Simple Is the New Green

It has been awhile, but I read a couple of books by two different Journalists: Thomas Friedman, “Hot, Flat and Crowded” and Bill McKibben, “Eaarth”.

NOTE: These are not exact quotes, just what I remember.

Thomas Friedman says something to this effect: It would be great if we had smart grids with solar power and wind energy. And we had smart houses on those grids with smart appliances in those houses. Then, when you are doing laundry and you put your clothes in the dryer, it turns on when it senses there is free, clean energy, because the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

Bill McKibben then responds with something like this: Well, if the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, why wouldn’t you hang your clothes out to dry?

While I recommend both books as excellent reads, Bill McKibben won the debate in my eyes. True “green” is to reduce first, whenever possible… change mindsets, change behaviors… then substitute with alternatives.

Green consumption is still consumption that comes with many tradeoffs and green technology still provides too much comfort, promoting a rise in obesity, urban sprawl and too much time spent managing, organizing, cleaning and paying for our green products.

Everyone’s lifestyle is different and there is no ‘one size fits all’, but small, continuous changes toward a reduction in consumption, by the mass population, will go much faster and farther than waiting for policy changes and technological advances.

Furthermore, reducing consumption and getting out of our comfort zone doesn’t mean that we are depriving ourselves. The terms “minimalism” and “simplicity” are on the rise because people are finding that simple living is the opposite of deprivation… it can drastically improve health, wealth and happiness.

Who wouldn’t want that?

Plus, when you consume less and consume mindfully, you can spend more money on quality products that are long lasting and that provide real value to your life and your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

Now that is sustainable.

What are your thoughts? Who do you think won the debate?


What DO the Joneses have?

It is very easy to look at our neighbors and see things that we don’t have.

Young children are especially susceptible to the idea of “It’s not fair that they have more.”

I once read a comment that the only time we should look to see what our neighbors have is to make sure that they have enough…

Enough food.

Enough warmth.

Enough love.

Tis the Season for Fast Food… Seriously!

Well, it depends on your definition of fast food.

This post isn’t about food that comes in Styrofoam containers from a drive through window. Even though I have done that more times than I like to admit.

It is also not about ‘healthy’ convenience food such as organic, non-GMO, dye free, made-in-a-lab mac ‘n cheese that can sit on a shelf for years, but only takes 3 minutes to cook… Although it is fun to eat on a rare occasion as a cheat food, setting the claims of health food aside.

I’m talking about the original fast food… good ole fruits and veggies. Granted, they take awhile to grow… hence the Slow Food Movement. But Big Ag, CAFO meats and lab made food takes awhile also… and a ton of resources.

I’m not advocating a 100% locavore diet, or any other diet for that matter. Every person has different dietary needs and most of us like to indulge from time to time. I’m just saying that this time of year is ideal to get the original fast food that is super nutritious and very tasty. Not to mention a fun day out!

It is spring time and Farmers Markets are starting to pop up everywhere.

If you can, try to walk there. Or, maybe take your reusable bags. But, most important, take your time. Talk to the purveyors. Ask questions. Revel in the community. Eat some fruits or veggies right there, or on the walk home. Bite into that cucumber, pepper or tomato. Grab a handful of berries. No cutting, dicing, cooking or cleanup needed.

Simple? Yes!

Fun? Yes!

Green? Absolutely!!!!

And folks, this is NOT the time to be frugal! Enjoy yourself. Revel in the physical and emotional wellness of Farmers Markets. We all deserve it.

Go out and support your local farmers. Our long term sustainability of the food system depends on it. Or maybe just grow your own! Your digestive system will thank you and you will be money ahead in terms of real WELL-th!


Green Gone Wrong

Green has gone mainstream. But most ‘green’ consumer products cost more money and have many, many tradeoffs to our health and happiness. Not to mention that green products still use many resources and need to be disposed.

What if we looked at a new ‘green’ lifestyle? What if we decided that instead of big houses, expensive cars and convenience foods, we lived in smaller spaces in walkable areas with local fresh produce available?

Instead of commuting hours per week or working in a cubicle, we lived simpler lives that didn’t cost much and made us healthier and happier?

What if we focused on experiences and people over things?

What if we had the time and freedom to fully live a life of meaning?

It can be done and there is now a huge movement toward this trend. Some call it simple living, others call it minimalism, essentialism, experientialism, enoughism, naturalism, intentionalism, etc…

But if this movement were to spread to the mainstream, we wouldn’t need a name for it. It would just be the new normal.

How about you? Does this sound appealing? Does this seem attainable?