Apple, Environment, iPhone, Technology

Apple Event – 13th October 2020

A hop and a skip in a greener direction, but no jump…

After yesterday watching the Apple Event which introduced the iPhone 12 devices and the HomePod Mini to the world, it was clear the main focus of the event was the announcement that all of the iPhone 12s will support 5G mobile technology.

5G has been in existence for a while now and there are ads and billboards dotted around from some of the major networks advertising that 5G is now here. Yet coverage has been limited to specific areas of major cities so the commercial uptake has not yet transpired. With the release of the iPhone 12 however, that uptake may be about to accelerate. Whilst this announcement is very exciting in terms of the connectivity and the speeds these phones will now be able to deliver, it was another announcement which I felt was perhaps more revolutionary.

Apple announced that across the range of iPhone devices they will now be removing the power adapter and EarPods, the wired set of ear buds which are normally supplied with the phone. A fast-charging USB-C to Lightning cable will still be included in the box however. By doing this Apple are now able to ship the new range of iPhones in smaller, slimmer boxes. This has the effect of using less packaging materials, as well as allowing a higher number of boxes to be included in one shipment, which will also result in fewer shipments of devices across the world. On their website, Apple estimates that this all adds up to reducing over 2 million tonnes of carbon emissions per year, which they say is the equivalent of 450,000 fewer cars on the road. During the event yesterday Apple also stated that they were operating under a plan which strives to make all of their products carbon neutral by the year 2030. All positive you might say.

And yes it is certainly a step in the right direction, and come the year 2030 we will be able to see if the company’s ambitions on carbon neutrality actually came to fruition. While it is admirable that action is now being taken by a company as giant as Apple, I would have liked to have seen them take it a step further by removing all cables from their iPhone devices completely. As I suggested in a previous post, a large number of people around the world own an iPhone, and a large number of those people are likely to have had a different iPhone before that said device. There will also be households containing multiple iPhones and Apple devices including iPads, AirPods and Apple Watches. Therefore as Apple alluded to in their event yesterday, there are going to be huge number of power adapters lying around the homes of iPhone users already, before the introduction of millions more when these new phones ship.

As I sit at my desk now, there are two unused power adaptors for iPhones in my drawer. Case in point.

Yet with those power adapters, there are also going be a very large number of cables like the aforementioned USB-C to Lightning cable, as one power adapter needs an associated cable like a car needs wheels. So if Apple removed the power adapter, why not also remove the cable that goes with it? The Lightning cable can be used to connect the phone to other things like a computer, but realistically how often do people do that nowadays? You could argue that Apple’s wireless revolution began in late 2016 when they first introduced AirPods and removed the headphone jack from their new iPhones in a move which they cited as being “courageous”.

With this in mind the wireless revolution has been going on for a number of years now and I would have liked Apple to be a little more ambitious in their announcements yesterday by removing charging cables completely from their new devices. If consumers needed a new power adapter or cable or replacements, they would be able to buy one as they will continue to be sold separately. Adding to this, yesterday Apple announced the return of their MagSafe technology, and this time its coming to their iPhones. The MagSafe charger will not be shipped with the new iPhone but will be sold separately as an accessory. To me it seems a bit like they’ve boiled the kettle but neglected to make the coffee, and it’s the coffee which is the desired result.

Let’s stop promising things like the lofty 2030 aim, and actually get it done. Overall, well done Apple for taking this step to more eco-friendly consumerism (if that can exist in any sustainable way). Let us hope that the other major phone manufacturers like Samsung, Google, LG and OnePlus take this baton, run with it and take further steps to eliminate unnecessary waste from our fragile and crowded planet.

Is enough being done by Apple and the like to reduce wastage and encourage greener living? Or is my minimalist nature being too critical? If you have any thoughts feel free to post them below.

Thanks for reading.

Andrew

Mental Health, poem, Self-improvement

The Mind

With World Mental Health Day having just gone by this weekend, I just wanted to write a few words on a topic which affects everybody, whether we are aware of it or not.

2020 has been a massively turbulent year. The Coronavirus pandemic has swept through every corner of the planet and continues in its formidable stride. Many of us were locked down and had to stay in our homes for months on end. The world it seems is at an anxious point. As such it is important now more than ever that we collectively take responsibility for the mental health of ourselves and others. It cannot be underestimated how much of an effect the current global situation can be having on the lives of many people all over the world.

So here’s a small poem that I wrote to remind myself to look after the things that make me who I am in these difficult and turbulent times.

The Mind, 
A sacred place behind the eyes,
A network that binds and ties,
The infinite space of thought.


The Mind,
An intellect that can wander and wonder,
An absent object where love grows fonder,
A fragile machine that can’t be bought.


Be aware of it, 
Be careful with it,
Be amazing because of it.


Because in your mind,
One will ultimately find,


You.

Many thanks for reading.

Andrew.

Amazon, Security, Technology

Metal Gear Amazon: Sons of Drone Security

Last week Amazon unveiled a range of new products including updates to the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers, their Fire TV streaming device, and some new Blink outdoor security cameras. Another product which they showed off and announced would be coming in 2021 was the Ring Always Home Cam

The Ring Blog

This is going to be an autonomous drone with an attached camera which can fly around your home to monitor activity in different rooms. The device is stored in a dock and then takes flight after an activation, or a request to monitor a certain area of the house. The device then flies to the desired location in the home whilst recording live video and then that video is streamed to your mobile device for live viewing. It’s certainly an interesting product to say the least and it could be a curious fork in the road.

The linked promotional video from Ring shows the prototype device in action around a home. In the example shown it shows an unwanted person getting through a door and activating an alarm. At this point the alarm takes flight and travels to the room in which the unwanted guest activated the alarm, recording footage and streaming this back to the home owner’s mobile device. This is what you might call a reactive activation, whereby there has been an external action which has triggered the device into operation. The device can also be programmed to fly on demand in what I would term a ‘sentry mode’. As a long time Metal Gear Solid fan, it’s not difficult to see comparisons between the Ring Always Home Cam and the drone cameras called Cyphers that were present in the sequel game on Playstation 2. In the Sons of Liberty game, these Cyphers were fitted with camera systems and at times were often weaponised, in order to take lethal action on uninvited guests to the site they were guarding.

I draw comparisons to this because I wonder, once these home security cameras get into homes at affordable prices, how long is it before certain owners decide to customise the devices into something which takes more offensive action to any breaches of security? 

Another thing to ponder is just how secure is the video that is recorded by these devices? Just last year we saw both Amazon and Apple come under fire for a controversy involving their smart speakers and virtual assistants: Alexa and Siri. It was found that Amazon and Apple analytics teams had access to conversations which had been recorded by their respective devices after the owners had thought the devices had stopped listening and recording. I believe the reasons given were that Amazon and Apple were using the conversations and data to improve their voice recognition software and systems. Bearing this in mind, how much should we trust that a device like the Ring Always Home Cam is not snooping around the home without our knowledge whilst we are not there? 

The Ring Always Home Cam is an interesting device with clear innovations, however I’m not sure a majority of consumers would feel comfortable like having a device like that saunter through their home, possibly whilst they are unaware. It could be at the forefront of autonomous security systems or on the tipping point of privacy paranoia in an already anxious world. Time will tell, and it will be interesting to see the ongoing reaction to this contentious product.

Mental Health

Starting on a Journey of Self-Improvement

Last year I started reading a lot about personal development and self-improvement after a pretty major breakdown in my mental health which started more than two years ago. For much of last year I was just flitting around from topic to topic without any real direction. The last few months however I feel as though I have started to figure out what elements of self-improvement are most important and beneficial. In this post I will share the elements which I feel are the best building blocks on a journey of self-improvement. I still feel very much at the start of this life changing journey so these may be subject to change and dare I say it ‘development’.

  • Establish routines

There is a wealth of information out there on the internet about routines, and they can come in all different shapes and sizes and for a multitude of different things. What I would call the foundation pillars however are as follows: a morning routine, a fitness routine and a bedtime routine. The more that I read the astonishing Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, the more obvious it becomes that sleep is the key to literally everything in terms of how we feel both physically and mentally, and is also key to us functioning as a human being on an effective level. Building a strong morning, fitness and bedtime routine is also key to developing healthy sleep. In terms of a morning routine, waking up early for sunrise seems to align with my body clock and avoids me feeling too lethargic or guilty after waking up having missed a good portion of the day. Ensuring you hydrate yourself well in the morning and getting a good breakfast will also make you feel good and set you up to perform in your day. Establishing a consistent fitness routine can start as basic as going on a 30 minute walk per day. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym for more than an hour a day. If you struggle with finding time in the day, simple things that I can recommend are 30 minute yoga workouts, and Yoga with Adriene is an excellent resource with a multitude of free videos for beginners available on YouTube or yogawithadriene.com. A bedtime routine would consist of ensuring that you are going to bed early enough to ensure that you get around eight hours sleep per night and have enough time to commit to your morning routine. I can recommend not looking at your phone screen for approximately 30 minutes or more before lights out to give you sufficient time to wind down. Reading a book will also help to get you ready for sleep. For more on routines I would recommend visiting Matt D’Avella’s YouTube channel as there are lots of great videos about where to get started with these.

  • Meditate

There seems to be a lot of information out there now about the benefits of meditation in an increasingly busy, hectic and anxious world. It’s a simple act which allows our minds to take a break from all of the stresses and strains which we put ourselves through on a daily basis. I seem to go through peaks and troughs with my meditation practice, and yet when I practice meditation consistently I do notice that I feel better about myself. It gives me a clearer head and I feel more focussed when I meditate daily. This is also something which I feel we should be encouraging our children to practice as the benefits will serve them well through their years of development. Two apps which I can highly recommend are the truly excellent Headspace and Waking Up by Sam Harris. Ten minutes a day is all it takes.

  • Read or consume written material

Plain and simple, just start reading more. It could be whatever you like, fiction or non-fiction. If you commute to work and normally scroll through your phone try a week of reading a book instead. Buy a physical copy from a book shop or charity shop or get a Kindle. If you find reading tough then start listening to Audiobooks on Audible or an alternative platform. Or for added bonus points do both. Just find something that interests you and holds your attention and get reading. 

  • Remove distractions

When I say distractions, the most obvious one for me is taking a break from social media, or getting rid of it completely. On reflection the times when I have felt most agitated is when I have been most addicted to my phone and social media. And let’s not tiptoe around the subject it is most certainly an addiction and can have just as damaging effects as other more widely considered ‘traditional’ addictions. I would say initially just take a break for a week and see how that feels. If you find that you don’t miss it try a month. It is refreshing not to subconsciously be comparing yourself to other people and see how everyone is ‘living their best life’. Focus on actual interactions and relationships rather than virtual ones. At work I would find it hard to concentrate on a single basic task without picking up my phone to check something, which almost certainly hadn’t changed, and before I knew it I had been scrolling through an endless stream of crap for ten minutes. Multiply that by how many times you pick up your phone without a genuine reason throughout the day and the amount of precious time lost to the action of scrolling is actually quite worrying. If this is something you struggle with I would suggest putting your phone in another room or area and initially only checking it when you get up to take a break from your desk, and build from there. I would highly recommend people watch the Netflix docu-drama The Social Dilemma to get more of an idea of the ways people are subconsciously influenced by social media.

  • Make time for yourself

This should not be underestimated. Make time for you to do the things that interest you and the things that you want to do. Those things that you have been putting off and have said that you would do ‘some day’ – just start NOW. What is stopping you? Some things that I have done is buy an electric guitar and start trying to learn that, and I also learnt to ride a motorbike. Even if you only find an hour a week to do something for you, start there and do not feel bad or guilty in anyway for it. You only have one life and your time is precious.

Thanks for reading.

Andrew.

Uncategorized

When plastic got drastic and being more green

Wednesday 3rd July 2019

So for my first post I thought I would share how I’ve recently really switched on and have started to wake up to the crisis of trying to preserve our planet. In the last few months things have really hit home to me about how bad things have got with regards to plastic waste. Thanks David Attenborough and Blue Planet 2! Let’s get real here, we can all do more to reduce our carbon footprint, our plastic waste and just generally be more green and eco friendly with the way that we live our lives. By now we have all seen the pictures of the islands of plastic waste out in the world’s oceans, and we are bombarded with news stories about how the world is warming up at a dangerous rate. Surely as the supposedly intelligent species on the planet it’s more than a choice to look after our world, it’s our overriding duty to pass it on to the next generation in the best state possible. So I have started to make some proper changes to my lifestyle to try and incorporate this and do my bit. 

I recently watched the three part series titled “The War on Plastic” on the BBC and would thoroughly recommend it to anyone that hasn’t seen it. In watching that what was clear to me was just how much single use plastic we all have in our homes that we are basically unaware of, at least I was anyway. What was also clear was how easy it is for us all to reduce how much single use plastic we use, and the positive impact that can have, however small it may initially seem. I used to be of the mindset that why should I bother if no one else is? This is clearly the wrong attitude to have and is part of the problem that we are all contributing to. If everyone started to make small changes and really do their bit I’m confident we would start to see some positive impacts and maybe the problem sources (supermarkets) would actually start to take note.

So the changes which I have made are as follows:

Started cycling to work / using more public transport. Obviously this will only work if your place of work is within a reasonable distance. It saves money and get’s you fit and as a family we have been able to switch to one family car.

Switched energy supplier to Octopus energy, who claim that all of their energy comes from 100% renewable sources.

I bought a Chillys bottle to use rather than buying bottled water. Although they may look expensive initially, they’re extremely well built and keep your water ice cold for ages!

Purchased an rCup reusable coffee cup for coffee on the go. I’ve become slightly addicted to coffee (and the odd slice of cake) and let’s be frank the amount of coffee cups we use every day in life which are never recycled borders on being criminal. This cup so far seems really good and is also made from recycled plastic. Some coffee shops will also offer you a small discount for using a re-usable cup. It may seem like a small amount but multiply that by how many cups of coffee we buy in a year and it will be a worthwhile saving that you can use elsewhere.

Getting big food shops delivered. This reduces the amount of vehicles driving to and from supermarkets by having one vehicle deliver several customers’ shopping. With an almost two year old daughter it’s also a lot less stressful as I don’t have to constantly prevent her from touching and removing every single item from the shelves.

Switching to bamboo toothbrushes. Apparently toothbrushes can’t be recycled. I’ve also switched to replaceable heads by LiveCoco for my electric toothbrush as these claim to be recyclable if you send them off.

Getting milk delivered in reusable glass bottles.

I made my own household cleaner. It uses all natural ingredients and reduces the amount of spray bottles which I use which contain a lot of different plastic parts and are difficult to recycle.

Switch to LED lightbulbs throughout the house. These use a lot less energy than normal lightbulbs so in the long run will save you money on your energy bills.

Reduce use of single use wet wipes. In the recent BBC show “The War on Plastic” these types of wipes were found to contain a shockingly high amount of plastic. If you look around your house I reckon you will have a few types of these wipes around the home…baby wipes, toilet wipes, disinfectant wipes. Do we really need to use that many?

Obviously many of the points which I have listed above require some form of initial investment, however I think it’s time everyone wised up to the cost our 21st century lifestyles are having on the world around us.

Moving forwards I would like to continue to reduce the amount of single use plastics that I use at home. Where I do have to use household products for cleaning etc. I would like to switch to products which claim to originate from natural sources. I would also like to tackle the huge problem that we have of waste and single use plastics at work. I’ll keep you posted.

I’d love to hear what steps anyone else is taking to be more eco friendly in their lives.

Thanks for reading

Andrew

Apple, iPhone, Technology, Xbox

Fragmentation of devices: Excessive or Progressive?

One World Rental

I was recently listening to a podcast on the iMore show where the imminent release of the new iPhone 12 devices was being discussed. A current rumour is that this year there may be a total of four new iPhones released, which is the most that I can remember in one release cycle. The rumoured devices are as follows: 

  • The iPhone 12
  • The iPhone 12 Max
  • The iPhone 12 Pro
  • The iPhone 12 Pro Max

If this rumour turns out to be true then these devices will also be released in a year when a new iPhone SE was also introduced. So is this a good move by Apple; to offer a higher number of devices to consumers and ultimately more choice. Or is it an example of excess and fragmentation, and is it actually causing users to become more confused over which iPhone is the right iPhone for them?

Know Your Mobile

It used to be that people would term the Samsung device catalogue as cluttered with seemingly different devices for different days of the week. However Apple is catching up, and we see this across most of their product range. There are always at least two versions of the Apple Watch available (not taking into account the cellular and non-cellular versions, there are three different types of AirPods available, and let’s not get started on the multitude of iPads that exist currently. Is this a good thing though? In some ways yes, there is now an iPad for pretty much everyone and every use case. This type of cluttered product lineup is bringing those products to people where they previously wouldn’t have been able to get them. For example the latest bottom line iPad now starts at £349, so educational institutions and enterprise can take advantage of this lower cost and introduce the device into their workflow. However is it also making it more difficult for consumers to decide upon which product is right for them and where to put their hard earned cash? The additional options of storage size, connection type and accessories also further the decisions which consumers will have to make.

This is not a trend set only by Apple however. This week Microsoft confirmed the existence of its upcoming secondary Xbox console: the Xbox Series S, to sit alongside the Xbox Series X which is due for release in November this year. The Series S has been confirmed as being a less powerful, all digital, and cheaper alternative to the Series X. Taking into account the reported price of the Series S at £249 however,  this looks like a example of more = less, as £249 for a new generation console sounds like a great deal for consumers. Sony have also announced that they will be releasing two versions of the Playstation 5 this year as well; a standard version and another all digital device. However  in the case of Sony, the price of each console has not yet been revealed.

Xbox

I do wonder whether this type of fragmentation actually serve the respective companies and consumers or not however. Does it mean that the manufacturers have more products to manage and focus on rather than making one truly brilliant version of a device? Or are alternatives simply introduced to make the other products look like a better deal, and drive consumers to spend more on a more expensive model. Samsung recently introduced new devices in their Note lineup: the Note20 and the Note20 Ultra 5G. Going by the online reviews of the respective products, it appears as if the Note20 is just a very watered down version of the Note20 Ultra 5G, and there do not seem to be many reasons why consumers would opt for the lesser device, the Note20, if they are in fact in the market for a ’Note type device’ in the first place. There’s a significant price difference between the two as well, with the Note20 starting at £849 in the UK and the Note20 Ultra starting at £1179. So was the Note20 simply introduced by Samsung as a tool to help them convince consumers too spending more on the premium device by making the specs of the lesser device poorer? It’s an interesting question and only one which would be answered by comparing the sales figures of the two devices. Another interesting comparison would be to compare the relative sales of the lower end and premium devices of Apple and Samsung to see if these strategies are making more people buy the premium devices.

AnandTech

If you look at the specification of all of the devices that I’ve listed above they seem to align well with the law of diminishing returns, whereby the more money you spend, the less of a jump in quality you might expect to gain. That’s why this year I’m particularly excited to see how the lower end devices perform. I feel like there is more of a push to offer consumers better value for money so let’s see what Apple can offer in this market at their next event on 15th September.

Apple, iPhone, Technology

Charging in?

Are Apple leading the charge of combating an e-waste problem, or are they just out to charge you more for less?

Since around the time that the WWDC 2020 keynote dropped on the internet in a post-covid technology landscape, a divisive rumour has circulated about the 2020 iPhones shipping without a charger in their box. On first look this appears to be yet another attempt by Apple to move people away from something that they are comfortable with. See the prior removal of the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, and going further back when they replaced the 30 pin connector with Lightning. Yet if this rumour turns out to be true, I believe that this move is not simply an attempt by Apple to make consumers buy more accessories at a bigger profit margin, but more of a necessity to help reduce the carbon footprint of each and every person around the globe that uses an iPhone. Or that’s how I like to think anyway.

Apple announced that it has a target of becoming carbon neutral across its entire business and manufacturing supply chain by 2030 (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-53485560). The company has goals in terms of its environmental impact, and I think it has been there for many years already. You only have to look at their product launches and keynotes to see this and they tend to dedicate a slide to the environmental impact of their new product.

A quick Google search showed that Apple sold 217.72 million iPhone units worldwide in 2018 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/276306/global-apple-iphone-sales-since-fiscal-year-2007/). That’s 217,720,000 power adapters and 217,720,000 Lightning cables that were also shipped. All of this is a single factor in the emerging and growing problem of e-waste. An author of a UN report has suggested that ‘the 50 million tonnes of e-waste generated every year will more than double to 110 million tonnes by 2050, making it the fastest growing waste stream in the world.’ (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-51385344). Therefore although the numbers of iPhone units sold, and therefore power adapters and cables that are going into consumers hands each year are staggering, this is merely the tip of the iceberg. For every power adapter and cable not used, there will be X amounts of other electronic items like screens, fridges, and vacuum cleaners for example which will also be joining the e-waste Everest.

Inline - 1
http://www.apple.com

The obvious argument against this move, and one that I’m sure Apple haters will sling in the direction of the company, is “you expect me to pay £1000 for a phone, but you won’t provide me the equipment to charge it?” A fair argument. You wouldn’t expect to buy a brand new car that came without wheels. But in the case of iPhones and other smartphones consumers have been buying these for many years now, and will doubtless have had many iterations of iPhones and other different phones. Across this timespan consumers would have accumulated numerous plugs and associated charging cables. Talking from my own experience, when I have upgraded a phone in the past I have continued to use the charging cable and power adapter that are a constant fixture on my bedside table. The new ones have remained in the box until something breaks. 

I also think that if true, Apple may finally be on the verge of announcing a product like the fabled AirPower which never came to fruition. If this were the case then a product like AirPower where you were able to charge multiple devices wirelessly at the same time would solve the problem of having to ship chargers and cables in every box of every individual product. Although again, this could be a way of just making you upgrade to the next best thing. What would be good to see is universal charging across the devices, manufacturers and ecosystems in order to cut out a high volume of needless e-waste and make charging our multiple electronic devices that we carry constantly easier and more efficient.

https://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2018/3/23/17155536/apple-airpower-wireless-charger-plux-indiegogo-crowdfunding-qi

Uncategorized

Dark

Shadows creep and crawl
When darkness sets in.

People bellow and brawl
When darkness sets in.

Time is solemnly sold
When darkness sets in.

Lovers help and hold
When darkness sets in.

Minds slip and scream
When darkness sets in.

Children drift and dream
When darkness sets in.

Lights burn brightest
When darkness sets in.
poem

Time

An object craved by all,
Yet unable to buy.

A universal search for meaning,
Gone in the blink of an eye.

Consumed without thought,
A currency only spent.

Like breath on a mirror,
Moments that came and went.

Clocks may stop but time arrows on,
A gift not to abuse.

So use it for the best,
It’s only yours to lose.

							
Uncategorized

It's the end of the World as we knew it

Strange, strange times indeed. What has happened to the world that we know and had become so accustomed to? It’s quite amazing how the things which we take for granted can just be changed in the blink of an eye. I can’t help but think it was only a matter of time before some world event or crisis like the Coronavirus came along to seriously disrupt the order of things.

I feel like the world was in an odd state of tension prior to this crisis coming to the fore. There were things like Brexit and the continuous collective worry about the declining state of the environment which seemed to seep into people’s consciousness in ways which I hadn’t experienced before. It seemed like there was no clear direction on where everything was headed. Everything seemed uncertain. And now, thanks to the Coronavirus, everything is a little bit more uncertain but at least it seems like the priorities have shifted.

Over the years this type of crisis has been predicted throughout all forms of media for a number of years. Take ’28 Days Later’, ‘How to Survive the Zombie Apocalypse’, ‘Contagion’, ‘Death Stranding’ and ‘Twelve Monkeys’ to name but a few. I’m not saying we’re at that level of crisis but it’s difficult not to see the similarities and how something more savage and aggressive could seriously disrupt the way of the world overnight. And yet despite all of our exposure to this media we never seem to have truly prepared. This has been shown with the amount of panic buying which we have all seen examples of. Honestly does anyone need 75 toilet rolls at once? I mean how many hot Nando’s are they eating? If everyone was a bit more collective in the first place, I doubt we would have seen this level of panic. Everyone would have been more used to waiting their turn and only using the things which they really need at the time.

Back last year I started trying to be more minimal and discovered there was a whole minimalism movement going on out there. The aim being to try and ‘live a more meaningful life with less’ as said by The Minimalists. I’ve always been someone that has become a bit overwhelmed by clutter when it gets a bit out of control and found that these sorts of reactions to ‘things’ raise my stress levels. The reality is that we don’t need to let ourselves get to this point. As a society we are obsessed with ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ and upgrades , and all manner of other things which we think will enrich our lives. The reality is that in most circumstances these ‘things’ are empty and they satisfy us for a short amount of time before we want or think that we need the ‘next thing’.

Bearing in mind what is going on in the world at the moment, maybe it’s time for us all to take stock of the things in our life which we value and bring us joy. Maybe this crisis is an opportunity for us to make some changes to the way that we live and consume, so that we can exist a bit more meaningfully and collectively. ‘The Minimalists’ is a great insight into the way of living and is available on Netflix. Those guys also have a great podcast which covers a whole range of topics and how minimalism can be adapted or connected to that, for example with trauma or interior design. One thing I would recommend while we all have time at home is trying to do the 3-33 challenge; where for three months you are only allowed to wear 33 different items of clothing. The challenge does not include underwear or gym wear, but does include accessories and footwear. It’s a great way of going through all of your stuff and weeding out those items which you haven’t worn for a long time for whatever reason. There’s no need to throw all of your unwanted stuff away but just pack it away until it’s ready for the appropriate season. The challenge also means that the things you choose to keep on wearing will be things that you genuinely love and bring you joy in wearing them. It should help to make you feel good, and this is something that we all need at times like this. In fact it should be easy as none of us will be going out all you will need is your ‘slobs’.

So maybe in this time of apparent crisis we should all try and be a bit more minimal and focussed on the things that we know we want and the things which bring us joy.

https://www.theminimalists.com