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Radical Simplicity (PDF)
Small Footprints on a Finite Earth
Imagine you are first in line at a potluck buffet. The spread includes not just food and water, but all the materials needed for shelter, clothing, healthcare, and education. How do you know how much to take? How much is enough to leave for your neighbors behind you-not just the six billion people, but the wildlife, and the as-yet-unborn?
In the face of looming ecological disaster, many people feel the need to change their own lifestyles as a tangible way of transforming our unsustainable culture. Radical Simplicity is the first book that guides the reader to a personal sustainability goal, then offers a process to monitor progress to a lifestyle that is equitable amongst all people, species, and generations. It employs three tools to help readers begin their customized journey to simplicity:
- It builds on steps from Your Money or Your Life so readers can design their own personal economics to save money, get free of debt, and align their work with their values.
- It uses refined tools from Our Ecological Footprint so readers can measure how much nature is needed to supply all they consume and absorb their waste.
- And by advocating time alone in wild nature, it opens readers to another reality with humanity as one species among many on a complex and inter-related planet.
Combining lyrical narrative, compassionate advocacy and absorbing science, Radical Simplicity is a practical, personal answer to 21st century challenges that will appeal as much to Cultural Creatives and students as to spiritual seekers, policy makers and sustainability professionals.
Jim Merkel quit his job as a military engineer following the Exxon Valdez disaster, and has since worked to develop tools for personal and societal sustainability. He founded the Global Living Project to further this work, and conducts workshops around North America on this topic.