Breakthrough

After helping with the flood clean-up efforts the boy says to me “I’m going to become a minimalist!”

This is after months of disinterest while I have been steadily purging my possessions and trying to focus on those things that are most important to me. He said to me only a few weeks ago, “don’t you think you are going too far with this minimalist thing?”

But the floods have changed things. So many people have lost their homes and had to flee with what possessions they had time to grab and space to carry. What was left has been covered in floodwaters and toxic mud. It’s gross, it stinks and it’s full of bacteria and contaminants. The boy came home from the clean-up exhausted, nostrils filled with the stench of decay, his clothes caked in toxic mud.

He has seen firsthand the destructive force of nature and how easily our possessions can be destroyed. He doesn’t want to have to go through that same experience with our stuff.

Perhaps now we’ll be able to embrace minimalism together.

What would you take in a flood?

Yesterday I watched in horror as flooding inundated south-east Queensland. 10 people have been confirmed dead and 90 people are missing. Homes and cars are being picked up by the flood waters and smashed against anything in their path. Boats, pontoons and debris float down the river preempting the wall of water on its way. All day yesterday residents and businesses in low-lying areas were busy moving their possessions to higher ground. And thousands of people have been misplaced to emergency shelters while their homes are flooded.

We have stocked up on supplies and are waiting for the power to be cut sometime later today. Our suburb is an island surrounded by floodwaters and all we can do is sit and wait for the worst is yet to come.

We are safe where we are.

In light of this situation it’s got me thinking about the 100 things challenge. If I really only owned 100 things it would be very easy to pickup and move to safer ground. As it is we have a 2 bedroom apartment full of stuff.

So if we had to flee what would we take?

  1. Food
  2. Water
  3. Medications
  4. First aid kit
  5. Torch
  6. Spare batteries
  7. Matches
  8. Toilet paper
  9. Battery powered radio
  10. Clothing
  11. Closed in shoes
  12. Hat
  13. Pocket knife
  14. Personal documents
  15. Tent
  16. Sleeping bag
  17. Swag
  18. Blankets
  19. Esky & ice
  20. Gas cooker
  21. Sunscreen
  22. Insect repellent
  23. Toiletries
  24. Jewellery
  25. Mementoes
  26. Mobile phone
  27. Plates
  28. Cups
  29. Bowels
  30. Tin opener
  31. Cutlery
  32. Cooking utensils
  33. Cooking pot
  34. Cash
  35. Deck of cards
  36. Book currently reading
  37. Notebook
  38. Pen
  39. Camera
  40. Laptop

When the power goes out and homes are being evacuated the 100 things challenge takes on a completely different tone. Items become more essential as they are designed for survival rather than frivolity.

 

The ‘No Poo’ Challenge

These are the ingredients the shampoo I’m currently using: water; ammonium laureth sulfate; ammonium lauryl sulfate; acrylates copolymer; dimethicone; coamide DEA; sodium cumene sulfonate; polyquatemium 7; fragrance; behenyl alcohol, styrene/acrylates copolymer; menthol; glycol distearate; disodium phosphate polyquatemium 6; tetrasodium EDTA; polyquatemium 10; distearyldimonium chloride; guar hydroxypropyltrimonium chloride; melaleuca alternifolia; eucalyptus globulus; climbazole 0.4%; DMDM Hydantoin 0.243%; methylchloroisothiazolinone 0.00079%; methylisolothiazolinone 0.00026%

I’ve got no idea what most of these chemicals are but after typing up this list I’m not sure I want to use it anymore. So this month I’m embarking on a No Shampoo Challenge.

I’ve heard a lot about the dangers of many common ingredients of shampoo and conditioners. I’ve also heard that your hair can manage just fine without these products. In fact, according to wikipedia, shampooing regularly only became common in the 1970s.

So to the challenge… 30 days without shampoo and conditioner.

Bokashi

I went and did it today. I bought a bokashi. After discovering them online recently I couldn’t resist buying one.

Bokashi

I expect that it will reduce our waste considerably as much of it is compostable. Up until now the vegetable peels and table scraps have been reluctantly thrown in the bin as we live in a first-floor apartment, without the luxury of a courtyard. Now though I can put them in my new Bokashi.

Call me an enviro-nerd but I am super excited by this!

Friday

It’s been a busy day so I haven’t had much of a chance to write an enlightening post and explore my deepest thoughts. Instead, today will be a short post as I’m trying to do at least one post per day for NaBloPoMo. Usually I wouldn’t even bother to publish but the challenge means that I’m willing to write anything to ensure that I fulfill the requirements of the challenge.

New Feature: Step Lightly

Free Grungy Happy Urban Acid Pop Green Sneakers on Asphalt Creative Commons

Some rights reserved by D. Sharon Pruitt

Step Lightly is a new feature segment designed to provide you with brief, informative articles about consumer products. The articles will discuss ingredients, methods of production and distribution, as well as highlighting natural/greener/ethical/non-toxic alternatives. Let me know what particular products you want to hear about in the comments section.

Look out for the first article next Thursday!

Green Power

Green

Some rights reserved by Flabber DeGasky

After calculating my carbon footprint the other day I was reminded of green energy. The energy company that we use have green power options so that you can choose to have 25, 50 or 100% of your power derived from renewable energies like solar and wind. There is an added cost for the options but it is rather small considering the feel good element involved and the implications for the planet.

Given 12 months energy usage at 4830.1 kWh (our current usage based on the last four bills) this is the added cost per year for each of the options:

  • 25% – $52
  • 50% – $132.82
  • 100% – 265.66

I’ve managed to convince my husband to convert to the 25% option, small steps remember, and hopefully will be able to increase this in the future. When we rang we also got a 5% discount on our bills for the next year as some promotion so hubby is happy because the discount will cover the added cost of the green power. Win-win!