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Published on October 22nd, 2010 | by ziggy

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4 Ways You Can Entertain Yourself… Sustainably

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So much of modern entertainment comes with a high ecological price tag, is socially isolating and disabling, and is downright culturally degrading at times, too. There are huge markets devoted to keeping people glued to their flashy television sets, buying the latest time-sucking video and computer games, convincing people to shell out over $10 for 90 minute braindead movies, and a plethora of other dead end entertainment.

What do you really have to gain by spending thousands of dollars on a giant home entertainment center, for example? The ecological costs of entertainment are devastating, too: for example, a single computer requires a whopping 1.8 tons of raw material to produce.

How can you entertain yourself sustainably, though? Here are four ideas you can try to have fun without a big environmental impact.

4 Green Ideas for a Good Time

1. Go for a hike.

No, seriously. Go for a hike. Try it. Look up local trails and hikes and get a friend or two to come along to enjoy the sights of nature. There’s zero harm in walking and enjoying the scenery and smells of a beautiful landscape. Depending on where you live, you may be fortunate to have a range of options. This handy website catalogs local hikes near major metropolitan areas with helpful trail information. Check it out!

2. Throw a concert with your friends

Music concerts can cost a small fortune to attend, so why not throw your own? If you play music or have friends that do, it’s easy enough to organize a jam session or concert night. Invite family and friends, provide some snacks, and make a night out of it. There’s no need to travel to a giant entertainment complex mobbed with throngs of people to enjoy music. In fact, by having your own DIY concert, it will undoubtedly be a more personal and intimate affair than anything you would ever have to pay for.

3. Have a local food dinner party

In America, we take going out to eat for granted. But it is a huge privilege to be able to go out and pay to have someone cook and serve a meal for you. Much of the time, we are clueless to where the food comes from in a restaurant, unless it is one that specially serves local or organic food. (And why are those restaurants frequently so expensive?)

Why not throw your own local foods dinner party? Make it fun and sustainable by attempting to serve as much local and seasonal food as possible. Tell your guests about your choice of ingredients, and where you obtained them. You can have a rotational dinner party and ask your friends to take turns hosting and serving up their own local food creations. It’s extremely rewarding to feed your friends good food!

Not ready to cook a full meal? A local foods potluck is another option…

4. Start a story-sharing circle

Much of entertainment throughout human history was based on the telling (and re-telling) of stories, which continued to get passed down through the generations. Eventually, stories were written down, but there is still huge appeal in spoken story-sharing. Why not create your own form of spoken story-sharing with your friends? You can have a themed sharing circle. For example, you can ask one person to tell their complete life story during each meeting of the circle. The possibilities are endless, and the connections these sorts of sharing circles can facilitate are very rewarding. The best part? You don’t need anything other than people to have an engaging story circle.

Be creative. There are plenty of ways you can entertain yourself the DIY way. Have any other fun ideas? Let’s hear ‘em!

Ready to take a Fall hike? We’ve got plenty of greener choices for boots and shoes, including offerings from Patagonia, and Garmont, Montrail.

Image credit: flickr via kevindooley



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About the Author

I'm a 26-year-old currently living at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeast Missouri, an intentional community devoted to sustainable living and culture change. Things you might find me doing here (other than blogging) are building with natural materials, gardening, beekeeping, making cheese, candlemaking, and above all else, living simply. You can read about my on-going natural building projects at: http://www.small-scale.net/yearofmud



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