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Life Experiment

Posted on 2010.07.20 at 02:19
Location: living room
Mood: energeticantsy/inspired
I've been trying to sleep for about an hour, but thoughts about this life experiment are keeping me awake. It's always been a fairly nebulous idea, with certain aspects occasionally coming into focus, but without any real conception of a definite time and place. Now I see it coalescing in a year's time – when my upcoming lease expires – and including a partner, specifically the man who I hope will be my life's partner, and taking place in Austin, because that is where we will be, theoretically with well-established jobs at that point.

The experiment is this: to live as frugally as possible, with all money that is not spent on absolute necessecities going towards good causes. And when I say frugally, I mean something relatively extreme. Here is the image forming in my mind: an efficiency apartment, probably a bit of a shithole. Within it, a fridge (or maybe just a microfridge), a stove, a microwave (because they're more energy efficient than stoves, oftentimes), a sink and two basins (for washing dishes with less water), 4 sets of dishes (efficiency doesn't mean we can't be hospitable), a mattress – or mat – with two sets of sheets and a blanket, two changes of clothing per person besides work clothes, vegetables from a farm share, dairy products from a cow share (spending extra in this case is okay because the extra money is going towards a good cause, that is, the humane treatment of animals and local sustainable farming), a few pieces of artwork yet-to-be-sold, a homemade curtain, and not much else (maybe some cushions for seating). Okay, soap.

And we'd shower no more than once a week (sponge baths in between) and bicycle everywhere – or take public transit if totally necessary. We'd access the internet at the local library, where we'd blog about our experiences. We'd leave the light off, and of course the A/C too. Dishwater can be reused to flush the toilet – which only needs to happen a couple times a day anyway. We'd line dry all our laundry, of course. Okay, and we'd probably have some books.

Our money would be carefully budgeted, and each month would go to: rent, utilities, food, and fixed amounts to savings and several charitable organizations, then maybe our followers (we'll obviously have lots) will vote on where the rest goes.

We'd produce as little litter as we can manage, donate our food scraps to a compost (in the best scenario), and reuse and recycle as much as we can of what we can't avoid using in the first place.

And, by the way, we'd sell all our other belongings. Assuming I'm still imagining this with this certain other person, though, he can keep his guitar. We could write songs. I guess we'd need something to record them on. Then we would sell the songs too, for a donation, via our website/blog.

Oh, damn. Each month would also entail student loan payments.

We'd spend a lot of our free time volunteering and engaging in other forms of activism, including random acts of kindness. We would basically be the awesomest people ever. Well not really. But I would feel I was really living my principles.



mashabelle at 2010-08-03 06:10 (UTC) (This entry is lonely)
Are you doing your laundry by hand?

I especially approve of the random acts of kindness. Are they anonymous acts?

The awesomest person in the world is probably somewhere in North Korea. But news of his/her awesomeness is certainly unavailable, so you could probably have the title (I bet you'd speak for such a person, anyway).
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