Posts filed under ‘Reducing Consumption’

The High Cost of an Easy-Care, Low-Maintenance World

Image result for easy care clothes on hangers

As it turns out, maintenance has gotten a bad wrap. Maintenance is really a form of caring. Modern philosophers bemoan our love of material things. But I believe that we modern, industrialized people do not actually love material things. We wouldn’t treat material things the way we do if we truly loved and cared for them.

By abandoning the duty of maintenance we owe to the objects in our lives, we are distancing ourselves from the physical world and essentially sending the entropy elsewhere for someone else to deal with, whether human or non-human

Easy care and low maintenance are merely local phenomena. Once we pull back and see the bigger picture, the entropy produced by them creates a maintenance burden on others, on society and on other living organisms and natural systems.

Read The High Cost of an Easy-Care, Low-Maintenance World by Kurt Cobb at Resource Insights.

Advertisements

March 28, 2018 at 10:23 am Leave a comment

Our Top 10 Most Read Posts of 2017

These are among the pieces that appealed the most to Transition Cornwall+ readers in 2017. Maybe you missed a few, or worth another read as we head into a new year?

#10: The Monster Footprint of Digital Technology The power consumption of our high-tech machines and devices is hugely underestimated.

#9: Truly Sustainable Economic Development For those of us thinking about ways to foster local, sustainable, green businesses, here are some wise words.

#8: What Kind of Housing Do Aging Boomers Need?…the obsession with wide doors with lever handles and corridors connecting the garage to the house is misplaced.

#7: Karim Sulayma – I Trust You “For me, one of the key things that needs to underpin our work and our movements over the next 4 years is empathy”

#6: Now is the Time to Think About Your Fall Garden Cool autumn weather favors a long list of leafy greens and root crops, from spinach and kale to radishes and rutabagas.

#5: Combating Textile Waste One of the biggest misconceptions that consumers have is that we should only donate clothes that are gently used.

#4: Beyond the Blue Box The government’s new Waste-Free Ontario Act and Strategy for a Waste- Free Ontario set an ambitious goal of a circular economy that sends zero waste to landfill.

#3: How to Encourage Entrepreneurship in Your Townnine different ideas for promoting entrepreneurship, within both government and the private sector.

#2: The New Consumerism: Redefining Ownership, Values and Priorities  As consumers reassess their priorities and increasingly ask themselves what they truly value, a host of major consumer trends have emerged…

#1: TLTI Thinking Tiny (Homes)  When it comes to new housing, the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands is thinking small. Tiny, in fact.

December 27, 2017 at 11:41 am Leave a comment

Waste Reduction Group Launch

Filmed by YourTV Cornwall. Attendees had the opportunity to learn more about the 7 R’s of waste reduction at the launch of Transition Cornwall +’s newest action group.

November 27, 2017 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

The monster footprint of digital technology

Circuit board 1

The power consumption of our high-tech machines and devices is hugely underestimated.

When we talk about energy consumption, all attention goes to the electricity use of a device or a machine while in operation. A 30 watt laptop is considered more energy efficient than a 300 watt refrigerator. This may sound logical, but this kind of comparisons does not make much sense if you don’t also consider the energy that was required to manufacture the devices you compare. This is especially true for high-tech products, which are produced by means of extremely material- and energy-intensive manufacturing processes. How much energy do our high-tech gadgets really consume?

A handful of microchips can have as much embodied energy as a car. And since digital technology has brought about a plethora of new products, and has also infiltrated almost all existing products, this change has vast consequences.

Last, but not least: the energy-intensive nature of digital technology is not due only to energy-intensive manufacturing processes. Equally as important is the extremely short lifecycle of most gadgets. If digital products would last a lifetime (or at least a decade), embodied energy would not be such an issue. Most computers and other electronic devices are replaced only after a couple of years, while they are still perfectly workable devices. Addressing technological obsolescence would be the most powerful approach to lower the ecological footprint of digital technology.

Read the full article: The monster footprint of digital technology at by Kris De Decker Low Tech Magazine.

July 12, 2017 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2)

oil-spillAs long as you and I consume oil, we make oil nastiness possible in the most basic way. Our money, and how we spend it, is an extension of our values, our intent, our convictions. If we don’t consume the oil, then, yes, someone else might. But when we participate in the ugly world of oil by consuming its products, we not only make it profitable, we give the whole craziness our implicit consent. Our efforts to change this are not useless drops in the bucket. Paradigm shifts most often happen first within small subgroups that eventually form enough critical mass to cause large-scale cultural change.

Now I know you’re not going to shed your junk miles, move to a ten-minute neighborhood or replace all your flights with trains tomorrow. It may, in fact, take you years to squeeze the oil out of your travel. I suggest for 2017 that you adopt the task as a kind of hobby, (after all, we don’t mind spending time and money on our hobbies) and get creative, flexible and even adventurous about the options available. You may be surprised by the life benefits that cheap oil has been hiding from you.

Read Squeezing Oil Out of Your Travel (Make Your Life Less Oily in 2017, Part 2) by Karen Lynn Allen at Musings.

May 1, 2017 at 11:07 am Leave a comment

Swap Before You Shop

Much of the advice out there for reducing your fashion footprint involves buying more sustainably made (and often expensive) clothes. But there are a number of ways – many of which we explore in our new Fashion issue – you can lower your impact that save money, both in the short- and long-term.

One way is to hold a clothing swap, which is exactly what it sounds like: a group of people get together and trade clothes with one another. Swapping is an extra-familial version of hand-me-downs, and something friends – particularly those who can’t afford to buy new clothes all the time – have been doing intuitively for years. But more formally organized swaps of all sizes – including city-wide events – have been gaining recent popularity. My tips here are for smaller-scale events.

Read Swap Before You Shop by Lauren MacDonald at the Alternatives Journal.

September 12, 2016 at 10:09 am Leave a comment

Repair Manuals for Everything

Repair is stuck in the 20th century. Service manuals are almost never available online, and the few troubleshooting forums that exist are rife with spam and ad-baiting. Reliable parts suppliers that understand e-commerce are few and far between.

Making repair accessible to everyone is the best shot we’ve got at reducing e-waste and starting to make our high-tech lives sustainable. We can’t keep throwing away cell phones every 18 months! We need to get every last bit of functionality from the things we own before we toss them aside.

What if everyone had free access to a repair manual for everything they owned? How much longer would our things last? Our mission is to give people the information, parts, and tools they need to make their things work as long as possible.

iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything. Anyone can create a repair manual for a device, and anyone can also edit the existing set of manuals to improve them. Our site empowers individuals to share their technical knowledge with the rest of the world.

Visit the free repair guide for everything, written by everyone HERE>>

July 27, 2015 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

Older Posts


Make a donation
Find local resources

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 171 other followers

Recent Posts

Transition Network
Transition Initiatives Primer

Archives


%d bloggers like this: