January usually throws us all sorts of things that we should be doing for the new-year: smoking less; drinking less; eating less; exercising more, to name the ones that crop up often. But some of us choose to do other things too, possibly dancing classes or attending some sort of workshop. How about this though for a challenge:
CAN YOU GO A WHOLE YEAR WITHOUT PAPER?
Easy I hear you cry! Give up books and newspapers and magazines. Well yes, I plan to do just that; but what about dvd and cd purchases, they contain paper? How about going to shops and getting something that is wrapped in paper? I am seriously considering not using toilet paper but I am not sure what alternative is on the market, perhaps I’ll only use recycled, which is a little harsher on the skin for your derrière.
I am addicted to reading; I love it. I love buying a paper in the morning and then reading it over a cup of coffee, the Sunday papers are the best with all of the pull-outs and guides. I enjoy crosswords and folding the paper up into the crossword square (like the commuters do). I like saving bits of the paper for future reference and sticking them in my desk drawer only to wonder why I saved it six months later. I also love magazines; namely Empire and anything else related to movies or the arts. I have been an avid reader and buyer of Empire since 1989 and the second issue which had Batman on the front. I love going through the glossy pages and holding in my hand proof of what is coming soon to our local multiplex. Somehow, seeing it on-line doesn’t feel real to me, it could be a fake like all of the fake trailers for Dark Knight Rises that adorned Youtube before the release of the movie. I also love books, I’m a writer and I love holding books in my hand. I have a Kindle, I have published on the Kindle but I love books.
So why this sudden move away from paper? Well, I read in an article from The Independent (which I now cannot find) about how young people are remaining minimalist: in that they don’t own CD collections or DVD collections and have very few books; what they do is use Spotify or Netflix or ITunes for their entertainment. I think that this is a glimpse at our future and then I cast a long look at the mess around me on my bookcase and wondered, why do I have all this stuff that I will never look at again? Some movies I may watch again but not really enough to justify owning them; I never, ever re-read a book even if I have enjoyed it, that journey is done and that story is over, time to move on to the next. There is perhaps one book that I would re-read actually: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susannah Clarke, which I found absolutely amazing. But it is a big book and would fit snugly into my Kindle for £3.99 rather than on my bookcase. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Jonathan-Strange-Mr-Norrell-ebook/dp/B003DVG7QY/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1357127546&sr=1-1
So this is a space saving exercise; and it is an environmental exercise. It is also a challenge for me to do: a whole year without paper products at all (including money?). I am going to look into saving all of my music and photos into a cloud (as I’ve read that hard drives are a little unreliable) and then become completely dependent on a laptop and electricity for my entertainment.
I will be writing my progress on this blog regularly; if you would like updates then please do follow me on my journey, or come along too. Perhaps we could share our experiences at becoming