SO, WHAT’S A GIRL TO DO!?
 
I’m little inclined to take a year out, give away all possessions and be a radical resilient in that way. However, I also feel that with my upbringing in the countryside of Denmark, I’m maybe not that far off, from a mindset point of view. Thus, in the impossible quest of balancing a post-financial-crash designworld London lifestyle with measures both sustainable, I’m going for the RESILINISTA NON-DOGMA MANIFESTO, with has much more to do with conditioning oneself for sustainability than saving the whole planet at once. Thinking that we do have to begin somewhere and its not very likely that we are all going to drop every perk that we have. Therefore, I:

Take responsibility for the garbage that I’m producing and
– limit my use of plastic bags to a bare minimum, which in the UK is harder that it sounds, as one is offered a plastic bag even when buying a pint of milk
– hardly ever have take-outs
– only eat meat when it would be socially inconsiderate not to
– meticulously separate my garbage
– have a compost bin

Give that an upside and expanding the conceptional value by
– have a garden, where I grow the seeds of all the food that I eat and some edible plants

Which also enables me to
– spend as much time as I can outside, which is a free, but wonderful pleasure, ie. Resilient of spending.

Basically, I believe that money is a source of energy that travels through the world. It travels through business and individuals, and everyone have a chance to leave their mark on it, when and just when it passes through one’s own life in its course through the system. That means, rather than refuse to handle money par tout, to really think of what kinds of businesses, individuals, systems and morals are supported via the choices one makes, for me, that means:
– am a member of The People’s Supermarket and volunteer there
– do most of my foodshopping at the local farmer’s market or at The People’s Supermarket
– my bank is the co-operative bank, which has all clients as shareholders, how much they really live by it, I don’t know. But again, one of the objectives is not to support the big banks, who favourite product is toxic assets and pay out massive bonuses to reward aggressive and unsustainable behaviour
– spend my professional life bringing design thinking to overlooked communities and being a part of the change that’s happening around making change work or others than the usual suspects like myself
– go out of my way to buy ecologically, local and ethically produced products of all sorts
– as good as never buy anything from big chain stores, as all systems need diversity, so does the market place. That means that I’m not against big business per se, but others support them just fine, so I don’t do so voluntary (also because it’s a really mind numbing experience)
– let other people stay in my apartment when I’m away
– buy clothes secondhand or from small designers,
– ensure that I’m happy with everything that I own, so that everything has an aesthetical value, story or reason and is contributing with meaningfulness
– London is an expensive city, but before complaining about the pricetag attached to many things, it’s a good idea to utilise the offers that are free or cost very little. There are many and luckily there is an almost inverse proportionality between charges and how interesting it is.

..and a part of that is also simply consuming less, this is where we could learn a lot from our not so distant ancestors, if you are so lucky to have some with a wiff of preindustrial life. This is what is also called hand-me-downs etc. I believe there is enough of that on this blog, so I’ll just summarise for the sake of this list, I
– repurpose and reuse as many of my out of date products as possible
– extend the lifecycles of all my clothes by mending and altering
– whatever I cant use any more, clothes or other material goods, put it up on netcycler, justfortheloveofit, tauschring or give it to charity

Then there are the resource management, which again has a lot to do with taking personal responsibility for the common resources whilst they are in your hands rather than changing the world, but more importantly, rather than simply having a reductionist attitude to resources, so what I do is
– collect the water from my shower to run hot and use it to water my garden
– bake my own bread
– make packlunches
– in general cook often, these latter two are also link ups to Jamie Oliver’s point around teaching children to cook and saying that “if you can cook just 10 dishes, you are a lot more resilient from recession, because you will know how to vary them, how to take matters into own hands, etc”

Also considering the maintenance of the things that I own, which for clothes means
– handwash woollen and silk garments, reducing the drycleaning to a minimum
– airing clothes that only need an odour freshener rather than washing every time. This has the extra benefit of the garments lasting longer

And for transportation, that is probably my weakest point, but
– choose cycling as the mode of my daily transportation
– travel by train rather than plane whenever possible

However satisfying it is to try to makes sense with everything that I’m doing anyway, a sound booster of mindfulness, letting go and strengthening focus is to be found in the regular practice of yoga –no, not the quiet kind, but jivamukti, which bares a reminiscence of acrobatics, gymnastics, but has the yogic extreme attention to detail. Very smoothening!

Though these initiatives aren’t saving the world or fundamentalist by any measure, it is still a higher maintenance lifestyle than many lead. But I’ll remember Treehugger‘s ..lost eco-art of cutting yourself some slack and emphasise that its worth it every step of the way with Mark Boyle’ words on why investing thus in one’s lifestyle makes sense
“It is a time consuming lifestyle, but I’d rather have it consumed this way than in front of a reality tv show in the room we call living”

Resilianista non-dogma Manifesto