Downsize/Reduce

It’s good to reflect on the true cost of everything you do. Are you aware of the full cost, to yourself and others, of living in a car-bound neighbourhood? Or consider your choice of leisure activities, like sports. Common sense dictates that soccer, basketball and street hockey involve a lot less expense (equipment, facilities, transportation cost) than ice hockey, golf or polo. And in addition to the financial strain there’s the ecological cost. For instance in the case of indoor hockey one would have to factor in the cost of a bagful of future landfill that’s too heavy to carry except in a large vehicle, or the cost of maintaining an artificial climate, skating surface and so on.

Not to mention the exponential benefits of a simpler life, or what local sustainability advocatet David Chernushenko calls living lightly. A recent study by “happiness economists” concludes that making money leads people to be happy up to a point—$37,000 to be precise, after which point happiness declines due to the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.

Could you make the necessary habit adjustments to get by with one fewer car, or with a shared vehicle? And would the money you saved allow you to live and work within easy distance?

The buttons below will alert you to some of the ways you can cut down your expenses and ecological impact.

get_by_with_less  stay_local  cut_heating  off_peak_electricity  solar_power  rain_barrel  clothesline

See also the Slow Ottawa sections on sharing and getting it for free.

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