Is our clutter making us fat and less “green”? Fast, eco-friendly de-clutter tips for busy lives.

25 02 2008

Warning: so, as the video and Oprah’s darling du jour and guerrilla closet warrior Peter Walsh so clearly outlines, our pack-rat habits are making us chubby. They can also be a barrier to us going green. Not surprising, did you notice that your lean and toned friends also tend to have pretty darn spotless, sustainability-forward and organized homes, while your plumper friends tend to lavish in “chaotic creative” spaces. Hmmm…

So, if a few extra pounds are not another reason to go green and more to the point, avoid buying more stuff that will end up in our junk closet, take a tip from Eric Rochow at Real World Green and swap items at Freecycle.org. That way, you can part with your 1999 240i Canon printer with a clear conscious and one gym-less (read: “get out of jail free”) day.

But who knows, you may still need to hand a slick branded package at your next client presentation Monday morning and a simple, 1992-era identity, even if it’s printed on 100% post-consumer waste paper, just won’t do.

So, you’ll check out Clearly Green Design out in Ottawa, Canada not only for their uber-impressive client list and portfolio but for their philosophy:

“Not only do we walk it, talk it and live it in everyday life [but] we refuse clients who are simply picking up on the green trend. We do not design packaging nor do we design for products because there is no such thing as a sustainable package or product – it all eventually ends up in a landfill creating still more of the problem. We focus on designing for ethical services and non profit messaging in order to remain firmly entrenched in our solid beliefs.”

– Deb Ozarko

But there is still time before next Monday rolls around. In the meantime, you can get rid of clutter with these seven, fast “Win the War on Clutter” tips from Quick & Simple magazine, save money and ultimately, really act on the all-important “reduce” part of “reduce, reuse, recycle” that has been touted as paramount by environmentalists for decades.

Failing that, just clean that closet by following some of these common sense tips from Walsh, including:

Peter Walsh’s F.A.S.T. Plan for Clutter

Fix a time to de-clutter
Anything not used for 12 months — if it hasn’t been used in a year, get rid of it
Someone else’s stuff — if it doesn’t belong to you, it has to go
Trash — unusable items and garbage definitely should be tossed

Thought for the day:

“Often we think our belongings are worth more than they really are. If you discover that your “valuable” possessions wouldn’t sell for more than a few bucks on eBay, it may make it easier to part with them.”

Makes sense – and looks green(er) – to us.


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