One of the goals with this blog is to provide readers, who may be new to the concept of voluntary simplicity, some simple ideas of how to get going with simple living. Many books about simplicity are pretty hard core. The author typically lives off the grid, bicycles everywhere, and seems to have everything figured out. That’s fine and dandy if you are an author, don’t have kids (or especially teens), and don’t have to go in to the office every day. I want to emphasize that simplicity is not a competition of who has the lowest electricity bill or buys the least amount of clothes. Rather, it is a journey toward a life that is meaningful, joyful, and passionate.
My message is that you don’t have to live off the grid and eat only local produce to make a difference. Those are good things to do, but if you don’t feel like you can commit to that right now, it doesn’t mean that you should give up on the whole idea. Every little positive change matters. Each choice makes a difference. Maybe you can’t live without meat, but perhaps you can choose to buy only local, grass-fed beef. All of a sudden you are voting with your grocery purchase and supporting a farmer trying to do the right thing. Perhaps you can’t commit to bicycling to work every day, but you can find somebody with whom to carpool. Now you are helping the earth stay healthy.
As you continue to change habits to make this a better world, you will find that you don’t feel deprived at all, but rather liberated and happy. You’ll want to continue to make changes that have a positive effect.
I still drive to work most days, go out to eat, buy Christmas presents, and even visit malls on occasion (gasp!). However, that doesn’t negate the fact that I have made sustainable choices like not eating meat, buying only clothes I need (not want), and bicycling to work on occasion during the warmer weather months. Every goal I accomplish leads me to want to do more. It is a positive cycle.
To get started, pick one thing you would like to change to live more sustainably, and go for it! The rest will follow.