‘A simple life’ is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary as, “a manner of living in which a person does not own many things or use many modern machines and usually lives in the countryside”. Well, I suppose that sort of describes one type of simple living, but the truth is, there are as many versions as there are people doing it. Living what is termed a ‘simple life’ or, as I call it, ‘a real life’, can encompass several changes in the way we want to live. However, nearly all of them result in us being able to live in a more sustainable fashion, i.e. being a bit kinder to Mother Earth. There are a number of things that define simple living. Here are some of them (but definitions will differ from person to person):
- Having/buying less ‘stuff’. This includes decluttering, living in a minimalistic fashion and being content with the things we have instead of always wanting more.
- Self-sufficiency. Making things we need as well as learning to mend things that are broken, upcycling, growing food, etc.
- Simplifying our diet. Growing and buying food that is not processed, is free of chemicals and does not put pressure on earth’s resources.
- Reducing dependence on new technology.
- Finding time for the things in life that are really important such as family, friends and, of course, your own well-being.
Changing the way you live can be a bit of a culture shock at first, so, as always, it’s best to start off one step at a time. That one step, although small, will still be a win for both yourself and the planet! Why not make a start right now by watching this well-known film. The Story of Stuff is an eye-opening and thought-provoking movie. Although it is over 10 years old and based on US statistics, I think it is more than relevant today and describes the situation almost worldwide. In fact, during the past decade, my opinion is that things have got worse.