YOUR CONSUMER POWER CHECKLIST

WORDS: KATE WEINER

COLLAGE: GARRETT BLAD

Listen, man, I'm also trying to free myself from the shackles of the capitalist system but right now? I'm grateful for the incredible power in the consumer. It's giving the people the opportunity to build the world we want by reinvesting our money, redefining "wealth," and reimagining our relationship to what we buy and how. As Arundhati Roy writes:

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling—their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability [...] Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. 

I freaking LOVE that. Because that's the truth: we do NOT have to buy what they are selling. It's understandable that we might believe we do—we're mired in a world rich in contradictions and mapped by oil. But the inherent imperfections of who we are and the world that we live in doesn't mean we can't make better choices. We have TREMENDOUS power, both when we come together as collaborators and in the context of our everyday decisions.

So herewith, FIVE ways you can exercise your power as a consumer to create tangible change, mitigate climate catastrophe, and fight social, economic, and environmental injustice. And as always, feel free to share your own solutions in the comments!

  • CULTIVATE CLEAN ENERGY: Sign up for the super simple Arcadia Power to invest in clean energy every time you pay your electricity bill. Because the fossil fuel industry can't thrive—and projects like DAPL will fail—if we move our money toward clean energy. 
  • #GRAB YOUR WALLET: Boycott these companies who are supporting Trump. When we starve the capitalist machine, big businesses are forced to listen to us. They go where the money goes and as consumers, we have the money they want. 
  • F**K FAST FASHION: The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the entire world. Full stop refuse to support companies like H & M and Urban Outfitters whose "affordable" clothes come at the cost of exacerbating economic inequalities in formerly colonized countries and devastating nature ecosystems. 
  • SHOP SMALL: Buying nothing is best. Buying less, buying better, and buying from local makers is a pretty close second. Source 90% of your stuff secondhand to drastically slash your carbon footprint. 
  • DIVEST: Move your money! The rad Yes! Magazine breaks it down. 

RESIST AND REBUILD

 

WORDS: KATE WEINER

IMAGE: RACHEL FRY

I haven't found a deeper sense of love this week. I'm afraid and I'm furious and I'm determined. Trump's torrent of terror has rattled many of us to our core. The lives of millions of people are in peril by our fascist government. It's surreal to know at the end of a day that you are warm in bed but that the world outside doesn't feel safe. I have moments of joy—nourishing glasses of golden milk, walks with friends, giggly parties in cramped kitchens—and then moments too of bone-deep despair—rallying in the biting cold, talking on the phone to friends who are afraid they can no longer return home, watching exhaust from traffic pollute the winter air and thinking you can't drink oil

It's okay to feel the overwhelm. Our rage, our frustration, our fear are proof that we are heart full enough to watch autocracy in action and know there's no way in hell we can accept this state-sanctioned violence. 

Resistance is vital. And as I reflect on the first week in this new era, I am coming to realize that resistance is nothing without rebuilding. The world we want can't wait. The stability of our climate can't wait. The security of our Muslim, Latinx, Black, and LGBTQ communities can't wait. And so even though it is frustrating as hell to fight battles we shouldn't have to fight, this is our reality. Trust that it doesn't mean we can't co-create another.

We can see our strength already. When we rallied for our Muslim brothers and sisters at airports across the country, our ferocious energy inspired a federal judge to intervene for justice. The power of the people is greater than the people in power. Those words continue to give me hope even in the heart of so much pain. 

How can you rebuild as you resist?

RESIST THE FOSSIL FUEL OLIGARCHY // REBUILD A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY

If you are as terrified as I am about what completion of the pipelines will mean for Native Liberation and a stable climate, do your part to divest from the fossil fuel oligarchy. Join your divestment movement on campus. Switch from petroleum-based plastics to reusable glass (plastics are poisoning our planet and keeping fossil fuel oligarchs in power. Screw that). Help your loved ones make the switch to renewable through Arcadia Power and Solar City. Send your comments on DAPL to the Army Corps. Change will come from the consumer. If we don't want pipelines to decimate our fragile earth and threaten indigenous communities, we have to unapologetically pursue a clean energy economy one home by one home. 

And sign up for the Citizens Climate Lobby. The CCL makes it easy to advocate for political change. You'll receive action items, alerts, and facts. Right now, Trump is orchestrating an executive order blitzkrieg to terrify us into submission. Keep yourself informed. 

RESIST DISCRIMINATION // REBUILD COMMUNITY

Donate to CAIR. Protest at airports. Organize postcard writing parties. An attack on any one of us threatened by Trump's bigoted agenda is an attack on all of us. 

To rebuild community is to reach out. Show up at strategizing sessions for diverse movements. Listen to others. Make it your intention to cultivate spaces that nourish respect, support, and solidarity. Last year, our friends Matilda and Lizzy shared with us their recipe for radical inhabitation. I deeply believe that this kind of experience is integral to rebuilding community as we resist attacks on our collective right to life. 

RESIST ISOLATION // REBUILD INTERSECTIONALITY

On a moonlit beach in Point Reyes several ago, the beloved activist Ryan Camero sang a song to several of my friends that he had learned in collaboration with The Beehive Design Collective. I desperately wish I could invite each of you into the memory of that experience—our hands interwoven, the sand against our feet, the silvery moon light—because the line and all of our grievances are connected changed for me how I saw movement building. Trump wants to tear us apart, to antagonize us into isolation. But it's the interconnectedness of our movements that will bring wild, radical change into life. Environmentalism lives at the intersection of social justice; embodying hope emerges at the nexus of collaboration. 

RESIST FEAR // REBUILD RADICAL JOY

Fear is what will keep Trump in office. Van Jones argued for a Love Army. And even though I'm pretty damn angry, I honor his vision of showing radical love to ourselves, our land, and our communities. It's not always easy—doing anything that's not "actionable" this week has left me anxious. But our embrace of joy in the darkness is a radical act of resistance. We have to continue to find ways to share meals and be in nature and love one another with all of our tender hearts. 

REJECT THE RULES

WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER

This essay was originally published on The Shapes We Make.

The night of the election was the darkest night of my life. There was no part of me that believed I could have hope for the future with Trump in office; there was no part of me that believed I had what it took to fight this kind of forest fire evil. I sank shivering into my bed and thought I don't want to live in this kind of world. I didn't want to wake up the next day and the day after that and watch as Trump destroyed our only home through his earth shatteringly stupid climate denial policies. 

That kind of soul-eclipsing sorrow took a few days to work out of my system. I'd never felt that utterly helpless before and I didn't know what to do with it. But as the days passed, my grief calcified into an electrifying rage.  I was still fearful and frustrated but I was also mad—mad that this snake oil salesman tricked half the country, mad that his actualized policy plans would spell climate catastrophe, mad at the bigotry his elections normalized. 

Feeling my full anger made me realize that I don't want to let one man decide whether women, people of color, and religious, ethnic, and sexual minorities have the right to live full and happy lives. Trump's climate policies frighten the shit out of me and sometimes, the work ahead is overwhelming. But when I think about the life that I want to live—no matter how many years we have left on this earth—I imagine a life rich in radical love and outdoor adventures and lazy mornings making beautiful meals, materials, memories. I want my loved ones to be loved. I want trees to be tended to. I want to believe I can have children who will grow up savoring crisp falls, cold winters, spring buds, fertile fields. And I want to fight for those things because what else am I going to do? 

Everyone's personal game plan for challenging Trump is going to look different. What matters is that you articulate a few steps you can take so that when you are paralyzed by rage or raw with fear, you can turn to your guide and say Oh, right, this will help. We are CRAZY powerful. Don't give away that power out of fear.

Herewith, my ten step plan for turning our Cheeto President Elect into a pile of orange dust. What's yours?

(1) SELF-CARE

The work ahead is going to be a slog. There will be moments of loss, of anger, of triumph. And the only way I'm going to be able to hold those multitudes in my heart is if I take care to nourish my sweet self. I can't be drained if I'm not filled up. In that spirit, I'm making juicy hikes, tender mornings curled up with mugs of tea, and art-filled afternoons my weekly priorities. 

(2) BE THE CHANGE

I'm so freaking angry at the threat Trump's climate denial policies pose to our collective right to life. We can't let this monster of a man privatize national parks and enable environmental injustice. So that means I need to fully embody the changes that I want for this world through my everyday actions. I support renewable energy by using Arcadia Power, and am working with my family and friends to find the right clean energy plan for their budget, region, and resources. I eat mostly plants, waste a whole lot less, and give generously to hardworking organizations such as Planned Parenthood and the Southern Poverty Law Center because channeling the money I would otherwise spend on drinks with friends toward the NRDC is 100% no-questions-asked worth it. And although there's a a lot more to be done, I'm determined to do it. 

(3) RELENTLESS RADICAL

THIS IS NOT NORMAL. I'm never going to allow what is transpiring in our country to be normal and nor should our elected officials. I'm going to show up at solidarity meetings and call our Congress (here's how) to talk politics like it's my job. Pushing for radical change isn't idealistic—it's how we're going to survive. Building a better world begins now.

(4) BUILD MY RESILIENCY

I'm going to intentionally dive into risky situations and embrace sudden change with an open hand because learning how to do that will help me learn how to make space for the inevitable ebbs and flows of activism. Paralysis is a luxury; I don't want to crumble at every setback. I want to turn my raw rage into a catalyst for tangible action. And I'm going to do that, bit by bit, by chowing down on fresh challenges. 

(5)  GET POLITICAL

As a newly minted member of the Citizens' Climate Lobby, I am learning how to show up when it matters most. Our federal government isn't going to take care of our earth or care about women's bodies or defend civil liberties. We have to! Because tapping into the power in the people is where it's at. 

(6) ADVENTURE FEARLESSLY

As easy as it is sometimes to slump into a ball on my bed and sink into a numbing Netflix hole, I'm not going to choose numbness over nervy energy. Instead, I will continue to dream up and dive into adventures that bring me closer to this earth and those I love. 

(7) SHOW SOLIDARITY

Trump's hateful rhetoric has legitimized crimes against humanity. I'm going to be there for my Muslim, Latinx, Black, Immigrant, and LGBTQ brothers and sisters on their terms each and every day. We need to love one another and show up for each other with passion and persistence. 

(8) MAKE ART NOT WAR

Toni Morrison's call to action for creatives always stirs something in me. Art isn't superficial; it's a beautiful, brilliant catalyst for survival. My passion for writing, for whipping up herbal remedies, for making art—these deep loves are all channels for change. I don't want to be silent. I don't want to sit on the sidelines. I want to be river deep in my life, fighting for, tending to, and profoundly celebrating the people, places, and projects that matter most. 

(9) BE UNGOVERNABLE

The power lies with us. We can choose to resist, to rebel, to rebuild, to redesign. Refuse to abide by any rule that harms this planet and the people who walk on it. Be deliciously, determinedly ungovernable. 

(10) GIVE LOVE GENEROUSLY

Because there is nothing as abundant in this world as love. Not going to hold back now. 

More than anything, it is important to recognize intersectionality and to honor the interconnectedness of our struggles and of our successes in everything that we do. As I wrote in 4 Simple Ways To Smash The Patriarchy, "there isn't one kind of feminism and there isn't one way to be a feminist. The patriarchy gains power through othering. It's essential then that we recognize that we are allied in our diversity, that we are unified by our differences. Colonialism, racism, and transphobia have impacted (and continue to impact) communities in different ways and that has given rise to different ways of fighting for, establishing, and assessing equality. For movements to change the world, there has to be collision and conversation between points of view. The environmental movement(s) isn't happening in a sphere separate from the work of feminism(s); if anything, it's a profoundly vital part of our collective work." BLM, the environmental movement(s), LGBTQI resistance—our work is interwoven. And it's in those points of overlap that we can find the power to fight, and to win. 

RESISTANCE IS WITHIN YOU: 

SLOW LIVING

WORDS: CRISTINA ROSE of VIOLET WOODS

IMAGE: KATE WEINER

Imagine taking the time to be conscious of your actions. This is still a new concept for me to fully grasp. Nesting or meticulousness wasn’t something I was raised on but I have always carried the seed of observance and thoughtfulness in my actions. Although we live in a fast paced world full of new sights and sounds I am taking a step back from a hurried cycle we can grow so used to.

Living consciously isn’t lackluster; it’s meant to be meditative and reflective. It’s taking your actions into consideration. Sometimes I look back and can’t recall what I did a few days before unless I really take the time to reflect. I don't want to miss experiences.

Although our memories are not concrete and we can sometimes paint them in a different light, that doesn't mean we shouldn't be present throughout our waking life. Our experiences should be important and not limited to getting lost in documenting, getting lost in our headspace, or simply being not present. Admittedly, I’ve been a victim to this and I’ve been accepting that I need to let go and be truly aligned with the moment. I want to remember my body full of laughter and why I smiled so much, I want to remember the color of the sky and who I was with. 

Understandingly, slow living may not seem like it's possible for so many of us. Many people do have a lot to accomplish in one day, one week, a month. Others have health concerns or have to live under pressure. But even if we adapt one aspect of slow living, we can feel differently. 

Be present with your actions. Whether it's a ride on the train or a project you’re working on, shift your focus from wanting to get to a destination or endgame (which can cause burnout) to acknowledging the moment in time.

Reconnect with someone or yourself. Responsibilities are important but there is more to life than that. Our families, close friends, animal kin, and ourselves. Let's not keep up with others solely through social media – reach out and interact. Even if it’s for a short while you will remove distractions and hopefully will indulge in communication and bonding.

Create enjoyment. I like my mornings and nights to be rituals. I make my coffee and walk my dog, read a few pages of a book and recall my goals for the day. At night I clean my room, take a warm shower, and set out my clothes for the next day. Does it always go seamlessly? Of course not, but I set intention and care for the rise/unwinding portions of the day/night and center myself to enjoy the moment.

Do things with purpose. Are you going to go grocery shopping or look for a book? Go with an idea of what you need and want in mind. Often it’s easy to be overwhelmed by possibility or new items being projected at us. If you’re prepared, you’re less likely to overspend or purchase something you didn't really need.

Manage stress. I want to believe that slow living requires you to be conscientious of your thoughts and leads you to reduce what is hindering you or causing stress. This requires honesty and intention. Meditations, art therapy, or finding a part of nature to spend time in can relieve stress.

 

SHOP SMALL

Late last year, we asked you, our beloved readers, how we could best support your sustainability efforts at Loam. Several of you wrote in asking about ethical companies that you could feel good about spending your money on as stewards of the earth.

Although we're sharing a few of our favorite eco-friendly businesses below, we did want to preface this article by saying that at Loam, we deeply believe that the best way to buy is secondhand. Scoring your furniture, clothing, pots, and pans from cool consignment shops and thrift stores is an easy way to minimize waste and support environmental sustainability. That said, sometimes we buy new. So how can we shop new, when we do, in a way that nourishes circular economies, fosters environmental accountability, and encourages better business practices? Herewith, a few thoughts: 

HOW TO SHOP

  • Only shop from a place of sublime joy (not anxiety, or fear, or scarcity). Okay, yes—buying necessities like toilet paper isn't always a delicious communion with nature. But most shopping should be about generating more beauty into this world rather than patronizing places (strip malls, outlet stores, chains) that eat away at our access to natural beauty. Check out thrift shops. Frequent neighborhood boutiques. Savor craft markets. Make shopping an experience unto itself and you'll free yourself from the anxiety that underlies so much conspicuous consumption. 

  • Buy less. Buy better. We do not need so much stuff in our lives! Forgo a litany of disposable products in favor of goods designed for the long haul. It's an opportunity to not only put value back into your belongings, but also to trim off the gunk in your life that's weighing you down. Cluttered closets, packed with rarely worn clothes, drain us mentally. Living with less really is an invitation to live lushly. 

  • Establish priorities. So often, we say "I can't afford that" when what we really mean is "It's not a priority." So determine your priorities and budget accordingly! 

  • Reframe what matters. I've found that not having a lot of disposable income makes me more judicious about what, how, and why I buy. I don't want to waste my precious cash on cheap stuff churned out from polluting factories that abuse workers! Knowing that impact matters more to me than cost, I always take care to buy very little and when I do buy, buy what's the best for my budget. I believe we always have access to living our values, however imperfectly, and that begins by reframing ourselves as agents of change in our everyday lives. I want to live in a world where the dominant modes of consumption and production nurture—rather than destroy—our earth and those who live within it. So I refuse fast fashion, strip malls, and the allure of low-cost products, choosing instead to make my own, grow my own, and buy (when I do) the best that I can. 

WHERE TO SHOP

FOR TREKKING OUTSIDE...

FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

FOR GROWING A LITTLE EDEN

FOR CULTIVATING A COZY KITCHEN

FOR GIFTING GREEN JEWELRY

FOR BUILDING A BETTER BEAUTY ROUTINE

FOR CLEANING WITH A CONSCIENCE

 

 

 

 

A BETTER BEAUTY ROUTINE

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

In many ways, how we take care of our bodies translates to how we take care of the earth. Beauty rituals are not only channels to celebrate our power in this passing moment but also opportunities to use the medicine abundant in our natural world to feed our sense of self-love. I don't think that's superficial. I think it's reinvigorating, and I think it's necessary to sustain our work as stewards. 

As nourishing as it is to cultivate a routine that makes you feel beautiful on your terms, it's also important that you use products that heal and not harm our earth. When I started living trash-light, I was shocked to realize how much plastic waste I was generating by stocking up on organic shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, and body wash. I had always considered myself bare bones—no make-up, nothing special—but buying basic "necessities" in plastic was making a ton of trash.

So I simplified my routine. I swapped my Aveeno SPF moisturizer for Goddess Garden's packaged-in-glass alternative. I experimented with tooth powders and switched to a biodegradable bamboo toothbrush from Brush With Bamboo. Inspired by an incredible workshop at Dig In Farm, I began to make my own body butters, salves, and deodorants using freshly harvested herbs and bulk goods. It was satisfying to save money but more than anything, I loved that making my own stuff gave me a good excuse to get creative in the kitchen. Walking to CVS to grab your self-care essentials isn't nearly as soothing to the soul as whipping up a calendula-infused balm after a long day at work. 

When I do splurge on a lovely little something, I choose Meow Meow Tweet. Handcrafted in the Hudson Valley and packaged in reusable glass jars, Meow Meow Tweet's playful suite of organic goodies reliably nourishes my skin. It's really fun for me to do a face mask with my friends during midweek, when we're worn from work and winter chill. Meow Meow Tweet's pink clay and pumpkin powder face mask soothes cold weather redness and makes me smile because hell, it's sweet to give yourself permission to enjoy the silly, luscious, small rituals that bring beauty to your day. 

Because no small swap is too "small" to not be worth making. Maybe my individual impact isn't drastically lower by virtue of using a biodegradable toothbrush. But when I think of the bevy of reusable jars in my bathroom cabinet, of the plastic (and money) my housemates and I have saved by building a better beauty routine, I can only think why not? These are easy changes to make and more than anything, they make self-care sweeter. It might've taken me a year to use up my plastic-bottled shampoo, but that was still a source of waste I didn't need to make. 

Challenge yourself to revitalize your beauty routine. Identify what you really need and then make space for the treats (face masks, body oil) that make you feel beautiful just because. 

Here's what I use each week:

  • Calendula body butter (Homemade)
  • Lavender deodorant (Homemade)
  • Salve (Homemade)
  • Shampoo bar (Meow Meow Tweet)
  • Face mask (Meow Meow Tweet)
  • Neem wood comb (Gift)
  • SPF moisturizer (Goddess Garden)
  • Toothpaste (Gift)
  • Biodegradable toothbrush (Gift) 
  • Lavender body oil (Rebecca's Apothecary)

What's in your toolkit? And what can you do to create beauty rituals that feed your skin and our soil? 

 

 

SIX SHORTCUTS TO SUSTAINABILITY

WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER

With Trump in office, 2017 is going to push us—as people who love and want to live on this earth—to boldly create change in the face of a federal government dead set on destruction. For a million and one reasons, I have faith that we can fight this good fight and that we can win. We have local governments on our side, and growing intersectionality across grassroots movements, and a surge in radical, resilient resistance

But overwhelm, fear, sadness, and anxiety are real and valid feelings. And one of the best ways that we can sustain motivation even in those moments when paralysis is its own kind of comfort is to unapologetically be the change that we want for this world. Herewith, six shortcuts for living more sustainably when you're hungry for change but too tired for a revolution. Rest up, sweet thing, and trust that these simple steps will prep you for harder work. 

(1) MAKE JUST ONE CHANGE AT FIRST

You might know in theory that cutting down on meat consumption and composting food scraps and supporting renewable energy is now, more than ever, unequivocally essential for our survival. But that sense of urgency, coupled with panic at a growing list of things that you must-change-right-now, can render instant resignation. So write a list of things that you can do to live more sustainably—from switching your energy bill to Arcadia Power to embracing trash-light living practices—and pick just one thing to get started on. Tell yourself, this is the week I divest from a big bank, and then go do it. Trust that with time, it will be easier to take on more and more tasks. It really is 100% okay to start small. So long as you start, you're on the right path.  

(2) FIND ALLIES

Sustainable living is all the more sweeter and simpler when you have friends who share your bone-deep desire to build a worm composting bin. Talk to your buddies about your collective vision for sustainable living in the new year and work together to put your plans into action. I'm feeling pretty lucky right now to have two roomies who are as passionate about trash-light living as I am. It makes all of us better, and more disciplined, at doing right by our world. Our goal in 2017? To make by hand the products—such as nut milks and condiments—that we're still buying in packaging.

(3) EMBRACE BEAUTY

I deeply believe that a beautiful life is a fundamentally more sustainable life—both for our environment and for our souls. If you are having one of those eco-anxiety spirals where all you can do is curl up into a ball in bed, push yourself to find something beautiful about that moment. Maybe it's the feel of your cozy blanket or the sunlight grazing against the walls. When you give yourself permission to lap up loveliness, in the thick of your deepest sorrows and in the heart of your highest joys, you're learning how to cultivate an appreciation for what's abundant in this moment. And if there's one mindset that can counteract environmental exploitation, it's abundance. 

(4) DO A LITTLE DIY

Make your own calendula oil body butter. Tackle sauerkraut. Sit down and sketch out the design for your spring garden. The small act of making something with your hands is always a reminder, to me at least, of the world I want to live in. 

(5) DONATE THE COST OF A DRINK

Donating to environmental organizations such as NRDC, 350, Yes! Magazine, and the Citizens Climate Lobby is an important way to support individuals and initiatives mobilizing massive change. Even if you're tight on funds, I'm betting that with a little reframing, you can support those non-profits that are fighting tirelessly for our right to life. Consider putting the five bucks you might drop on a drink with friends one Friday night toward making a monthly donation to a charity of your choice. It's a small sum to part with, and it makes a huge impact!! I've found in my own life that budgeting for monthly donations has nurtured abundance elsewhere. I don't make a lot of money but knowing that I can swap out one splurge a month to support something I care about feeds my soul. 

(6) JOIN A MICROMOVEMENT

Pick a day this month to share your voice at a town hall meeting or volunteer at a local garden. When you make it your intention to dedicate even a few hours to giving your time and energy to activating change, you inspire others to do the same. We need to be bodies in this world, full of life, passionate about creation. We need to hold one another and help one another and heal one another. That's really it. 

READY FOR NEXT STEPS? 

WHY 2017 IS THE YEAR TO GO TRASH-LIGHT

WORDS & IMAGES: KATE WEINER

As the Director of Special Events for Be Zero, a rad environmental non-profit spearheaded by my friend Andrea Sanders, I get to wade deep into issues of waste every day. And I love it! Embracing a suite of trash-light practices has brought so much depth and newfound determination into my life (it helps that I share a minimal waste space with Loam columnist Nikita!) 

I've had a few friends in the environmental movement treat trash-light living as if it's a distraction from the direct action and advocacy we desperately need to mitigate climate change. They're hella right that it's vital that we create policies that will protect our planet—but we also need to know that we don't need a dictum from the government to build a better world. Living trash-light is just one of many ways to take power into your hands.

So why should you go trash-light in 2017? 

TO EMBODY THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO BE IN THIS WORLD

2017 is going to ask a lot of us as stewards of our earth. I believe wholeheartedly that we have what it takes to fight our federal government. And that begins by acknowledging what we want for this world—healthy soils, renewable energy, circular economies—and taking the steps to bring those ideals into practice in our everyday lives. If you can't do it for yourself, it's harder to have faith that others can make the change.

TO FREE YOURSELF FROM FOSSIL FUELS

Reducing plastic consumption in your own life provides you with a framework for reducing plastic consumption as a community. Nearly every aspect of our life is shaped and sustained by fossil fuels. From the food that feeds us to the petroleum-based plastics that litter our shelves to the fast fashion we score on super sale, we are continually investing in the industry that is stealing our land and our right to life from us. And that's insane! When we choose to divest from plastics, minimize waste, and shop secondhand, we're choosing to divest from corporate interests that have never served our earth OR our economy. That's major.

TO SAVE MONEY

I spend maybe sixty bucks a week on groceries (read how here). And a big reason why is because I buy minimally processed ingredients in bulk and seasonal fruit & veg from local farmers. If you are a cash-strapped twenty-something hungry to make yourself a nice little nest egg, shop trash-light. It'll save you serious cash and give you the space to invest in experiences that really enrich your life. 

TO CREATE VALUE IN YOUR LIFE

I have fewer things in my life and I love what I have a lot more. I would've never thought cleaning the kitchen could bring me joy. But my cheerfully patterned and biodegradable Swedish dishcloths make chores a little lovelier. A bevy of disposable cups have nothing on my beloved BYO mug from my friend Amelia at Two Hands Full. And perusing through my kitchen shelves, reliably stocked with glass jars of bulk legumes, grains, nuts, teas, and spices, always makes me feel like a domestic goddess even on those cold winter days when I'm wearing the same secondhand sweater I fell asleep in. 

TO GENERATE ABUNDANCE

When you are surrounded by stuff, it's difficult to realize all the ways that the physical waste in your life translates to a cluttered mind. Trash-light living has opened me up to so much more abundance—in my interpersonal relationships, in my connection to the environment—than I would ever have thought possible. Free from excess stuff, you can better dive into direct action, succulent living, and embodied experiences. 

READY TO GO-TRASH LIGHT? READ THIS: