Voluntary Simplicity

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Messages: 1 - 4 (14 total)

8/28/2000 7:06 PM
1 out of 14

We've been talking a little in this message area about whether or not it's necessary for people to reject consumerism. Now I'm interested in hearing about ways in which people have tried to simplify their lives!

For example, I bike to work every day... I don't eat meat... I'm pretty scrupulous about recycling... I don't buy lots of new clothes or other stuff... when I buy things I pay attention to their packaging, recyclability, use of resources, etc.

But even though I think I probably do more than most people, I still feel like I'm living a pretty middle-class life. None of these things are really extreme. I haven't done anything like give up a car entirely; in fact, we're about to buy a new car (albeit the most fuel-efficient one we can).

So I'd love to hear people share their suggestions of ways to "live simply, that others may simply live."

9/1/2000 3:43 PM
2 out of 14

I do a great deal to simplify my life. I borrow a car when I need one otherwise walk or bike. I grow my own veg as much as possible organically. I dont buy processed or packaged foods. I am vegan and I only drink water out of the tap. I dont have a television. Go to bed when it is dark and wake up whenever. I dont have any money to spend on anything other than just living. But then I think that it is easier to live within certain simple guidelines if for example you have a garden. It is as if you need a certain amount of money or state security or luck in order to be simple. So I think that it is a relative concept and has to be seen in a context. I live in a very small village in Northern Ireland and there isnt anything much to do. I would have to make a greater effort to be complex. When I visited the United States I remember crying with frustration because everything was so large. It wasn't possible to buy small portions and I felt so stupid and small but if I lived there in that environment it would be the norm.

Dragon Girl
9/10/2000 11:26 PM
3 out of 14

Dragonheart - I have to say I am jealous of you. I am trying to live simply in New York City, of all places (actually, I find it easier here than in some other places because I don't need a car, but still...). I wrestle every day with wanting to take advantage of everything the city offers while at the same time simplifying. The thing that I feel is most missing from my life is the connection with nature that I imagine comes from having a garden and growing some of your own food.
Aside from the internet, how do you stay in touch with mass culture in your situation (esp. since you have a t.v.), or do you just not care? I have to admit that I like knowing what's going on and observing it, even if I don't take part...

10/18/2000 12:29 PM
4 out of 14

I am continually amazed at the quality of goods that can be obtained by simply getting second hands, and hand me downs. Most of my home is furnished with such items, mostly given to me by family members. I have very nice things without having to have purchased most of them. You would be surprised what a little cleaning and care can do to a suposed "old" or "worn out" item. I make a concious effort to not go shopping, avoid malls, and not have credit cards. You will be amazed at what you do not spend when you insist on paying cash, even if it is a hardship.

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