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Downsizing in a responsible way
Last week I told you about how was my process to diminish the amount of stuff I own, and why I feel this downsizing urge is an effect of the zero waste movement in my life. Today I would like to tell you how to do this in a responsible way.
Reducing the number of things we need must be a conscious act
There’re those that are very skilled at letting go the things they own without any kind of remorse. In many cases this is a virtue, but, reducing in a responsible way it is key to keep an awareness and a connection to Earth. I mean reducing is not the same as throwing away. I’m not going to take everything I own and put it in a black bag and to the rubbish bin, because I wouldn’t be acting in tune with my values.
Steps to reduce your baggage in a responsible way
Selling it in a pawn shop, eBay or any other way is sometimes more responsible than giving it away
For a very strange reason we human beings tend to appreciate those things that we pay for, sadly we have yet to understand that the gift from Earth and nature has always been free, but that’s another subject. Even if you decide to sell something for a very tiny amount of money, like a symbolic price, people will give that object value and so you avoid that someone that doesn’t really needed take it just to send it to landfill afterwards. It goes without saying that if you are going to sell something, the object should be in a fairly good condition.
Donate to Facebook groups or internet pages in the zone where you live and put the option of collection only or that they have to pay for the delivery
In this groups people are normally looking for something in specific, besides if there’s something for free they’re likely to take it without thinking if they really needed, but if they have to make the effort of picking it up they will think twice. Let’s remember our responsible goal is to avoid things going to landfill. There are pages Freecycle, gumtree, Olio, eBay and many others I don’t know that exist to donate.
Find non-profit organisations or charities that are looking for that specific object you want to donate, and that have a main goal with that
There are places where you can donate your bra to support breast cancer research, or support women in less developed countries in order to help them have fair work conditions.
Donate to charity shops in general, these are the usual places where people go and leave everything and forget about it
These shops always support a cause, nonetheless the amount of stuff that we human have are way too many to have them all in one place at the same time. So they need to constantly change the things they’re selling and what they don’t manage to sell goes into a process a bit like this: goes to a shop where they sell even cheaper, then to a place where people pay whatever they can or don’t pay at all, then they recycle what they can and what they can’t guess where it goes? That’s right to landfill.
Reuse or give it to someone that will reuse it
Maybe you know how to sow or you are very crafty, but if that’s not your case there are artists that make beautiful creations with things that are no longer of use to you. In this point we are being responsible because we are using something to take advantage of the resource that we have and we are not throwing away something just because it can’t provide the same function.
Recycle is the last bit, and this phase it’s critical to do it in a responsible way
There are sites where you can get your electronics, fabrics, metals, etc. If we want to make sure that they will use the resource of the object, we have to make sure to send it to a place where it will be properly recycle.
In a future post I will let you know how my downsizing is going, I’ve challenged myself to put everything I own in two suitcases (a bit ambitious, I know) one step at a time. If you have any recommendations on how to reduce in a responsible way please let me know in the comments!
“Greed, like the love of comfort, is a kind of fear” – Cyril Connolly