Tuesday, August 4, 2009

50 Ways to Leave Your Lover (named Materialism)

This was written by Anton Flores, one of our valued board members in Atlanta.

Every single one of the 50 habits listed below is a change that Charlotte and I have undertaken. The key for us was not simplicity or voluntary poverty but a theology of enough. However, we are still living at a level of consumption that is not sustainable at a global level. Join us on a journey to right living.

1. Postpone purchases and ask yourself if the purchase is worth the amount of time it took to work to earn that money.
2. Make homemade gifts.
3. Use your credit card (why do you need more than one?) for only essentials like gasoline and groceries if you can’t go to an all cash system. Also, if you can’t pay your credit card balance in full every month, get rid of the card.
4. Resist the urge to keep up with technology. Do you really need that I-Pod?
5. Shop around for the lowest home and auto insurance rates.
6. Dump the dryer. Line-dry your clothes.
7. Take a fast from buying clothes. If you must buy, buy at a thrift store.
8. During the winter, set your heat at 68o in the day and lower at night and snuggle! Set your AC at 78o in the summer if you even have to turn it on!
9. Use CFL lightbulbs.
10. When needed, replace your water heater with a tankless one.
11. Put a brick or half-gallon jug filled with sand in your toilet to decrease the water flow.
12. Track your energy consumption and try to lower your usage.
13. Lower the temperature on your water heater.
14. Raise the temperature in your fridge.
15. Insulate your attic.
16. Seal drafts in your home.
17. Who needs Tupperware when you can reuse food containers for leftovers or storage?
18. If you have plastic bags from grocery stores, reuse them for trash.
19. Turn lights off in rooms that are not occupied.
20. Unplug phone chargers or even unused appliances like TVs and microwaves.
21. Don’t let the water run to heat up the bath or while washing dishes.
22. Xeriscape, plant native plants and/or view your land as being functional. Don’t spend money on fertilizing and landscaping.
23. Develop a sharing cooperative with neighbors for things like yard equipment, tools, etc.
24. Take a vow of stability and don’t move (unless you want to move to Jefferson Street and join Alterna!). Every move has significant economic (and relational) costs.
25. Live in community and share your resources with others by living interdependently.
26. Move into a neighborhood where housing costs are low and buy a less expensive house than what the bank says they’ll loan you. It’s so thrilling to pay off your mortgage!
27. When and if needed, purchase a hybrid vehicle.
28. Walk, not just for exercise, but as a true form of transportation.
29. Bicycle for places too far for walking.
30. Combine as many trips into one outing as possible so as to cut down on time spent driving.
31. Drive your car until it dies a natural death.
32. When grocery shopping, stick to a list.
33. Plan your grocery list around coupons and, when possible, buy in bulk.
34. Forget name brands, buy generic food.
35. Invite folks over for a home-cooked meal. It’s cheaper than going dutch at a restaurant and a nice gift for your friends.
36. Cook more food from scratch.
37. Make your yard an edible one by starting a garden.
38. Raise chickens for eggs and meat.
39. Do away with disposable. Use cloth napkins and real dishware.
40. Give up meat.
41. Never buy bottled water.
42. Plan meals around what is on sale or growing locally in season.
43. Kick the TV addiction. If you can’t go cold turkey, systematically reduce the number of hours spent watching it.
44. Check out free books and movies from the library before spending money.
45. When you dine out, drink water.
46. Enjoy what’s free!
47. Find a family member or friend to give you haircuts.
48. Find creative ways to barter with friends, family and neighbors.
49. Lodge with family and friends when you travel instead of hotels.
50. Be generous with your money! (Yes, this actually helps save money because it puts money in perspective.)

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