Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Stepping Lightly




Stepping Lightly: Simplicity for people and the planet by Mark A. Burch. Having taught in Quaker schools for 15 years, I have had a lot of exposure to voluntary simplicity and the value of stepping lightly on the earth. I treasure the wisdom passed down from Friends who have learned to live simply, leaving a small footprint and seeking a sustainable, creative, joyful, generous way of living. This book is a wonderful guide to anyone looking for relief from the constant onslaught of consumerism. It is divided into sections including:
The challenge and the joy of voluntary simplicity,
What is voluntary simplicity?
Why practice voluntary simplicity?
How to practice living simply
How voluntary simplicity benefits us all

I’ve read this book twice in the last two years, and I am getting more out of it each time. It is a gentle, encouraging guide to thinking about living a life of joy and simplicity. I highly recommend it to anyone wishing for a more abundant, zestful life with less cumbersome stuff.

Thinking further...

I have worked hard in the last 10 years or so to lighten my load. I recycle, I compose, I organically garden. I use an old fashioned reel push mower instead of an electric or power mower on my lawn. I use hand-me-downs, I purge and declutter and give things away on a regular basis. I don’t watch TV and don’t go shopping much. I live on a tight budget, rarely going out to eat and seldom traveling for vacations. I have chosen a career with school hours so that I can spend a lot of time with my kids, instead of a high powered career with a larger salary and less free time. I enjoy reading library books and sharing tools with friends and neighbors. I feel like I have cut my consumerism to the bone, but I still want to lose more and become even trimmer. I am looking for more ideas. Yesterday I read my favorite column in the paper, Everyday Cheapskate by Mary Hunt. She said she could save me $600 a month by cutting back on a few things like cable and lattes. Only problem is I already have cut out everything she mentioned. I need some more ideas! What have the rest of you done to adopt a more simple lifestyle and cut back on consumerism?

4 comments:

Lilian said...

I guess I don't have much to add because we do the same thing you do - live on a tight budget and buy only the stricly necessary. I have to work on this too...

Overwhelmed! said...

Well, I haven't got any ideas for you. You're doing far more than I am to adopt a more simple lifestyle and cut back on consumerism? I'm learning from you!

Okay, I've officially caught up on your blog. I love it! I'm going to go link you on mine now. :)

Casey said...

I'll have to look for that book. I don't have any advice on advanced simplification. That should be an on-line course, don't you think?

cloudscome said...

Yes, I have found a wealth of resources online. Take a look at this one. http://www.simpleliving.net/

Overwhelmed, I have enjoyed all your comments! Now I am going over to read up on your blog...