Living a simpler life

I don’t think that anybody could deny that we humans, as a whole, with our population exceeding 7.4-billion individuals are using up the Earth’s resources at such a rate that it would take 1.5 planets to be able to restore those resources each year. This over-consumption of the Earth’s resources is due partly to population growth, partly due to striving to maintain a growing economy, but mainly due to our quest for more luxurious lifestyles.

Earth is a finite planet and there are natural limits to what it can provide, replace and produce over any given period of time. In this article I am going to focus mainly on how we, as individuals and communities, can adopt lifestyles and control our consumption of goods and services to improve our happiness and live better and more healthy lives and also to bring our use of the Earth’s resources back to where they can be naturally replaced or regenerated.

I will be providing stories of how some people and communities around the world have adopted simpler lifestyles and have achieved a sense of greater happiness and better health by doing this.

There are two main arguments for living more simply.

The first is that global sustainability and justice cannot be achieved unless we live much more simply than the average person does in the more wealthy countries of the world.

The second is that living simply enables a richer, healthier personal life. Living simpler lives means that we must adjust our material living standards – the amount we buy and consume – to what we actually need.

In our modern consumer-capitalist society it is assumed that the more we buy, have and consume the higher our wealth, welfare and quality of life will be. That is why economists strive to maintain an infinitely growing GDP, however, it has been recognized in some circles that this assumption is wrong and can have calamitous consequences. This pursuit of material wealth is now the major cause of the ecological and other global problems that threaten our survival.

The main reason for switching to a simpler way is that it must be carried out if we are to have a more sustainable and just world, however, this series of blogs on this website will deal more with how living simply can lead to more meaning and satisfaction in our lives.

In the meantime watch this video about an experiment is simple living in Audtralia: