Back2Tap’s mission is to encourage people to generate less waste by using Reusable bottles and bags instead of disposables, but if you really want to reduce your eco-footprint, you need to also just buy less “stuff”. There’s a great video that explains the hidden costs of all our “stuff” that is worth watching and sharing with your children: The story of stuff.
The Salwen family has taken this “less stuff” concept to a new level. A New York Times opinion piece this morning tells the story of this Atlanta family who decided to sell their huge house and give half of the proceeds to the needy: $800,000 (it was a really nice house). They have written about their experience in a book due out next month: “The Power of Half“. Their story reminds me of a book I read two years ago called “Serve God, Save the Planet” about Matthew Sleeth, a successful doctor, and his family who decided to downsize so that they could devote their energy to the ministry of protecting the earth.
Contrary to what they expected, both families were much happier and closer after they shed their extravagant lifestyles and made helping others their primary focus. Kevin Salwen, the father says: “This is the most self-interested thing we have ever done. I’m thrilled that we can help others. I’m blown away by how much it has helped us.”
The Salwens found that a smaller house put them in closer proximity to each other and led to closer family bonds. I’m not sure I’m ready to sell our house, but maybe I should view my growing sons and our ever-shrinking kitchen table situation in a more positive light. Maybe we don’t need a larger kitchen – all this closeness may not be such a bad thing!