Lifestyle Report – as of Jan 2011

As a way of assessing my successes, targets, improvements and areas I need to be more vigilant with when it comes to simple, ethical, environmentally sustainable and community living, I’m going to blog here in this format regularly.

It might not be an interesting entry to read but it’s a way to keep myself accountable and constantly improving my lifestyle.

So, as of today:

ETHICAL/SUSTAINABLE LIVING

• grocery shopping (with % of how often I do it)
— local green grocer for veg (25%);
— leftover bread free at end of baker business day (100%);
— skip-dipping/dumpster diving (0% but aiming to re-introduce it)
— major supermarket for all else (100%);
— Fair Trade where possible (tea, chocolate, recent clothing)
— some organic (10% – food, soap & shampoo)
— use Ethical Guide to boycott bad companies, GM food (95%);
— boycott food with known cruel processes eg. veal (100% where known)
— food miles, locally produced (25%)
— meat consumption (25% of meals)

• grow own food (not yet 0% but get some from friend 3%)

• household shopping: I only buy new from store if I can’t get from op shop or build myself;
— purchased new in past year:
—– furniture (0%)
—– clothes (10%)
—–accessories (15%)
—– car (40%)

• home energy:
— electricity:
—– solar/renewable = no
—– aircon/heating (10%)
—– computer (on 24/7, asleep when away & at night)
—– fridge (2/5 star rating)
—– dryer (0%)
—– water pump (everytime the tap is turned on);
— water:
—– rainwater tank (75%)
—– shower grey water for garden (10%)
—– shower avg. duration (5 mins)
—– garden (0%)
—– dishwasher (0%)
—– washing machine (top loader 2/5 star rating)

• waste:
— food scraps (75% to compost);
— wasted food (10%);
— recyclables like glass, paper, aluminium cans (90% to recycle bin, 10% kept for food/household storage);
— wasted paper (minimal use of printer, kitchen & recycled toilet paper)
— wood (90% saved for building material);
— white goods, electronics, equipment (0%);

Areas to Improve: fewer food miles; support local; buy organic if it makes sense & affordable; grow some own food; consume less energy & town water.

.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

.

SIMPLE LIVING
• build most of my own furniture (lounge daybeds, coffee table, office desk, outdoor tables & seats)
• other furnishings have been donated (bed, futon, tv & DVD) or secondhand (kitchen table & chairs, office chair, rug)
• buy nothing that isn’t essential to the household or work
• work less, spend more time connecting with friends & family
• spend money on essentials, friends, charities

Areas to Improve: connect more with real (not virtual) people; volunteer more time to help others

.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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ENVIRONMENTAL
• approx. annual carbon footprint (avg. based on lifestyle as of today): 9.24 tonnes of CO2 (Aus avg. 16 tonnes; world avg. 4 tonnes)
• car usage per month – approx 500kms; mileage (approx 10kms/L)
• bus instead of drive (15%)
• ride/walk/skate instead of motor transport (15% – 20min walk to shops)
• return flights in past year – domestic (4), international (0)

Areas to Improve: take fewer flights; walk/skate/bus more rather than car; use less electricity; aim for 7-8 tonnes/yr CO2

.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

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COMMUNITY
• I live walking distance to my girlfriend and a couple of other friends; 5 minute drive to a couple more
• intentional community living (share house or close living) = no
• share property or resources with community (some household items, driving, food with girlfriend & her housemate; borrow from other friends occasionally)
• collect hard rubbish from neighbourhood
• engage in conversation or help with mentally/physically challenged people in neighbourhood (50%)
• give to charities (monthly to: 1 x global aid, 1 x animal, 1 x heart foundation)
• volunteer with some friends’ and charitable projects

Areas to Improve: aim to achieve closer and more intentional community; share more resources; be more accepting of minority/disadvantaged; give more to charities; get more involved with meaningful & helpful projects

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