Project 333

Our society is known for being materialistic and consuming more than we need. Much of the time, we are being bombarded by advertisements in stores, commercials, social media, and on billboards. We are constantly being told that we need something that is better than we currently have. We are persuaded by the fancy clothes and how beautiful the models look wearing them. When we get home with our full shopping bags, we are excited to try out our new outfits and show the world what we bought. However, when weeks or months have passed, the familiar statement of “I have nothing to wear” lingers in our minds. We feel the need to go out and buy more and continue the cycle again, adding to our already stuffed wardrobe. Taking a moment to think about how much you are spending on clothes or materialistic items per year could put things into perspective.

“The U.S. apparel industry today is a $12 billion business and the average American family spends $1,700 on clothes annually” (Forbes.com, 2015). Our closets are growing, but yet, so is our amount of debt. “Our researchers found the median debt per American household to be $2,300, while the average debt stands at $5,700” (Valuepenguin.com, 2017). Another view to examine is the discontent among people that could possibly lead to their amount of consumption. When taking a survey of 1,000 women of how they feel about their wardrobe, 21% to be “unwearable,” 33% too tight and 24% too loose, and 47 per cent admit they struggle to pick out an outfit before heading out to work (Her.IE, 2017). As mentioned before, there are many solutions able to be approached when wanted to downsize and simplify our lives.

Project 333 has been a popular choice for many. It is centered around minimizing the number of clothes someone has in their closet. They have to narrow it down to 33 clothing items, which includes accessories and shoes. For 3 months, they can only wear the 33 items they have selected. During the project, the other clothes are stored away and the hope at the end is to help people realize that they don’t need a whole closet full of clothes and continue to even add to it.

During an interview with Shannon Cosner, who has been living by Project 333 principles for five years and ten years with being very intentional with money. The statement that hit home with her was that on average, we wear 20% of clothes 80% of time. Since starting Project 333, she has minimized tremendously and now has fewer items of higher quality. She has changed her consumerism way and no longer shops to feel better, rewards herself or goes when bored. She believes in striving for simplicity, keeping things that add value and let the things go that don’t. Most importantly, Shannon strongly stated, “Being an example is the best way to influence people.” Usually when people have less materialistic items and focus more on life fulfilling activities, they are happier.

Being aware of how much we are spending and putting effort into things that are not adding to our lives is crucial. Intentionality really is key and will lead us to spend time where we find the most joy. Downsizing wardrobes, consuming less, and finding the root of our discontent is just the beginning to a more fulfilling life.
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Sources:
https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-credit-card-debt
https://www.forbes.com/sites/emmajohnson/2015/01/15/the-real-cost-of
your-shopping-habits/#75fa5f951452
https://www.her.ie/life/the-average-amount-of-clothes-a-woman-has-in-her-closet-290514

Unplugging from Technology

If we look at the world around us nowadays, it seems that everyone has their head buried in their phones or other electronics. Even when conversations are happening, there is disengagement and interrupted focus every few seconds. We seem to be controlled by the buzzing and beeps of our devices. They can make us anxious, forget current tasks or keep us from sleep. Of course, technology has connected our world in ways that people only use to dream about. We use it as a way to escape and hide from the physical realm. This includes being on social media websites, posting, texting or playing games. The realization of this imprisonment of our devices is when we begin to become aware of our habits. Instead of worrying about when we can plug in next to our technology, we can make the switch to start unplugging and refocusing. This can take time, patience, and a little bit of extra fun in our lives.

On average, people check their phones 46 times per day (Times.com, 2015). This number is increased with the younger generation and decreased with the older generation. People seem to be checking their phones constantly and even use it as a way to look busy. Surveys show that 1 in 8 people fake using their cell phone to avoid talking to others (Healthland.time.com, 2011). Due to the impact technology has on society, has also lead people to rely on it to engage in behaviors they would not usually or rely on it for a confidence booster.

Self-esteem is something that is a very prevalent in the majority of peoples’ lives, especially from pre-teens to early twenties. Coincidentally, those are the ages that spend the most time on technology. All the way back to Myspace years ago to Facebook to Instagram and other social media sites, there has been a want for many friends and now, many likes. Likes have become a competition between friends and even strangers. With all of these comparisons being made daily, there are also many lies coming through the cracks as well. “75% admitted to lying about themselves on social profiles” (Nakedsecurity.sophos.com, 2016). We need to ask a few questions. Are people lying because they feel their lives are not good enough? Are they trying to make themselves feel better by creating a façade? These can be extremely hard questions for some and hit home for many.

Thankfully, there are ways to decrease the addictions of social media, simply being on our phones, and falling into the stereotypes of our society of lacking communication skills. When starting to unplug from technology, examine the amount of technology usage in your life. You can take it a step further by writing down the amount of time you spend on each device/social media per day. Seeing those numbers written down can make it more realistic of how much time is actually being spent. Then, look at what takes up most of the time and if it is adding value to your life. Depending on how extensive you want to make the challenge, you can choose a few options: limit use of apps/technology, delete apps that are taking up time/not adding value, eliminate all of the technology that is bringing in negative feelings or find alternative activities that are more fulfilling to replace the technology use. All of these are suggestions can be altered depending on your situation. The goal is to lessen stress, comparisons, distractions, and add more intention, purposeful relationships, fulfilling interactions, and activities that bring you true joy.
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Sources:

Survey: 1 in 8 Fake Using Their Cell Phone to Avoid Talking to Others

Over 75% of people lie on social media

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2011/08/13percent-of-cell-phone-owners-fake-usethem-to-avoid-social-interactions/

 

Permaculture

For my FYS 121 Living The Good Life class with Professor Rosemary Logan, I decided to do a research paper on permaculture and more sustainable living for my final project. The research paper discusses how it came about, what it is, and how it works. Permaculture was created by Bill Mollison in the 1970’s, an Australian ecologists and professor at the University of Tasmania. Permaculture is a philosophy of working together rather than against nature. It consists of protracted and thoughtful observations rather than thoughtless labor. Lastly, Permaculture also helps provide food for families by planting.

How to: A Tiny Home

For our final project in Rosemary Logan’s FYS Living the Good Life class, we decided, based on our personal interest, to post two blog entries involving sustainable homes, specifically tiny houses. This blog entry will be composed of the basic steps taken to build a tiny home.

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Building a tiny home takes roughly three to four months to complete. The average size of a tiny home is between 100 and 400 square feet of livable space.

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FIRST..

Framing consists of four factors: insulation, strength, weight and ease of construction. The framing must provide quality thermal insulation that is packed tightly, allowing for limited air leaks. The framework must be strong due to the amount of transportation the mobile home will undergo. Also, to allow for mobility, the tiny home will need to be light weight; omitting concrete, brick and other heavy materials. Lastly, the framework should be minimal enabling for a quick build.

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SECOND…

When looking for materials to use for the walls of a tiny home, reclaimed materials are one of the best sustainable options. Some commonly used materials for tiny home walls are metal and wood paneling.

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THIRD…

Electricity in tiny homes is often all routed to the same source. It is up to the owner to determine where the source of the electricity is going to be located. Tiny houses on wheels can also be powered off-gird through sources such as gas generators and alternative power systems like solar panels.

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FOUR…

The most practical option for a water system in a tiny home is a tank and a pump. A tank will be placed within the tiny home with the use of a pump to circulate and pressurize the water. This is one of the best choices when it comes to living functionally off-grid.

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FIVE…

The finishing touches allow the owner to be creative through personalizing their tiny home. Due to the minimalistic aspect of a tiny home, reclaimed furniture and supplies can be found through sources such as craigslist, garage sales and other second-hand shops. Finishing touches transform the process from a project to an inviting and cozy home.

Resources used in Blog & for more information regarding Tiny Homes:

http://thetinylife.com/

http://tinyhousetalk.com/

https://www.tinyhouse-design.com/

Blog by Samantha Iannone and Sophia Sheehan

Why a Tiny Home?

For our final project in Rosemary Logan’s FYS Living the Good Life class, we decided, based on our personal interest, to post two blog entries involving sustainable homes, specifically tiny houses. To start off, we interviewed Lissa Buyske, who is currently in the process of building a tiny home in the flagstaff area.

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WHY…

Financially, Lissa could not afford property due to the climbing housing market in Flagstaff, Arizona. A tiny house was her solution. For 300 square feet of livable space, her cost came to a total of $27,000.

Downstairs

In addition to cost, Lissa was inspired by sustainable living. While the tiny house is in the process of being built, she is living with Rosemary Logan and her family who practice a sustainable lifestyle. During this short amount of time, living with the Logan’s, Lissa realized the impact living sustainably had on the environment. She noticed the amount she had been consuming and how much she could instead save through minor tweaks in her daily routine.

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During the interview, Lissa mentioned, “Life is too easy, it’s simple to become disconnected” (Personal Communication, Buyske, April 21, 2017). Building a tiny home will force her to live healthier and to be more aware of her resource use.

TinyHouse_with_SolMan

Utilizing space is another emphasis when it comes tiny homes. After asking Lissa if she will be worried about the small amount of space, she reassured us that it would be fine for her. She stated, “I am most excited for my meditation space that will be located within the window in the backroom.. it is made out of a plank of wood that will fold out and hover over my bed” (Personal Communication, Buyske, April 21, 2017).

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Lastly, a major benefit of owning a tiny home is that they are mobile. Lissa never wanted wanted to be locked into Flagstaff. Tiny houses are the perfect escape for adventurous, outdoorsy, earth-loving people.

Resources used for pictures in Blog:

http://tinyhouseswoon.com/edge-tiny-house/

http://tinyhousefor.us/tiny-house-spotlight/beyond-beautiful-yosemite/

 

Blog by Samantha Iannone and Sophia Sheehan