I have been reading this site with interest for quite a while now, and a few things have struck me:
All of the people here are into lightweight backpacking, but I wonder how many carry the same principles into their daily life? Lightweight philosophies seem more and more relevant in todays society:
-Lighter, smaller, simpler kit is likely to be more energy efficient in its manufacture, and its transport (lighter individual items = lighter load on a truck = less fuel) and hence, less damaging to the environment.
- MYOG / Adapting items means more reuse, and less purchasing of new items.
- Lightweight kit tends to be smaller, hence takes up less room in a home, hence requires a smaller home, hence using less materials and less energy.
- Lightweight kit is oftern simpler, hence using less materials in the first place.
- The people on this forum seem very capable of deciding EXACTLY what functionality they require from an item. If we could do this day to day, maybe we wouldnt keep buying 'next seasons model' of things we already own.
Bear in mind that if we apply the same mentality we use when hiking, to EVERYTHING we buy, from a stereo to a dining-room chair, we could actually have a big impact on environmental issues.
It is also interesting that some people here frown on outdoor gear companies making 'fashion concious' gear. While I do not think that fashion should overtake the functionality of gear in the wilds, it is worth noting that many of us probably spend more time at home or at work than actually doing outdoor pursuits. It stands to reason then, that if the shirt we bought to use while hiking also looks good when you head out for dinner tonight, it means you only need ONE shirt, for both functions, not TWO. Multiple use. Thats not a bad thing at all (so long as the functionality isnt compromised by the fashion element.)
Just some food for thought. I would be very interested to hear your responses.