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Putting this out there. Any takers?

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

I've put this in Buddhism today because I personally feel we have it within us to be activists without going all militant and aggressive, but moving in small, quiet unobtrusive ways to be proactive...

Bearing this in mind first and foremost:

I am making efforts to cut down on my carbon footprint and effects on my environment.
My focus currently is on Plastics and waste, and here's what I'm doing:

I have purchased or obtained, via inexpensive means, several containers of varying sizes, into which I transfer my commercially-packaged shopping, in order to try to convince the store I'm shopping at, to reduce their own unnecessary packaging, or at least make it completely environmentally safe, biodegradable and compatible. (Next time I do my shopping, I'll take photos!) I use predominantly durable 'tupperware' type containers, but have been known to take a couple of glass jars along too...

I am creating my own wax food wrappers out of 100&%-cotton fabric, beeswax, pine resin and food-compatible mineral oil, in order to ditch clingfilm/saran wrap.

I don't use toilet paper. (I'll only explain if you specifically ask.;) )

I cleanse and nourish my skin using only natural oils, and water.

I'm saving, collecting and gathering plastic bottles (this IS gonna take a while!) to try to create my own mini greenhouse...

Here's the thing (re. my title):

Would anyone here be willing to 'join' me and do the same things I do?

Can we spread the word and collectively try to convince others to do the same, and gather momentum?

What are you doing, constantly, habitually and deliberately, to make your gesture towards conserving the only world we've got?

Will you consider following in my footsteps?

Bunksadamcrossleylobsterelcra1go

Comments

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    I will on one condition, that i can still use toilet paper. ;)

    Bunksadamcrossley
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Why? Have you any idea how many tons of paper get wasted and flushed away?

    It is believed that every person in Britain flushes about 39 lbs of tissue paper down the toilet annually, which is about two and half times the average of the entire Europe as per the toilet paper industry figures.

    From here.

    Now calculate how many people on the planet use toilet paper, and then consider just how destructive a practice that is.

  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Listen, i love environmentalism but please, just let me wipe my god-dang ass.

    VastmindBunksKundoRowan1980
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Sweetie, you can wipe your god-dang ass without toilet roll... ;)

    adamcrossley
  • VastmindVastmind Memphis, TN Veteran

    Aunt Fede.... I really admire your effort and dedication to this!

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran
    edited May 18

    OK, @Federica, I'll bite. What is a practical substitute for T.P., pray tell? Dogen, as I recall, recommends clods of dirt, but ...

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    What Romans used for toilet paper

    What most Romans used was something called a spongia, a sea-sponge on a long stick. The stick was long because of the design of Roman toilets. Public facilities had a long marble bench with holes on top – for the obvious thing – and holes at the front: for the sponge-sticks. There were no doors or dividing walls. You sat right next to your friend and did what you had to do.

    Most Romans wore tunics (a garment like a long tee-shirt) and probably nothing underneath. So you could just hike it up in back and sit on the cool marble seat, leaving the front of the tunic to cover your knees and your modesty. You would sit there, chatting with your friends, and when you finished your ‘task’ you would rinse the sponge in the channel of running water at your feet and – without standing up or revealing anything – you would push the spongia through the hole at the front, give your bottom a wipe, rinse off the spongia… and leave it in a basin for the next person to use!

    No shit....

    personJeffreyVastmind
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    Last week I just happen to watch a documentary on the History of Toilets and the above ^^ was also mentioned ...The Romans set the system up, but when they left Britain, the Brits went back to crapping all over the place, ( up to their usual crap so to speak...Oh well shit happens I guess ) and hundreds of years later, the penny finally dropped and they started to clean up their act by adopting similar Roman style toilets... Shit it was an interesting documentary :)

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    Nowadays we can watch on our phone documentaries about taking shit while taking one!

    Shoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    I have made myself biodegradable. Every little helps ... :3

    adamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Katrina Spade on human composting...

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Fosdick said:
    OK, @Federica, I'll bite. What is a practical substitute for T.P., pray tell? Dogen, as I recall, recommends clods of dirt, but ...

    Well, I really wasn't aiming for this discussion to focus on lavatorial matters but since you ask:

    At home, I use a specific flannel. I wet it in water, and wipe myself, then clean the flannel and hang it on a hook near my radiator. I dry myself with another, dry flannel.

    I suppose you could argue that it's easier for women, who have handbags, but when I go out, I do the same. I have two small cloths - 1 moist, in a ziplock bag, the other dry. I don't often need the lavatory when I go out, but if and when I do? No problem.
    (A good gentleman friend of mine (a conscientious eco-warrior if ever there was one!), stuffs his moist/dry cloths into his pockets. As he says, he doesn't owe anyone an explanation, and anyway, who's to know?)

    I launder all items regularly.

    (Incidentally, I use an eco-friendly clothes washing liquid, bicarb of soda and white vinegar in my washing machine. Fabric conditioner? Causes black mould and contains fats. That's why your washing machine has black mould in the drawer. I personally never, ever touch the stuff. It does more harm than good.)

    Let's face it: If we imagine that there was an outright ban on flushing paper into the sewage system, we'd all have to find a different way anyway.

    For example:
    Hindus do not use toilet paper.
    They use a jug of clean water, to wash themselves while seated (I'm not going to draw you a diagram, ok?) and then they dry themselves.
    I know this for a fact, I lived with a Hindu couple in shared accommodation for over a year.
    It actually leaves you much cleaner, and is far more hygienic.

    The use of toilet paper is actually a very recent habit.
    And one that has caused immeasurable complications and added costs to the luxury of having fresh, clean water piped into our homes.
    The less filtration Water companies have to carry out, the less the cost of supplying water, and all the processes which make that possible.

    I may be one small voice crying in the wilderness, but that's 40lbs of paper less, the system has to clear.

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    I'm impressed - I'll have to give this some thought. We all need to be doing little things of this sort and we all need to be making a lot of small sacrifices of our many conveniences to lessen our environmental impact. I use rather a lot of toilet paper for cleaning paintbrushes and palettes ( it goes to the landfill, not the septic, but it's still unnecessary waste) and could manage with an alternative, though it would take some planning. Flannel seems like a good choice for the purpose, and as a substitute for paper towels.

    What about the vinegar-baking soda in the wash? Is that something you mix yourself, or a commercial product - and how much is needed to do a load?

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited May 18

    I’ve switched to recycled toilet paper. That might be as far as I’m willing to take it :p

    I’m with you on the plant-based cleaning chemicals though. Ecover seems to be the easiest to get in the UK. I’m also vegetarian (trying to cut down on dairy), don’t buy new clothes, take the train to work, avoid plastic-wrapped produce, and try to find seasonal veg when it’s available.

    I’m glad we’re pooling ideas. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but if we share these little strategies we might make a difference. To counter-balance my trumpet blowing, I should say I’m a long way from perfect. I’ve considered quite a lot that simply being human takes its toll on the natural environment, and since we have no control over that, I don’t think we have to assume full responsibility for it.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Ok, I have a small plastic container, a dispenser that came originally with a washing liquid, and I put about a quarter-inch of liquid, topped with one or two tablespoons of ordinary, kitchen cooking-grade Bicarbonate of soda on top.
    I fill the conditioner compartment with white vinegar, and ad a cup as the water begins to flow, for the wash, to the water chute.
    For the first couple of washes, way back when I began doing this, the clothes felt a little...'harsh' when I first got them out of the machine and dried them. I subsequently discovered that this was due to the residue of conditioner. Now, it leaves my clothes wonderfully clean, and the fabric feels like fabric should.

    Fabric conditioner contains fats and polymers that coat the fibres and render them water resistant and repellent. It's supposed to keep your clothes cleaner for longer, but honestly, it really hasn't made a single scrap of difference... This is why towels should never be washed with added conditioner. How can they dry you properly, if they're coated in a water-repellent substance??

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @adamcrossley said:
    I’ve switched to recycled toilet paper. That might be as far as I’m willing to take it :p

    Yes, I used to do the same. For my own part, and to my mind, that didn't solve the problem, for me.
    Taking this into consideration...

    To counter-balance my trumpet blowing, I should say I’m a long way from perfect. I’ve considered quite a lot that simply being human takes its toll on the natural environment, and since we have no control over that, I don’t think we have to assume full responsibility for it.

    Read the picture I posted within the first post.
    I get it.
    I get you.
    And pooling ideas is an added bonus.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran
    edited May 18

    @federica, I did read it. It’s just a thought that has been on my mind recently, not a direct response to your post.

    Good thread by the way!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @adamcrossley said:
    @federica, I did read it. It’s just a thought that has been on my mind recently, not a direct response to your post.

    Good thread by the way!

    I personally think it might fall under our Buddhist 'duty' to be proactive and make Right Effort, because Buddhism isn't just about how we practise Buddhism. It's about Life, and living it.
    If we can dedicate ourselves to living In The Moment, then surely, we should take the Right View, Right Intention and channel them into a present moment Right Action, and be mindful of the consequences, and just do our best.
    As the phrase goes, "People who want to change the world should first start with a small garden...."

    Or failing that, a window-box.

    Every little helps.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    Katrina Spade on human composting...

    video link

    Oh gimme, gimme, gimme!!

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited May 18

    Think Green Buddha
    https://www.lionsroar.com/can-buddhism-save-the-planet/

    Eat Greens
    Made a huge difference to my well being. No need to cut or diet or restrict. Just eat more fruit and veg ...
    https://www.verywellfit.com/getting-more-fruits-and-vegetables-in-your-diet-2506856

    Vote Green - save the world.
    https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/images/national-site/eu-2019/eu-manifesto-online-19-05-13.pdf

    Also encourage traffic wardens. Should they be able to taser non electric car owners on sight? >:)

    ... I think I may have gone too far again ... :3

  • @lobster said:
    Also encourage traffic wardens. Should they be able to taser non electric car owners on sight? >:)

    ... I think I may have gone too far again ... :3

    Perhaps, but they should definitely fine people who leave their engines idling. This drives me (hollow laugh) round the bend.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 18

    Nice article, @lobster.

    as Thich Nhat Hanh puts it, “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” When I realize that “I” am what the whole world is doing, right here and now, then taking care of “others” becomes as natural as taking care of my own leg. This realization is the vital link between wisdom and compassion. My own well-being ultimately cannot be distinguished from the well-being of others.

    @ZenSam , @Fosdick , @adamcrossley , this is what I meant by realising that any small significant gesture, can have huge ripple effects and affect more things than we think.
    A small gesture may be exactly that, but it's a meaningful gesture, nevertheless.

    As the picture in my post illustrates, we none of usd can be all things to all men. We simply do not have the time or capacity, means or opportunity to always deal with every issue.

    But to not do what we can, when we could do it, is an abdication of responsibility, and really, even if it initially takes us out of our comfort zone, making a habit of something subsequently becomes the norm, amd we get used to it.

    Could I just quickly add that I am not singling you guys (@ZenSam, @Fosdick, @adamcrossley) for criticism, neither am I pointing accusatory fingers.

    I merely named you because you are the three members who have engaged me into this discussion, and I therefore brought your attention to a further contribution.

    It's a bit like vegetarian/non-vegetarian... personally, everyone makes their own choices and lives to the best of their ability, doing whatever they can, in their own way.

    But as TNH points out, we're not separate. We're all in this together.
    The animals in the animal kingdom can do nothing to remedy this imminent disastrous, catastrophic and destructive process.

    It's up to us.
    And when we cannot do something then it's ok to not do it.

    But for me, to come across something I CAN do - and still not do it, makes me guilty of being selfish and lazy. I have to care enough, about the things I can do, then work towards the harder aspects, and see if I can't somehow swing things to add my voice...

    adamcrossleyZenSam
  • ZenSamZenSam ZenJew Explorer

    Someone may have brought this up already, but according to modern science we humans are the cause of one of the earth's largest extinction events.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    well it sure as hell isn't the elephants.....

    adamcrossleyKundo
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran

    Turn the heating down and put on a jumper!

    federicalobsterShoshinVastmind
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    Not to undermine you @federica . More to offer a way to cut back on paper for those who can't give it up entirely. I use about 10 sheets a day this way.

    Use a section of about 10 sheets, fold over the first onto the second doubling it up and use that bit for the first wipe. If its full tear off that section and start again, if not just fold it over and wipe with the clean back side of the third sheet, keep folding over and repeat until done.

    On the positive side of this thread, it reminded me of my intent to cut back on meat consumption and motivated me to use faux chicken for lunch this week.

    federica
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes... I "weaned" myself off using paper by gradually reducing the amounts I used.
    I also don't flush if it's not necessary...

  • opiumpoetryopiumpoetry Delaware, Ohio, USA New

    It should be "critique," not "critic." Just saying.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @opiumpoetry said:
    It should be "critique," not "critic." Just saying.

    (.... where...?)

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Leaving aside the toilet paper issue, I'd like to put in a word for composting toilets and other ways of composting human feces. The toilets are expensive, but the alternative method seems fairly simple, using lime and a couple of drums that can be rolled to keep the contents stirred up and aerated. This seems to me to be far preferable to the massive sewage treatment plants we presently employ, which require a lot of energy and infrastructure.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'd go for it in a heartbeat.

    I think my hubby might draw the line at that one though....

  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran
    edited May 20

    @federica said:

    @opiumpoetry said:
    It should be "critique," not "critic." Just saying.

    I believe it should actually say criticise (English UK/AUS spelling quoted)

    I would also hope that's not the most important thing you got out of it...

    (.... where...?)

    In the picture you posted. 4th last line.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @opiumpoetry you joined late April, and have been in just once.

    To say that?

    In the spirit of that picture's intent - Thank you for your input...

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Will you consider following in my footsteps?

    I may just dance in the same direction. ;)

    Be comfortable in your lay extremism. In other words we are not monastics, with an umbrella and no underwear but (hopefully) good examples to our fellow dharma plebs.

    For example from my efforts:

    • home cooking and great breakfasts (organic oats) made into muesli, aim for nutition.
    • train spiders to catch flies, come to think of it they don't need training B)
    • sit and eat, mindfully
    • grow flowering herbs. For example our pineapple sage survived the winter and had red flowers in the spring.
    • visit the green spaces, say hi to the trees ...

    Love Green
    https://info-buddhism.com/Empathy-Compassion-Neuroscience-Ricard-Altruism.html

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Awesome link, @lobster ....

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Matthieu Ricard's latest missive.

    A group of British engineers announced that even if all the engineers presently active in the world would devote themselves to developing renewable sources of energy their effort would not be enough to stop global warming.

    ...and...

    ‟The problem is that the debate about climate change is mostly conducted at an intellectual level by people who live in cities, where everything is artificial. They don't actually experience the changes that are taking place in the ‟real world.”

    ...and...

    ‟Climate change is not a political issue, but it has been highly politicized. Most affluent countries are not aware of what the people of the most vulnerable countries endure. They don't know how they live and suffer” ...

    ... and...

    Those who do not as yet suffer directly from climate change or might be able to deal with it because they enjoy more wealth, must decide to make personal sacrifices without expecting personal advantages in return. It is in such circumstances that genuine altruism is put to the test.

    Quite.

    Kerome
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