Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Deviating From The Norm

written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

I have found that by living my life in a less complex, more greener, and by spending my money wisely, that I have begun to drastically deviate from the normal way of living that others expect.  I will try and explain what I mean by this by way of examples.

I don't use credit cards.  As I have explained in my own blog, I believe that Debt = Slavery, in another guise.   Debt is a contract that you enter into with a financial institution that you must honour, by law.  It is a burden that must be repaid.

So, to be truly free, we must become debt free, and owe nothing to anyone in the form of loans that bare interest.  No Debt = Freedom.  So therefore, I am attempting to pay down all my debt, including my mortgage in the next five years!  When I tell other this in general conversation, I get so many questions and weird looks that you would think I had a big letter L branded on my forehead.  Not normal.

I make my own stuff.   I build things, like chicken coops, garden beds, greenhouses, and to make cheese, jams, preserves, bread, to name a few.  Friends know why I do these things, but acquaintances always ask me how much it cost to make, or how much time it took, or that they would never have the time to do that.  Well, I let them know that it is for the pleasure of having done it myself, and to learn new skills that may be required in the near future.  Even more strange looks and heads shaking in disbelief.  Not normal.

I like to have my voice heard.  Sometimes, when I attend climate change rallies, or write letters to politicians about important issues, I tell other what I have done.  You should see the look of shock on their faces, as if the things I do went out in the 1960's.  I think that I am more hip than hippy, so I don't actually understand their lack of action.  More people should stand up for what they honestly believe in, because these days we really need more activism if we are help others understand the urgency that is required.  Not normal, but becoming more common amongst others which is encouraging.

The above points are just a few examples, but even my thought processes are different than the norm. However, I think that that is enough abnormal behaviour for now, and I will talk about that subject in my next post in two weeks time. ;-)

How do you deviate from the norm in the context of simple, green and frugal living?  What do you do so differently that no-one else around you does?