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Sometimes Less Can Be More

Back in the 60s and 70s, there was lots of talk about less being more. The ideas of living softly on the planet or with our generation plus six or seven more got pretty much subsumed to, well, greed, or growth at almost any cost. We may be coming back to our senses a just a bit.

It might be because the current economic crisis forces us to, well, contract a bit. Or it might be that we’re just more in tough with the fact that if humans are to live well on the planet, we have to find a way to support all life well here.

Leo Babauta has posted a wonderfully thoughtful article called Steps Towards a More Sustainable Life of Less. There’s nothing much new here, but the tone is so welcoming; he doesn’t make us wrong or suggest we throw out technology or go back to living in caves. Each of these steps is small and will most probably lead to others.

For example, I now can walk to the store and the gym and to the farmers market, my bank, several coffee shops and a news stand, and I often do. Shopping at a farmer’s market means I’m both supporting local farmers and reducing my carbon imprint. Even more, I’m eating at least some of the romaine lettuce and green onions the former resident planted here. So fresh!

The fact that I’ve chosen a walkable community means my life is simpler almost by definition. I have time to at least smile at the neighbors, and sometimes to chat a bit.

This last Christmas our extended family agreed to presents only for the kids. It worked.

What do you already do to make your life and the life of others more sustainable? What might you add to that list?


Image from http://www.sxc.hu

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Isaac

    Good post. When I talk about writing, I often talk about being concise. My favorite writing rule is “Vigorous writing is concise” (William Strunk). This is the “less is more” of writing. Be concise when writing and in life – nothing unnecessary.

    Isaac’s last blog post..Vision of Students Today

  • Hey Anne,
    We chose a small home and lots of land in a community that puts more value on big houses. The kids share a room, share toys and share cloths. Our motto is – if you can’t find it a home then we don’t need it. We have reduced clutter by reducing things. We are blessed to have kids that are more focused about giving at the holidays than about getting!

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