Friday, January 23, 2015

Stuff - Choosing to live with less

There's a guy who joins us for coffee most days. Hypothetically, we will call him Joe. (It's fun, because his name really is Joe.) He is a self-proclaimed minimalist and strives to make sure that his list of worldly possessions will all fit in a duffel bag. He is young and single. The minimalist lifestyle appears to suit him quite well. The rest of us swilling coffee around the table are anything but minimalists - we all have mountains of stuff that we work hard at maintaining, stuff that often owns us. For example, there's a Dodge pickup in our family that feels more like a part-time job than a transportation tool.

I have to admit that I find the idea of less stuff has a lot of appeal. And I see a lot of media these days that indicates that a lot of you are also interested in having and maintaining less stuff. Tiny house and bicycle-as-primary-transport articles consistently bring in more readers to this blog - especially from keyword searches. And Joe makes some compelling arguments.

Over the last few days I have run across a number of articles that deal with less, and two of them have really had me thinking.

The first is a Mother Earth News article from Kyle Chandler-Isacksen. And it is the more radical of the two for this middle-classer. It challenges the conventional American dream in showing a life choice quite foreign to what most of us consider normal.

Choosing Voluntary Poverty

The second is a Lloyd Alter article from Treehugger. Lloyd is a Canadian architect/writer who writes a lot of articles on tiny houses, green culture, and green tech. And I enjoy his writing because it tends to enlighten me more than sell me a product or trend.

This particular article is a combination overview and slideshow that covers a lot of ground on the value (and problems) that come with less.

Why small is the new green

May you never stop questioning what you know, and may your questions lead you to a better life.

Added bonus link from Lloyd Alter to keep you pondering:

Let's get real about cute little wind turbines