Living Smaller: Three Questions

Last year Mother Nature Network ran a valuable series about living with less. I applied some of their advice and found it good. Recently, Mother Nature Network shared a simple post with three questions that can help downsize and minimize overdoing shopping with new purchases.

Question 1: Do I really need this?

To begin, define Need. For example, I’m thinking of getting myself a tablet. I’ve narrowed down how I will use it, what kinds of features I want, and the kinds of apps that I’ll use the most. But if I’m honest with myself, I don’t need this. It’s a luxury.

Question 2: If I’ve lived without this until now, can I continue to do so?

This would be a garden question. I saw a new idea for tomato supports. I could make this, but I don’t need it because I already have some very good tomato supports. I could make the new kind, sure, but my old ones are efficient, and I really don’t need to plant so many tomatoes that I’d need to buy or build more supports – unless, of course, I decided to can more tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes…. stop thinking, Daisy. Stop. I have enough space to grow what I need, and I have enough fabulous spiral stakes to handle those plants, so facing the reality that I already have what I need will stop me from spending money or wasting space on unnecessary new equipment.

Question 3: Is this item the most long-lasting (physically and stylistically) and greenest option available?

This question will be the big one as we search for a replacement for my minivan. It’s nearing the end of its valuable life, and we’re doing the pre-purchase research necessary to make the right choice in a replacement vehicle. Need it? Yes. Got along without it so far? No – the new acquisition will replace something we currently own. The greenest option – we still struggle with whether or not a hybrid is the right vehicle for us. A standard car that gets decent mileage might be better.

So on we go, boats against the current – or we would be, if the water weren’t frozen solid.


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