Less Is Definitely More

While Recycling and Reusing get most of the attention during this Earth Week, Reducing makes sense beyond the obvious environmental, health, financial, and organizational reasons.

"It seems that if you have little in life, you have little to worry about. If you have much, it seems you have much to lose" - 10 Questions for the Dalai Lama.

During this Earth Week, most of the emphasis is placed on two of the three R's: Recycling and Reusing. But I believe that Reducing is an immediate aid to our environmental crisis. I believe that Reducing has had the biggest impact on .

It might take some thinking ahead, some thoughtfulness, but the advantages of Reducing are worth it.

Here are eight reasons to Reduce:

- Reducing your meat consumption means lowering your carbon footprint, and making composting logistics easier.

- Reducing your car usage means biking or walking more, getting reconnected with the outdoors, getting exercise and vitamin D, lowering stress, living healthier, lowering medical bills and car trips to the doctor- and also means less car maintenance and repairs, less gas, less dependence on oil, less war (hopefully) and lower gas prices. Less shopping trips also mean less temptation to spend and fill your house with clutter.

- Reducing your home size means reduced utility usage (water, gas, electric), maintenance fees, cleaning time, and furnishings needed to fill rooms.

- Reducing clutter (toys, knick-knacks, clothes, holiday decorations, furniture, kitchen utensils, sports equipment, etc.), means not having to organize, store, dust, clean, repair or dispose of the products not purchased.

- Reducing heirlooms means reduced heirloom guilt related to storing or passing down such items - and reduced heirloom guilt passed on to your kids.

- Reducing your home cleaning products and toiletries means more room under the sink, and no worrying about the toxicity or recyclability of the products not purchased.

- Reducing technology means less frustration from the lack of technical support, less time spent researching fixes, less technology to update, upgrade, keep current or throw away and less toxic e-waste created. It also means spending more time outside (hopefully) and caring for the real world.

- Reducing paper load and photos means less to print, recycle, waste (photo paper) or download, but also less to sort through, organize, send or store, leading to savings on ink, paper, memory, storage, energy.

- Reducing magazine reading means eliminating images that make you feel like you don't have the right stuff, and ultimately means feeling content with what you have and what you are.

- Reducing your home projects or hobbies means letting go of unfinished projects, allowing more time to focus on your passions and aspirations.

Reducing makes sense beyond the obvious environmental, health, financial, and organizational reasons. Above all, Reducing means leading richer lives, with more time doing the things you truly enjoy, and with more time spent with the people you truly care about. But it also means increased creativity and thoughtfulness. Priceless commodities when trying to save the world...


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