Friday, November 18, 2011

We didn't have this green thing back in our day

This is something I found in an email forward, and I thought of sharing it. A search shows that it is attributed to Jim Knowles. Enjoy.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day or didn't call it "green."

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Steps to Save More Money

Many of us do not realize how our financial behavior patterns and habits actually drive us further away from our personal goals and deeper into debt. A part of this apparent illusion comes from the insignificance of small amounts of wasteful expenditure that these habits involve. In the backdrop of our overall budget, addressing these habits seems to have a relatively low payoff. However, when we put all these habits together and look at their impact over time, they make up a significant chunk of money that could have contributed to savings or debt repayment insteadAs part of my current mission to leave behind all that I believe is worth leaving behind, here are some small ways that you can stop borrowing from the future.

Read more

Friday, September 2, 2011

How to Start Blogging For a Cause

The tool I have chosen to make a difference to my future and the future of civilization is writing - writing about what I believe, about what is right with the world, and what is not, writing to create a network of like-minded people, writing using the tools of technology, of blogging, and of social media on the internet. When I set out ten years back, there was no Facebook, no twitter, no status updates, and no blogger. Neither was there a sense that user generated online content could be used for reasons other than commerce.

Blogs have come a long way from the early days of online journals and internet communities. As blogs have evolved to their modern form, more and more people are wanting to join this movement, using the internet to reach a wide audience with their thoughts and opinions. Platforms and technologies, too, have kept pace, offering the new blogger user friendly and intuitive interfaces. If you have just set out on your journey to become an ace blogger, you will benefit from this collection of expert tips on the basics of blogging.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strength in Adversity

This is from a post that I wrote on another blog. It has to do with a three step technique that I used to overcome a blog writing obstacle.  My reason for reposting this here is because it addresses the basic problem of our inability to see obstacles as opportunities. Let me not take up your time, and leave you to read the post.


True - this is not a saying you can identify with when you are getting the thick end of the stick every time you pick one up, yet, this simple maxim is what differentiates true success from the pseudo ones that stand tall only to crumble as life works away at the foundations built on vanity and self obsession. The secret trick here lies in being able to learn to not just swallow one's pride but to be able to turn it into good medicine. I was fortunate to have the opportunity of learning this recently.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Save Money by Driving Efficiently

How to save gas and improve mileage are questions that all of us are asking in these times of ever increasing price of petrol and petroleum fuels.  Taking it a step further would be to ask how we can actually benefit from the high price of fuel.  Here are some tips that I have learned from the best teacher in the world on how to maximize fuel efficiency - experience.  I owe a debt of gratitude too to my mentor in driving, Yellesh, who showed me how driving can be a life transforming exercise.

Drive Steady:  It is universally accepted that driving at a steady speed gives you the best mileage possible.  The logic is simple.  It takes more power to accelerate (hear the engine vroom?) than to maintain a steady speed.  Keep your pressure on the accelerator gentle and consistent.  Most car engines are designed to give optimum mileage at around 45-55 kmph.  This also helps me experience self discipline, self control and contentment.

Brake gently:  First, be present to the road.  If you see a junction with a light coming up, cut the engine off by moving to neutral, since the inertia of the car will keep it moving anyway.  If the light doesn’t turn red till you are really close, you can switch gears and add power to avoid getting too slow as you cross the signal.  A gentle brake in advance will allow you to cruise a distance at a slower speed, while a heavy brake at the last moment is an obvious waste of paid for momentum.  Second, be humble.  Most people need to use the brake frequently and heavily because they are trying to move fast.

Free Your Self From Advertising That Sells Discontent

Frugality as a Choice
Even though I had been experiencing discontent with my consumption driven lifestyle for several years, frugality as a lifestyle was not something I was able to adopt until it was thrust upon me by changing times and altered circumstances. It is likely that some of you are reading this because you too are faced with a similar situation. When I was confronted by my financial situation a few years back, I set out by studying the principles of frugality and simple living. To my surprise, I discovered that a large number of people choose frugality not out of a financial compulsion but out of an ethical one. Frugality and simplicity are key steps that you can take not only to simplify your life, but also to contribute towards a happier and safer planet by lightening the burden of ecological damage it has to carry.

Frugality is a Greater Life
A common conception of frugal living is that of a life of deprivation, one of not having the things that we are told are essential. I have had the good fortune of redefining for myself what is essential. Building on the principles of minimalism, frugality and clutter-free living, my life is much richer than it ever was, though in the eyes of society, I have been “downgraded” to the category
of “have nots.” I have space to be who I was meant to be, to do all that I ever wanted to do, and I sleep at peace knowing that I am doing my bit to contribute to the future of our civilization.

Advertising, The Secret of Discontent
The reason that frugality as a choice is so difficult to make is because of the immense pressure from society to have more and buy more, discard more in order to acquire more. All of commerce, marketing, and advertising is targeted at bolstering your discontent with your life. The science of making you feel inadequate if you do not possess the most desirable objects as determined by the sellers and manufacturers has been perfected by the advertising industry.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Frugal Thinker in Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs will always be remembered for the consumer revolution he led at Apple, creating new markets, new marketplaces, and new objects to market. He will be remembered for making Apple one of the most profitable enterprises ever. What he probably will not be remembered for is the frugality he practiced at a personal level, not in terms of his cost of living or allowances he drew at Apple, but in terms of his business concepts and design principle. While his 1$ paycheck will be taken by many as a pointer toward frugality, no one is going to miss the several hundred thousand that has been spent annually as his personal expenses. However, there is frugal madness in his method that we can adopt in our personal lives, something that is easy to miss in the glitter of the iThing story.
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