Ah, good old Grist. Too often lost in the modern online cacophony, I’m always grateful for the bits of their work that float to the surface of my info-stream. This one tackles an asset that totally blurs the tangible/personal line, your own body. Resilient investing tend to lump most of the body-related stuff into the “personal assets” row: health, career, learning. But once we die, well, our body gets pretty darn tangible for our loved ones, and this Grist piece, Find out how you can reduce your footprint even after you’ve kicked the bucket, is a great primer on what to do—and what not to do—with your tangible remains. As they set the stage:
As the sole species responsible for filling the oceans with plastic, pumping the atmosphere full of pollution, clear cutting the world’s forests, and bringing about what could be the sixth great mass extinction, it’s perhaps fitting that when we die, we turn our own corpses into toxic flesh bags that ensure ecological damage for years and years to come. It’s as if someone dared us to come up with the most environmentally harmful burial practices imaginable, and we dutifully complied, stopping just short of strapping vials of radioactive waste to our chests on our way to the grave.
Okay, you got my attention! So what are my options? Well, for starters,
A quick and simple think piece on reducing consumption caught our eye this week. 9 Intentional Ways to Challenge Consumerism in Your Life addresses a topic that lies at the heart of resilient investing’s Zone 5 (Tangible Assets/Sustainable Global Economy), yet one that we rarely take the time to really grapple with. Joshua Becker, author of Simplify and Clutterfree with Kids offers up (you guessed it) nine themes to consider, and the comment thread that follows is also rewarding. His core thought is the one in our headline: mindless consumption always becomes excess consumption. If this triggers a twinge for you, then you’d probably benefit from taking a look at what Becker has to say. These two struck us as especially fruitful:
The Simplicity Collective is a resource on leading a lifestyle of voluntary simplicity. Leans toward the philosophical side, with resources and reflective essays on a wide variety of topics, along with links to books, and a user forum. Visit website.
The Center for a New American Dream works to redefine what the American Dream means – focusing on the connections between a hyper-consumer culture, quality of life, and the environment. It offers numerous programs and tools to help Americans reduce and shift their consumption patterns. Visit website.
This is the website of the leading tiny house company, and features many pictures and stories from happy tiny house owners. Tumbleweed Houses puts on workshops around the country and offers several different models of tiny homes for sale. Visit website.
Center for a New American Dream offers a wealth of resources for building community engagement and resilience. A Community Action Kit consists of two downloadable action guides, Guide to Sharing and Guide to Going Local, as well as a great set of resources for growing a local food system. Each is geared toward helping people organize and implement locally-based projects, with concrete project ideas, step-by-step tips, video stories, and more. A linked series of webinars contains tips and ideas from people who have already completed successful projects. Center for a New American Dream also contains a wealth of other programs around the themes of “Beyond Consumerism” and “Redefining the Dream.” Visit website.