), a large kitchen (in which I will learn to can and ‘put up’ the food from the garden), space in the basement (for the freezer and shelves to hold the ‘put up’ food), as well as space for a workshop (to build and repair).

And share my experiences with you, while asking you to share your experiences with me. In this, we grow our community.

If you’re open to it, there will also be an introduction of what’s referred to as a Compact Group. More to come on that subject later.

Basically, this exercise will be an alternative perspective and approach to the theories of Spring Cleaning. Rather than purging what I already have (we will do that later, too). I’m choosing to stop bringing so much in. Find ways to use what I have. And ask you to do the same, if you’re willing.

No need to decide today. There will be plenty to convince you in the coming months. I’m looking forward to it.

In Love and Light


*One more thing: Right now most of the readers of this blog are friends and family. I appreciate and welcome the comments you’ve been sending me in separate messages. Please feel free to post them here. Open a discussion. Meet each other, share ideas – even if only virtually. This endeavor isn’t just about or for me – it’s also for all of you and beyond. And it can’t grow without you. IL&L

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