It often feels like the problem of climate change is too big. So we look to our “leaders” for answers, they do nothing, and the whole thing snowballs and gets worse.
But I believe we can make change for the better. Here are some inspirations.
Go carless. Franke James sold her SUV. Can’t do without a car altogether? Why not downsize to a tiny runabout like “Beastie”, my 1997 Toyota Starlet? I fit my family of four in it just fine. And I’m six feet tall.
Go tiny. Tammy Strobel is carless and lives in a tiny house – and loves it! Tiny houses are becoming a movement all across the world now. Think you could go tiny? Why not?
If you don’t want to go tiny, why not at least downsize to a much smaller house – did you know that pre-1950s homes were one third to one half the size of current homes? And families were bigger!
Ditch the suburbs. James Kunstler calls the suburbs the “greatest misallocation of resources the world has ever known”.
Think about it. Does your lawn serve any real purpose, beside costing you time and money and debt? What about your driveway? Do you really need to be paying for that guest room 12 months of the year when you only have guests one week a year? That guest bathroom? Those guest towels? That guest debt? We’ve been sold one particular script telling us how we should all live since before we were born. But it’s not the only script.
Consider other ways to shop. I started doing our meat shopping at the discount meat butcher in town once a month instead of at our local supermarket, and I’m now saving about $50 a month that way. I changed to a discount supermarket instead of our more deluxe local, and am saving even more money that way.
Yes, it’s nice to shop at the fancy stores, but how much is it costing us? If we have debt (and I do have a mortgage), then it’s an absolute priority to kill that debt by any means possible. Consider your mortgage an emergency and live frugally until it’s gone. Just because the bank says it’s a 20 year mortgage doesn’t mean you have to do things their way – and pay the most interest possible. Pay it off early by saving every cent and laugh at that bank!
Shop secondhand. The world is absolutely swimming in secondhand goods – and they’re all perfectly adequate for our needs. A good friend of mine just moved into town and he outfitted his whole home for $180.00 (two single beds for his kids, three chests of drawers, a lounge suite, various other items, a queen sized mattress), minus white goods. All in perfect condition. Think “new is good, but secondhand is better!”
I don’t believe we can nail this climate problem and continue to live the same way, not when the way we live has obviously caused the problem. We need to change. So let’s embrace it, get on with it, and do it happily and with a positive frame of mind.