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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Saturday, October 30, 2004
    A Year of Living Generously - October update
     
    I think I'll do a monthly update on how I'm doing on A Year of Living Generously, and what's happening with that project.

    The Generous team have emailed me to ask how I'm doing with the twenty actions currently on the website (the idea is to have a go at a couple a month at least.

    Here's the things I already do consistently (details of each are on the site): Turn Off The Tap; Change the World for a Fiver; Bank Ethically; Shower More, Bath Less; Organise my Charitable Giving - Get the Tax Back Too; Take a Mug to Work - Don't Use Plastic.

    Here's the things I have tried before but inconsistently: Say Grace Before a Meal; Slow Down, Calm Down, Stick to the Speed Limit; Switch to Energy Saving Lightbulbs (How About Six Over the Year?).

    And here's the things I do not currently do: Get Rid of Some of Your Books; Put a Brick In It!; Stop Taking Carrier Bags from Shops (Just say No!); Share a Meal With Someone Outside Your Comfort Zone; Switch to Good Energy; Give Someone a Gift of Life When You've Gone on to Higher Things; Breathe Easy - Plant a Tree; Get Rid of Your Car!; Take Your Clothes Off (Well, Give Some Away Anyway!); Compost Yourself - Or at Least Your Leftovers!

    There's another one of those which I've taken issue with: Recycle Your Old Mobile. I've taken issue with it because I don't have a mobile, never have, doubt I ever will. What that action triggers in me is a feeling that this Generous thing isn't all that radical at all - it's papering the cracks. Three or four years ago we probably wouldn't have even thought about recycling mobile phones because most of us wouldn't have had one then. We've succombed to the pervasive marketing of the telecomms companies that now we assume that mobiles are essential. I propose we ditch them all and re-learn how to communicate perfectly well without them.

    (But, no, I admit it, I'm not going to be the one proposing we ditch the Web ... not just yet, please ...)