I love ecofriend.lia's Youtube channel, and I found this video especially sane and enjoyable. I appreciate the emphasis she places on the importance of shaping your life and choices according to your personal preferences and circumstances — it's not a competition or a game of one-upmanship.
I'm very attracted to several of the ideas she mentions. I like the suggestion of having a sleeping bag for regular home use instead of only for camping while having duvet and blanket at home. I also like the idea of sleeping on the floor — that's what Gandhi did.
I slept on the floor for a long time, and I got on very happily with it and found it physically beneficial. I changed away from floor-sleeping for two reasons. The first is that I like to sleep up on a higher level. This feels like a primitive instinct rather than a rational choice. I notice that cats and dogs will also usually sleep up on something if they are allowed to choose, rather than sleeping on the floor. One rational aspect to it is that I love to be nearly at the height of the windowsill (my bed is along the wall with the window in it), because I like to look out at the trees and the sky.
The second reason is that though I respect and appreciate large spiders, I don't enjoy meeting them personally. Those spiders called variously Hertfordshire spiders, wolf spiders or harvest spiders live under the floor and in the walls, and come out in the autumn to find a partner. They are children of the universe no less than the trees and the stars and have a right to be here — but if I sleep up off the floor they most often (not always) are content to live at floor level and leave the upper level to me. Phew!
You'll maybe notice I speak about sleeping off the floor and on a higher level, rather than on a bed. What I have (I mean, I call it a bed but strictly it's not) is a sleeping platform that Tony made for me, with a very dense and unyielding futon pad on the top of it. So I get the benefit of being raised as if it were a bed, but at the same time the benefit of sleeping on a hard surface like a floor.
I could use just my sleeping bag (which presently I use as an under-blanket / mattress protector) as bedding, but as I have an earthing sheet (this one) under me at night it's better to be able to tuck it in and have a duvet on top.
I suppose I could launder and Freegle my sleeping bag (I no longer go camping) and then someone else could have the use of it, but I suspect they would be disappointed in it as it's had me sleeping on it for a few years now and must be well flattened.
I also liked Lia's ideas about hair care (stick to short or long) and make-up (don't bother). I do have make-up and jewellery but I keep that aspect of life within very mini limits. And I have short hair but not buzz-cut — I believe in buying the services and paying for the skills and talents of others to the extent I can afford, so I am happy to go to the hairdresser for now — but I admire Lia's confidence in going ahead and cutting her own hair; she used to have it very long and she made a video of when she cut it off. I think it suits her short.
I liked her suggestion of sticking to one colour in clothing. I agree black is good, for all the reasons she said. That's more or less what I've done — gone for black or charcoal grey; except I have some clothes that were made for me or given to me that are in quiet, peaceful colours, and I appreciate the change from black/grey.
I don't own the house I live in and I no longer have a car — and Lia's thoughts about ownership and use of such items I found interesting and helpful. Tony has a car, and he is always willing to drive any of us where we need to be if we ask. We try not to ask too often because that wouldn't be fair, but he's always generous about it. In two years time I get my old age bus pass — they moved the age on six years as well as our pensions — and I am so impatient for that day to come.
As to furniture — I mostly sit on and work from my bed (I don't need a desk). In the sitting room of our house I have an armchair big enough to curl up in, because I enjoy going in and watching telly with the others. If I lived alone I wouldn't bother with the armchair, I'd just sit on the bed. And of course visitors are offered the armchair to sit on when they come to our house. I have a built in wardrobe (Tony made it) in my room, and a little set of shelves he made me – not essential but very useful and I love them because a) they are beautiful and b) he made them and I love him.
I also have in my room a nifty chair — it is upholstered but it is also a commode. That can be useful at night, living in a shared house, because I don't disturb the others if I wake very early (I often do) and want to pee.
Because I live in a shared house I find it difficult to evaluate what I might choose to have if I lived alone — most of what we have is shared. But I'll think about that and try to imagine what I would regard as essential to equip a home, if it was just me.
So here are the two things I am moving on today — two utensils that arrived in my life as companions to something else (I can't remember what).
I didn't acquire them intentionally, they were just freebies additional to some other purchase I made. I think the little brush may have come with a water bottle (not sure) and I can't remember where the telescopic silicone funnel came from. Anyway, I don't need them so they've gone to the charity shop.