As the flip side of the discussion of what folks might be giving up during their permaculture or simplification journey, I thought I'd list things that I'm not personally ready to give up.....and why. It might be interesting to see what it hear people are doing and thinking.
... Soap. I'm not ready to go soapless or poo-less. Reason? I get really dirty, sweaty, and greasy working on this farm. A good hot soapy shower at the end of the day works wonders for my mental health, and physical health considering how easy it us to get skin infections in the tropics.
... Hot water. I think one of the last things of civilization that I want to give up is a hot shower. Washing in cold water isn't my idea of fun.
... Cooked food. While I do eat plenty of raw foods, I not yet interested in an all raw diet. I really like soups and stews. Cooked foods taste different than raw, and I like the taste of cooked in many cases.
... Meat. I not only enjoy a good steak or pulled pork, I also physically feel better including some meat in my diet.
... Gasoline. While I've drastically cutback my use, I can't foresee voluntarily eliminating it. Using a horse and wagon or bicycle to get to town might often be enjoyable but the traffic here wouldn't allow for that.
... Internet. In today's world, I want Internet.
... Living rural. Although some day I may need to move to town due to my age, for right now I enjoy have elbow room around me. I don't want to live right next door to another person. I like open space. I like to be surrounded by nature.
... My animals. I'm aware that others think it is nuts to have lots of cats, dogs, sheep, chickens, etc. But I like it. They make me part of nature, part of the world, part of a rural life. I'm not interested in eliminating them yet.
... Plastics. While I've reduced my dependency upon them, I still use plastic items.
... Sugar. While I no longer buy packaged sugar or foods with sugar in them, I still enjoy a daily small glass of fresh cane juice and a weekly cherry soda. And if someone were to offer me a Sees butterscotch lollipop, I surely wouldn't turn it down.
... Shoes. Some people here are going shoeless, but I'm not willing to do that. My feet are tender and I don't want to put up with constantly treating cuts.
... Motorized tools. While I do prefer to work with small equipment (atv, tiller, chainsaw, weedwacker, drill, saws, etc) vs heavy equipment, I'm not the least bit interested in giving up motorized tools.
... Electricity. I'm not a big user of electricity. I've reduced quite a bit. But I'm not interested in totally eliminating it. I really like having a water pump, refrigerator, freezer, and a light on at night.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
You should be able to edit the title by editing your first post.
As for what I would NOT give up, I agree with your list it covers so much; I would add for myself:
Vehicles - If I can't get to work, I can't keep my house - it's that simple. Public transit/biking is not an option for me or most of America (outside Large urban centers). Besides, how am I supposed to fit 1000 board ft of lumber on a bus?
Chocolate - if I am to have one vice, I choose this over all others.
Music - the expense of instruments/sound equipment, recording, even stereo systems, etc. is worth the emotional release and catharsis i find in writing/playing /listening to music; even if I lose everything, I will buy a guitar again before MANY other things.
This really doesn't have as much to do with frugality, but...
Social Support: while I want to live "out in the sticks," my family's emotional and mental health cannot survive isolation - I think our "Just past Suburbia" level of rural is perfect for us; off the grid, hours from town is too far. In the same vein, I would LOVE to leave California, but our family and friends have no such inclination(or want to move to different places) - so we're here to stay for now.
Human Rights: I WILL NOT willingly trade my freedom(either freedom from, or freedom to) for...anything. Expanding on this any further is Cider Press material, so let's save it for another thread.
I'm not willing to give up my fruit tree acquisition habit...does that count?
Seriously, though, there is a lot I would love to give up...if the shape of the society I'm living within would allow it. Privacy (I'd love a roommate), commuting (if I could find a viable alternate way to pay the bills while living where I do), buying office clothing, office politics...it's frustrating trying to live with a foot in each of two worlds.
I do love my internet, though, and my central heat. And coffee.
My Books. While the internet has put a world of information at my fingertips, nothing will ever replace the tactile experience of turning a page and gazing with a satisfied sense of pride at the library we've built over the years. Kindle smindle -- a house without books is like a treeless desert.
My motorcycle. My daily commute is less than a mile, and for that I ride my Triumph Bonneville. She's a good bike—faithful, nimble, easy on gas, and the closest thing you can get to flying without actually having wings.
My permies.com habit. Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. I don't know any other board on the internet that has this level of thoughtful discussion and information, and I'm not going to go looking to see if there is one.
"The rule of no realm is mine. But all worthy things that are in peril as the world now stands, these are my care. And for my part, I shall not wholly fail in my task if anything that passes through this night can still grow fairer or bear fruit and flower again in days to come. For I too am a steward. Did you not know?" Gandolf
If we've consented to live in society for the advantages provided by law, infrastructure, and markets, we've already given up a lot of freedom.
I am really trying to do away with single-use or disposable plastics, by using silicone-gasketed glass-lidded glass takeaway containers and remembering to keep reuseable bags, preferably cloth, in the car for shopping trips.
But I am pretty much on board with much of what has been mentioned.
Oh, coffee. I simply won't do without my coffee. Or meat, though I am eating much less, and much better quality meat than previously.
Audiobooks are right up there. I wouldn't get through a quarter of the material I consume if it wasn't for audiobooks and podcasts.
While I am happy with the changes I have noticed in my physique and my bank account since I stopped having a tall boy or two of craft beer every day, I wouldn't stop drinking altogether. Nor would I stop vaping my herb of choice (I quit tobacco over a decade ago and would never go back. In fact, quitting was so much fun, I did it four times. I would do it again, too, except that I am unwilling to take it up again).
And I absolutely refuse to give up appropriate word choice and grammar. Words mean what they mean, dammit. "Decimate" means to cut by ten percent, right there in the word; it is not synonymous with "devastate". (I do see the irony of starting that sentence with "And...," but emphasis is one area where I will bend slightly).
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Vacations. Getting out of the snow and cold to experience some sun and warmth and coconuts. Or driving 3 hours to see family on holidays.
The permie formerly known as "Mike Jay"
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
Did you ever grow anything in the garden of your mind? - Fred Rogers. Tiny ad:
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars