Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Voluntary simplicity (17)

Can living with less make you happier?

The Guardian / Fumio Sasaki / 12 April 2017

Minimalism is a lifestyle in which you reduce your possessions to the least possible. Living with only the bare essentials has not only provided superficial benefits such as the pleasure of a tidy room or the simple ease of cleaning, it has also led to a more fundamental shift. It’s given me a chance to think about what it really means to be happy.

We think that the more we have, the happier we will be. We never know what tomorrow might bring, so we collect and save as much as we can. This means we need a lot of money, so we gradually start judging people by how much money they have. You convince yourself that you need to make a lot of money so you don’t miss out on success. And for you to make money, you need everyone else to spend their money. And so it goes.

So I said goodbye to a lot of things, many of which I’d had for years. And yet now I live each day with a happier spirit. I feel more content now than I ever did in the past.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Earthship 101 slides available

Transition Brockville / 28 January 2016

Earthship 101Our guest speaker from last Sunday, Agata Bedynski, has kindly made her slide set available. She writes:

I’d like to say to all of you folks on the Transition Brockville steering committee — my heart feels so much warmth and empathy for you — you are doing a wonderful job of informing those around you about a better way to live on the Earth. So much respect goes out to you for your work and dedication, even though at times I can imagine that you put in a lot more than you may see coming back to you. Such is the nature of this work, but I know your hearts are telling you to do it, and there are those out here that recognize your input to making life on this planet more sustainable, rational and humble. In the end you are doing something positive and creative in putting forth solutions to our worldly problems– all of your energy and time has a payoff, even if you don’t always see results immediately. I love what your group is doing in your local area. Thank you for your good work!

[ SLIDE SET ]

How to change the world in 3 easy steps

Insurge Intelligence / Nafeez Ahmed / 23 December 2016

Start with youThe fact is, as individuals, neither of us has the power to change the entire world. And that’s okay. We need to accept that, and focus on what we can change, rather than obsessing over what we can’t, which is precisely an egoistic symptom of the prevailing paradigm.

So there you have it, three easy steps to changing the world:

  1. Start with you
  2. Continue with those around you
  3. Create something new

Then, as an integral part of creating something new: encourage each of those around you, working with you, to adopt and pass on the message of these three simple steps.

Imagine a world where each of us did this.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Holmgren on permaculture, energy descent and future scenarios

Happen Films / 09 December 2015

An interview with David Holmgren. This is the full length interview from the upcoming documentary A Simpler Way: Crisis as Opportunity

Lessons in small house design

Mother Earth News / Spike Carlsen / October 2015

cabin-exteriorIn his book The Cabin, architect and cabinologist Dale Mulfinger outlines what he feels are the minimum qualifications for a dwelling to be considered a cabin:

The site is chosen for its natural beauty.

A cabin offers easy access to the outdoors, both through exterior rooms and through great views from the inside. A cabin adds to the land, never dominating it.

A cabin provides simple, basic shelter.

It isn’t fancy. It doesn’t try to make a social statement, as houses often do. A small efficient floor plan is all it needs.

Overlapping activities take place within the compact quarters.

Thus a cabin promotes companionship and community spirit.

Everybody feels at home right away.

A cabin’s furnishings are simple, often treasured family hand-me-downs. Its sleeping lofts, tucked under the eaves, evoke memories of childhood. Its fireplace or woodstove provides physical and emotional warmth.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How stuff has consumed the average American’s life

The Guardian / Madeleine Somerville / 20 October 2015

4256The personal storage industry rakes in $22bn each year, and it’s only getting bigger. Why?

I’ll give you a hint: it’s not because vast nations of hoarders have finally decided to get their acts together and clean out the hall closet.

It’s also not because we’re short on space. In 1950 the average size of a home in the US was 983 square feet. Compare that to 2011, when American houses ballooned to an average size of 2,480 square feet – almost triple the size.

And finally, it’s not because of our growing families. This will no doubt come as a great relief to our helpful commenters who each week kindly suggest that for maximum environmental impact we simply stop procreating altogether: family sizes in the western world are steadily shrinking, from an average of 3.37 people in 1950 to just 2.6 today.

So, if our houses have tripled in size while the number of people living in them has shrunk, what, exactly, are we doing with all of this extra space? And why the billions of dollars tossed to an industry that was virtually nonexistent a generation or two ago?

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Resilience is the ability of a system or community to withstand impacts from outside. An indicator is a good way of measuring that. Conventionally, the principal way of measuring a reducing carbon footprint is CO2 emissions. However, we firmly believe that cutting carbon while failing to build resilience is an insufficient response when you’re trying to address multiple shocks such as peak oil, climate change and the economic crisis together.

— Transition U.S.
TB Projects

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