April 23, 2017

There Is No Planet B

We should quit looking for planets to move to, and fix the one we've got.

Quit something. Start something. DO Something! Anything. Please. There is no Planet B.

Make every day Earth Day. Your children will thank you.

April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day 2017

From: The Earth Day Network

Earth Day 2017’s Campaign is Environmental & Climate Literacy 
Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. We need to empower everyone with the knowledge to inspire action in defense of environmental protection. 
Environmental and climate literacy is the engine not only for creating green voters and advancing environmental and climate laws and policies but also for accelerating green technologies and jobs 
This Earth Day, gather with your community for an Environmental & Climate Literacy Teach-In or another project focused on education. 

This is also a day to show your support for science-based decision making. Marches are planned globally.

The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments.
-  www.marchforscience.com 

Happy Earth Day to all Not Buying Anything readers. We are grateful for your support for this blog, and for all things green.

Go Green, and spread the word. Our survival depends on it.

 “We need intense activism along with structural analysis and the building of alternative, sustainable lifestyles. We need wisdom, reverence and creativity that we pull up from the depths of our uncertainty. Author Joanna Macy calls it ‘the Great Turning.’ It’s a shift in consciousness that aligns social healing, economic fairness and an end to war with environmental sustainability. And the time to make it happen is running out. We can’t afford to lose another decade, or another twenty minutes.”
-  Robert Koehler

April 19, 2017

The Gods Want Us To Live Simply

Symbols from the 12 World religious movements:

Bahá'í Faith, Buddhism
Christianity, Chinese folk religion, Hinduism, Islam
Jainism, Judaism, Contemporary Paganism (pentacle), Shinto
Sikhism, Taoism

The gods must be crazy. They want us to live simply. I wonder if they know something Consumers don't?

Pick a god, any god. It doesn't matter which. Chances are that simplicity is part of their gig. Any historical spiritual teacher has taught us through their own example that a simple, modest life is the way to go.

No religion I know of asks devotees to work until they drop from a heart attack just so they can accumulate stuff, entertainments, and luxurious experiences.  Any that did would not have devotees for very long.

Nor would it have a functional planet on which to worship.

No, the gods want us to live a sustainable lifestyle for without people, gods go extinct.

Pick a god, any god. Of those invented so far, all are in unanimous agreement when it comes to advice on simple living - it is the only way to go.

Why aren't more followers heeding that message?

One does not need to go far to find examples from the world's major religions that support living simply.


"I can say that the most beautiful and natural expressions of joy which I have seen in my life were in poor people who had little to hold on to.

We know how unsustainable is the behavior of those who constantly consume and destroy, while others are not yet able to live in a way worthy of their human dignity.

Don’t let yourselves get swallowed up by a society of consumption and empty appearances."

- Pope Francis


"We have become wrapped up in the fast-paced society of today, which is really unnecessary. Can we not live a happy life without overpriced clothing and basically a surplus of everything? Can we not live a happy life without making sure we go out every weekend, just because it’s the weekend and we have to go out because everyone does? Can we not be simple and just take the time to realize that we are the ones creating our own problems?"

- from Islamic Insights


"Live a simple and harmonious life with nature and people"

- basic teaching of Shinto


Asceticism in Hinduism — restraint in consumption and simplicity in living — represents a pathway
toward moksha (liberation), which treats the earth with respect.

 “Take what you need for your sustenance without a sense of entitlement or ownership.”

- Tain tyakten bhunjitha


Aparigraha (non-acquisition): Keep your requirements and possessions to the minimal.

Jains follow a disciplined lifestyle meant to minimize harm. They eat a pure vegetarian diet, use  minimal resources, do not waste water, electricity, food etc, and give away surplus items they possess.

Whether one is religious or not, living simply is the only way to go on planet Earth. Everything we see and know backs up this claim, perhaps more now than ever before.

The way to peace, joy, and harmonious living is through simplicity.

April 13, 2017

Morbid Inequality

Morbid Inequality: 6 men now pathologically hoarding as much cash as owned by half the planet's population.

Consuming as little as possible gives me immense personal benefits, such as being free from what appears to be a ubiquitous lust for more. I am content with very little, and want for nothing. But there are other benefits, such as not supporting a system that encourages this lust.

There are people (more specifically, male people), that have become immensely wealthy promoting infinite economic growth and infinite want fulfillment. I'm not buying anything from them. I am not into making millionaires, or helping build billionaires.

And I am certainly not interested in transforming them into trillionaires, a extreme wealth milestone that we are predicted to pass in the near future. Maybe I am strange, but this scenario seems completely irrational to me. Why is this seen as a good thing, rather than a money-hoarding mental illness?

"Two generations ahead, future extrapolation of current wealth growth rates yields almost a billion millionaires, equivalent to 20% of the total adult population. If this scenario unfolds, then billionaires will be commonplace, and there is likely to be a few trillionaires too -- eleven according to our best estimate." 
- Credit Suisse's 2013 Global Wealth Report

It was recently reported that now 6 men own as much wealth as the bottom 50% of the planet's population (about 3.6 billion people). I'm not buying into any part of a system that encourages, enables and celebrates such morbid inequality.

The capitalists say not to worry because "we are all getting richer". But if someone making a dollar a day is "lucky" enough to see their wage increase by 100%, they are still only making 2 dollars a day, buying them a slightly better form of poverty. Not good enough.

Who will be the world's first trillionaire? Who cares? I would be happy if there was never such a grotesque entity to ever stalk the Earth. In a just world, there wouldn't be any such thing. I am not buying their crap, and I am not buying their ideology that allows such insanity to exist on a planet imperilled by the infinite lust for more.

Not Buying Anything does not support Morbid Inequality. Luckily there are more of us than them. There is a way out of this.

April 10, 2017

Spring Firsts

Having a fire in winter is nice, but not needing one in spring/summer is even better.

Spring awakens. Life returns. This is a time of firsts, and we have had a few over the past couple of weeks.

First morning we didn't have to heat our home. We usually start the wood stove as part of our beginning of day routine. On winter mornings our home is usually between 12 and 15 degrees C (53 - 57 degrees F) when we get up, so a bit of heat is nice. It is a nice change this time of year when we make the shift from burning tree energy to enjoying the sun's energy.

First bike ride. I was looking at my photos and noticed that my last bike ride was December 21th. On that ride, I sat in a clearing in the forest and watched an early sun set on the shortest day of the year. Now instead of having to be home by 4:30, I can start a ride at 4:30, and stay out till 8:30.

First flowers of Spring.

First snowdrops. Neighbours down the road toward the ocean from us have a beautiful perennial garden along the road. On my bike ride I stopped to admire the little white bells leading the way into a new, warmer season. A sight for sore eyes after months of cold.

Soon robins will be nesting. For the enterprising robin, this will be the first of two broods.

First robins. Mobs of robins, everywhere. Lawns and fields covered in foraging, red-breasted modern day dinos. I was happy to not be a worm or bug. And its not only robins returning.

A flock of geese has been hanging out in our neighbourhood fields, honking and hailing me as I ride by. I give them the nod. All is as it should be, and their presence reassures me.

Turkey vultures, eagles, gulls and more are joining the birds that stay year round, like pileated woodpeckers, blue jays, crows and ravens. Is it time to put out the hummingbird feeder, or am I jumping the gun on that one? How exciting.

Soon our forest and field will be host to a chorus of winged wonders.

Let the concert begin. We, and the birds, lived through another winter. It is a rising note from here to summer solstice. Enjoy your spring firsts... or fall lasts, depending on where you are on this amazing planet of ours.

April 7, 2017

R's For A New World

Has the invention of consumer capitalism made the world a better place? What do we have to show for it?

Walls, war, and warming. Business as usual will only get us more of these.

It is time to try something different, but the profit-based competitive system will not give up easily. That makes it even more imperative for us serfs to get up, stand up, and keep up the fight.

R's For A New World






I hope for a simple living revolution that sees maximalism replaced by minimalism. And hate replaced with love. Dominion replaced with stewardship. Shackles replaced with wings. Poisons replaced with Nature's perfection.

No walls. No wars. No warming.

April 4, 2017

Downsizing: What Do You Keep?

I love to cook, so decided to keep core kitchen items like large bowls and cast iron frying pans.

Downsizing? Just as difficult as it is to decide what to get rid of, are the decisions of what to keep.

It seems that about 98% of the things we buy and hold on to in consumer societies are unnecessary, weigh us down, and destroys the planet at the same time. Knowing that, it may still be hard to let go of familiar things.

But it is worth it. Simplifying and having less leaves more room for what is truly important, so all the difficult decisions are worth making.

The more you own, the more you spend to purchase, maintain, and store things. Stuff needs to be cleaned, sharpened, lubricated, dusted, and kept free of rust and decay as it all succumbs to the laws of entropy. Plus you have to look at everything all the time. Even worse, you  have to wonder why you bought any of it in the first place.

When you have less you have more money, more space, and more time to create the life that you passionately want.

Things We Decided To Keep (for now)

- cast iron frying pan
- universal pot lid
- stainless steel bowls
- blankets, pillows
- outdoor clothing/gear
- art supplies
- basic clothing and fabric
- tools
- small sewing kit
- seeds
- computer
- yoga mats
- rugs/carpets
- guitars and sheet music
- books/journals

But what about things like photographs and love letters? Nope, we let them go, and freed ourselves in the process.

I don't want things, I want happiness and contentment, and over the years I have found that those increase as the anchor of physical possessions becomes less of a drag on my life.

My ultimate goal is to have all my possessions down to what will fit in a small backpack, or shoebox by the time I die. 99% of what we buy and own in consumer societies consists of distractions that keep us from the truly important.

What is kept while downsizing will differ from person to person, reflecting what is most important to each of us. No expert, no book, no method can tell you what to keep. That hard work is up to each of us, and us alone.

It wasn't important to keep photographs... for me. It might be for you, though. Only you can decide.

But the goal should always be to keep as little as possible. The way to do it is: be honest with yourself, be fearless, then let go. Enjoy what you keep, including the memories.

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