Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability’

The unexpurgated explanation of expurgatory.com

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

I like many these days, am motivated by multitudinous factors to simplify.

I thought I’d make some notes here as I do, for better or worse – a chronicle of expurgating the unnecessary, the gratuitous, the unsustainable and unwise physical stuff from my life. It’s all part of a bigger project – but this is just a scrapbook of Stuff as it goes out the door, to remind me where I’ve been and to ward off any propensities towards emotional attachment or sentimentality for the departed. Hence the urge to purge. Everyone’s cleaning out their closets (physical and metaphorical) and I’m jumping right on that bandwagon, with great enthusiasm.

I know “expurgation” is a bit of a negative term, usually referring to a kind of censorship, or a removal of the dirty bits. In a way, that’s what I’m doing, but I think of it more as a healthy filtering, without all the moral judgement or paternalism. Also, “expurgatory” is just a cool word, no?

A little background

In the grand schema, there is overwhelming evidence that we must all invent and embrace sustainable systems. While I believe that doing so will lead to richer, more satisfying and egalitarian lives for us all (rather than lives of going without, or denial of wants/needs), there’s definitely a need to expunge much of the detritus of our current open-loop paradigms in order to get there.

On a personal level (and that’s the only one I can be sure of truly effecting, at this point), I’ve dug myself into all kinds of rabbit-holes of overcommitment – or rather, the wrong kinds of commitments. These take the form of time commitments, commitments to owning things/spending money on things and to living the kind of life that requires a commitment to a seemingly unsustainable amount of mental energy/strife/anxiety to maintain.

I’ve been devoting time over the past few months to looking at the decisions (or lack thereof) that have lead me to to where I am now in my life and contemplating ways to clean up the messes and set up some strong, simple sustainable systems for my own day-to-day existence.

Perhaps that’s a a bit abstract. Here are the goals which I’m talking about:

  • reduce or eliminate unnecessary consumption of products and services – or find ways to work with in the structures of more sustainable systems to obtain them
  • reduce amount of physical stuff I own by  upcycling, donating, recycling or trashing it (in that order of preference)

That’s what I want to write about here – a sort of unpressured, occasional chronicle of better solutions for stuff. At the same time, there are other, more personal goals I’m working on, which share a synergistic relationship with these tangible, stuff-related ones:

  • live in the present, let go of the past, don’t fret so much about the future
  • improve my health so I can do more, more easily
  • find the balance between giving and overpraising
  • become more integrated with my community and more of service
  • eliminate my debt
  • find work-life balance
  • do more meaningful work

So, yeah. On to the pictures of Stuff.

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