Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Simple Life

I came across this article yesterday in the New York Times: But Will It Make You Happy?  I'm not sure if it's "green" exactly, but... close enough.  And I like it, and this is my blog.

It describes a couple who had it all: jobs, an apartment, etc.. they were average middle-class.  And miserable.  So, inspired by some books and a website that challenged readers to simplify their lives, they whittled down their belongings to.... *gulp* 100 items.

You read that correctly.  One hundred items.  They got rid of their cars.  They down-sized their apartment.  Ms. Strobel now owns three pairs of shoes. But they love their life.  She was able to quit her boring job to become a free-lance writer. She makes less money, but she's happy. And since they have fewer expenses, their smaller incomes are still plenty enough to travel all the time, and even help their nieces and nephews through college.

The article goes on to explain that saving among Americans is up since the economy has soured, and studies show that we are happier when we "relish" something long before splurging on it, or when we spend our money on experiences rather than material possessions.

Pretty cool, huh? I think it relates.  Read this post from Eat, Live, Run (I told you I was obsessed) in which she describes her food philosophy.  Eat simply, from natural, whole ingredients.  I got to "green" by taking simple as far as simple could go.  This article is about living simply.  All of that clutter isn't healthy for us, either.  The material stuff we think we need is like the high fructose corn syrup in our food... it provides a little instant sweetness, but in the end, is unnecessary and unhealthy.  So just leave it out.

P.S. What 100 items would you keep?

There is no wealth but life.  

John Ruskin

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