I have made certain choices, most consciously, to simplify my life, reduce my footprint. I live in Costa Rica, but am not a citizen: I have no say in the politics, I am outside the system. All my electricity comes from hydro power stations. I have no car - I have a bicycle. If I travel long distance it’s by bus. I prepare my food from the basic ingredients, trying to buy locally as much as possible: but my grains, pulses and coffee don’t grow in my region, and my beloved tahini comes from Israel. The only processed food I buy is cat food, (the dogs have their own diet), but I’d like to change this. I recycle. I have no debts, no savings and little earnings. Most of what I own is clothing and bedding, 98% of which is cotton, silk, linen or hemp. I also own my wonderful laptop, a slow cooker, a kettle, a camera, a blender and speakers for my ipod. Everything I own will fit in 3 bags. I am currently responsible for 2 dogs and 4 cats.
And that’s it. Yet when I check my footprints online – for carbon, fossil fuels, green living, I’m shocked by how big they are. But I’m also grateful they’re not any bigger. I was a teenager in the 80s, I’m of the x-generation, and I guess we were all a little smug at our post yuppie thinking. We’re older and fatter now and have too much stuff. It’s time to wake up and let it go.