Simple living and voluntary simplicity have become major trends on the Internet. The sour state of the economy certainly contributed to that growth. When things aren't going well looking for ways to save money and eliminate waste are hot topics. But, I think it is more than that. People are realizing that a culture built on consumption as its major engine of growth creates enormous problems. It is impossible to sustain a constantly increasing pattern of spending. The damage to the earth and depletion of natural resources are clear threats to our well-being. The cycle of boom and bust wrecks havoc on us all.
The quickest way to take control of your own life is to take steps to get off that treadmill. Find ways to cut back on purchases, save money while enhancing the quality of your life, and do less damage to the earth, all while spending more time instead of money on the things you like. Comments left on the previous post contained several ideas that are worth repeating. Suggestions for simplifying your life, voluntarily cutting back, and living a more satisfying retirement included:
- Sell a second car, or even sell all vehicles and rely on public transportation, bikes or walking.
- Move from a big house to a smaller one, or forgo ownership entirely and rent an apartment.
- Use the library instead of buying books that have to be stored in your home.
- Eliminate cable TV. Use free services like Hulu, or use Netflix to stream movies to your TV
- Drop the landline phone. Use a cell phone as your only phone.
- De-clutter your living space with garage sales, ebay selling, or donations.
- Grow your own fruit.
- Dry your clothes on a line in the backyard since a dryer uses massive amounts of energy.
- Think twice before buying something. Use the 24 hour rule (if you still want it, then buy it).
In the previous post I listed 9 sites that specialize in simpler living, voluntary simplicity, and being frugal (but not cheap). Here are 10 more. Click on the name and visit the site (but please come back!).
http://newhabit.org/ The writing on this blog appeals to me every time I visit Mark's site. He thinks deeply about an issue and expresses himself clearly. He is particularly found of joy and children. There is a definite connection there. Click the simplicity tab at the top.
http://alwayswellwithin.com/ Inspiring positive change from the inside out is this site's slogan and it fits. The underlying thread is wellness in body, mind, spirit, and the environment. With recent posts like "21 Ways to Simply Be" and "Breathing May be Bad for You" I think you'll find this an enjoyable place to spend some time. http://www.frugaltexasgal.com/ With the tag line "follow me as I attempt to live large on a small pension" I am hooked. Barb writes a very personal, journal-like blog that pulls no punches as she navigates her way through a challenging time in her life. I am always rooting for her to prevail.
http://rowdykittens.com/portfolio/ Don't even ask me what the name means. It doesn't matter because the blog is great. Simple, minimalist living drives the content. This link takes you to the archives page. There is enough content here to keep you very busy for quite a while. Tammy knows what she is talking about.
http://www.momadvice.com/index.aspx. This is all about frugal living, saving money, recipes, and working at home. Somehow she finds the time to write three blogs and run her household. You don't have to be a mom to find something here to enjoy.
http://welcometovoluntarysimplicity.wordpress.com/ I find this site fascinating. Written by a fellow who lives in rural England, it is truly about getting back to basics. If you need to make an ax handle, this is the place. How about making cider vinegar? Poultry problems? Look no further. Amazingly, I have no interest in any of those topics but I love his writing style. After three or four articles I feel like I know him. He doesn't update very often so look through the older posts.
http://www.suddenlyfrugal.com/ What is the genesis of this blog? Leah says " Most mothers teach their children how to cook and clean. Mine taught me to compost and to reuse everything." She is an author and TV personality as well as an excellent blogger on all things frugal. Look at the list of recent posts on the right sidebar.
http://www.healthyjoyfulliving.com/ Recent posts include 10 simple ways to simplify your day and 3 simple steps to reinvigorating your life. The list of topics covered is impressive. The couple writing this blog has just finished a new book with the interesting title, "Courage & Croissants. The description sounds fascinating.
http://blog.postconsumers.com/ "Finding the satisfaction of enough" is this blog's slogan. Click on the blog tag across the top to go to an excellent source of ideas for simplifying your life. I like the variety of topics covered here. There is always something fresh to thing about.
http://livesimplyenough.com/ Imagine a world where everyone has enough. That sets up this first rate simplicity blog. Every post I clicked on for this article grabbed me. The author is passionate about ending global poverty and controlling the mad pattern of consumption that dominates the western world.
Living a lifestyle that is simpler, more frugal, less damaging to the environment, and eliminates a lot of consumer-generated stress is a worthy goal. I hope you visit these sites and find a few that speak to you.
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